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Thursday, January 16, 2020 - 13:27

MNI: US Labor To Bar Computers From Media Lockups March 1

By Jean Yung

WASHINGTON (MNI) - The U.S. Department of Labor will ban journalists from using computers during the 30 minutes they are typically given to view reports ahead of release time, an effort to eliminate any unfair competitive advantage for certain high-speed algorithmic trading firms who subscribe to media feeds.

The change is effective March 1, Bureau of Labor Statistics Commissioner William Beach said.

"These updated procedures will strengthen the security of our data and offer the general public equitable and timely access," Beach said in a letter to media dated Thursday.

Beach alluded to a 2014 Inspector General report that stated that lock-ups "unintentionally creates an unfair competitive advantage for certain news organizations and their clients."

The Labor Department has since developed the technology needed to make this change, including handling a large influx of traffic at data release time, a senior Labor official told reporters in a phone call.

The official was uncertain whether this change warranted a notice in the Federal Register and a public comment period.

--MNI Washington Bureau; +1 202-371-2121; email:


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