If you're like us, it's pretty hard to get through your day without cellphones, AIM, BlackBerrys and Bloomberg terminals. Whether it's a message to say, "Hey, story in the Times about bestiality at Bear," a quick buzz to see if anyone wants to come to get confrontational with the security guards at 85 Broad, have cyber sex or insider trade, without these forms of electronic communication, we'd all be at loss for what to do with ourselves (though that's an idea). Unsurprisingly, the N.Y.S.E. and NASD, full of non-stop hate, are trying to strip us of our rights to do any of the aforementioned, in an effort to police (state) how written information is spread via internal and external exchanges.
Yesterday, the two groups issued a joint guidance proposal suggesting that companies prohibit the use of personal email, blogs, and podcasts, not use language re: instant messaging that leaves room for "unwanted individual interpretation," have training on a "regular and as-needed basis" (This is a BlackBerry. This is how you turn on a BlackBerry. This is how you access BrickBreaker. Idiot), restrict access to certain words and phrases, use specific language explaining to employees the potential consequences of non-compliance (death), and so on and so forth.
The report also added:
As noted above, the SROs are issuing this Joint Guidance to assist members in the establishment and maintenance of supervisory systems for electronic communications that are reasonably designed to achieve compliance with the federal securities laws and self-regulatory organization rules. Members must recognize, however, that this guidance is not all-inclusive and does not represent all areas of inquiry that a member should consider when establishing and maintaining a supervisory system for electronic communications, including any existing and future electronic communications technology that this guidance may not address. In addition, members are advised that this guidance does not serve to establish a safe harbor with respect to potential supervisory or compliance deficiencies.
So (should you choose to comply): Here are the rules, but don't think that just because you follow them you won't get busted.
(Ben A. Indek, a committee member claims the goal is to offer companies guidance on monitoring usage, not to "deprive bankers, traders and brokers of their BlackBerrys or market terminals," even though that's exactly what it feels like).
Interestingly, precious little was outlined by the NYSE and NASD about blocking correspondence from senders who cannot be identified. Jfcarney29, ohbabyitsbess and QTTimberlake14 ([Ed. KH: 13 was taken]) live to see another day.
Supervision of Electronic Communications [NYSE]
Wall Street to Get Guidelines on E-Mail [NYT]