The second biggest stock market in the US, Nasdaq, is about to introduce a surveillance device to detect the transmission of share price-sensitive information on the Internet.
The device will trawl through postings on chat rooms looking for false information that could move share prices. It is expected to be installed before year end at a cost of #600,000.
Beth Weimer, vice president of Nasdaq's MarketWatch, told a conference of exchange regulators in London last week that information flow over the Internet is of increasing concern.
Weimer said the Internet is being used by "in the know" fraudsters to begin rumours or offer unsolicited advice in order to increase the value of an equity. The device will track more than 400,000 Nasdaq listed companies and will search for information that has not been officially announced.
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