Release: #3930-96

For Release: August 9, 1996

CFTC's DIVISION OF ENFORCEMENT SETS UP INTERACTIVE INTERNET ENFORCEMENT WEBPAGE, LINKED TO THE CFTC HOME PAGE

The New Webpage Will Allow Two-Way Communication Between the CFTC and Customers Concerning Possible Misconduct or Suspected Wrongdoing Involving Futures and Options Trading and Products

WASHINGTON -- The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today that it has set up a Division of Enforcement Internet Webpage, which enables the public to contact the Enforcement Division's electronic mailbox with the click of a mouse. This new link with the general public is intended to encourage use of the Internet in reporting suspected commodities-related wrongdoing to the CFTC. The newly established Enforcement Webpage, which is located on the CFTC's Homepage at http://www.cftc.gov, also provides a brief summary of the types of abuses commonly investigated and prosecuted by the CFTC.

In addition, the Enforcement Webpage provides, for the first time:

direct access to the CFTC's Proceedings Bulletin, a comprehensive listing of Commission enforcement actions and sanctions against individuals and firms, including information about pending enforcement cases, and

the capability for direct communication between the public and the CFTC concerning possible misconduct or suspected wrongdoing in connection with futures and options trading and products. Shortly, the Enforcement Webpage will incorporate a pull-down, fill-in form to enable customers to report suspect activity to the Enforcement Division directly on the webpage screen. The Division's electronic mailbox (e-mail address) is: enforcement@cftc.gov.

The Enforcement Webpage will further enhance the CFTC's regular Internet surveillance program, which includes the routine monitoring of homepages on the Worldwide Web, as well as newsgroups, bulletin boards, and chat rooms visited by Internet users. This current Internet monitoring and surveillance program has provided dozens of initial referrals to enforcement staff involving issues relating to registration, possible misrepresentations of the success of trading programs, and the offer of potentially illegal off-exchange products.

According to CFTC Acting Chairman John Tull: "Because of its immediacy and its reach, the Internet has attracted some unscrupulous individuals and firms touting futures and options deals and trading advice which, simply put, are too good to be true.

"To curb such abuses the CFTC continues to employ new ways to enhance the public's ability to report suspicious activity, and to check the background of individuals and firms doing business on the Internet. The CFTC must continue to effectively monitor use of electronic media, like the Internet, to protect the public interest by assuring that those users comply with the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulations -- particularly the registration and anti-fraud provisions."