e-Governance

SEBI to watch over BBM and WhatsApp

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Market regulator SEBI is contemplating steps to check risks being posted by new age media i.e. BBM (Black Berry Messenger) and WhatsApp. The large scale usage of smart phone messaging services by manipulators to spread sensitive information about their target stocks and markets has posted challenge before SEBI to regulate it.

To strengthen its probe and oversight on stock market transactions, SEBI has already got software tools in place along with IT experts to analyze discussions on social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook.

However WhatsApp and BBM are proving tricky for SEBI as there are multi level difficulties in tracking the source and spread of market-sensitive information. It is very difficult for any third party to decode the transmission of message as it happens in highly encoded manner.

After finding out that the source and spread of any sensitive information through social media platforms could be apprehended easily by the regulators, the manipulators are nowadays mostly using BBM and WhatsApp. The free messaging service of these new age media attracts manipulators more. It would be difficult for SEBI to get information on message shared through mobile apps.

Recent investigations done by SEBI have revealed that BBM and WhatsApp were used into market manipulation. Hence SEBI has hired specialist IT officers to keep an eye on discussions taking at these platforms.

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