Following the release of the draft for a new law banning the international marketing of binary options from Israel, an interesting meeting just took place.
The Israeli parliament’s State Control Committee (government oversight) convened earlier to hear from members of the public and other relevant parties their reservations and comments regarding the draft before it is brought for approval. And unlike the previous time, the Israeli police showed up for the discussion today.
Going after service providers
While most of the speakers offered only more anti-binary options rhetoric and calls for retroactively punishing those that offered it while it was not yet against the law, the police representative offered a look at what might actually happen after the new law passes. He said that, like what happened with online gambling before, the police would just turn to all payments providers and ask them to cut off services to entities that offer binary options.
Furthermore, he said that they will leave no loopholes, and any service providers that continue to deal with binary options companies once they are declared illegal will be dealt with as if they are providing services to criminals.
This is a sound strategy for the police considering that it will only have to deal with a few service providers instead of with all the call centers individually. However, it did not please those that demanded that the police take direct action right now and start arresting people left and right.
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A journalist, whose newspaper is leading the fight against binary options in Israel, presented a paper with the names and addresses of 100 companies and basically said that they are all criminals, and that the police just needs to go and see how they operate for a few minutes and then arrest them. A young English-speaker that presented himself as a programmer, said that when he goes to job interviews at binary options firms he can see criminality in the open like the use of hard drugs (“white powder substance”) in the office.
Why not find a way to protect clients from scams?
Among all these anti-binary options advocates, two people tried to speak in favor of the industry.
One cyber security services provider asked the committee to consider the harm that will be done to around 5000 employees that will lose their jobs, and to the tens of thousands that provide ancillary services to the industry. And a representative for the EUBOA (European Brokers Association) asked that a legal framework be set up to ensure that binary options firms can continue to operate, but under client protection requirements such as call monitoring and risk warnings, such as exist in Europe, Australia and elsewhere.
Other speakers called for the two gentlemen to be investigated for receiving money from binary options firms as a response to their claims.
The head of the committee was not able to provide an exact date for the next step in the legislative process but reaffirmed that she is personally backing it and will make every effort for an update before the Israeli parliament ends its current winter session on March 26.