H.R. 2930, one part of the multi-bill JOBS Act being pushed through Congress, was to allow more eased securities regulation of so-called crowdfunding. Some have argued that sites like Kickstarter or others could change their business model (currently only accepts gifts or donations, called pledges, to raise money) to help companies raise money for companies in exchange for stock in that company. Currently, that model would be prohibited under securities laws as general advertising and public sales of stock are not allowed, especially through an intermediary, with certain exceptions like using a registered broker-dealer or registering the stock with the SEC.
The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act (STOCK) has now passed both the U.S. House and Senate and should be signed into law by the president very soon. (Actual Text | Bill Summary & Status) H.R. 1148 or Senate Version S.1871 is the bill that seeks to impose heavier restrictions on insider trading that is done by or is connected to members of congress, federal employees, or employees of congress. Insider trading is covered by the Securities Act of 1934 and other related federal legislation and rules by the SEC and CFTC. It occurs when someone uses inside information as a basis to trade in stocks, commodities, or other types of securities. Inside information is defined as material non-public information. An example would be someone who works for a public company, gains information about something about to happen with that company that has not been disclosed to the public (e.g. significantly increased profits, new products about to be launched, etc.), and trades based upon that information.