(a) “Records” defined

For purposes of section 552 of title 5 the term “records” includes all applications, statements, reports, contracts, correspondence, notices, and other documents filed with or otherwise obtained by the Commission pursuant to this chapter or otherwise.

(b) Disclosure or personal use

Terms Used In 15 USC 78x

  • Board: means the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. See 20 USC 1070d-35
  • Commission: means the Securities and Exchange Commission established by section 78d of this title. See 20 USC 1070d-35
  • Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
  • financial institution: means --

    (A) a bank (as defined in paragraph (6) of this subsection). See 20 USC 1070d-35

  • foreign securities authority: means any foreign government, or any governmental body or regulatory organization empowered by a foreign government to administer or enforce its laws as they relate to securities matters. See 20 USC 1070d-35
  • member: when used with respect to a national securities exchange means (i) any natural person permitted to effect transactions on the floor of the exchange without the services of another person acting as broker, (ii) any registered broker or dealer with which such a natural person is associated, (iii) any registered broker or dealer permitted to designate as a representative such a natural person, and (iv) any other registered broker or dealer which agrees to be regulated by such exchange and with respect to which the exchange undertakes to enforce compliance with the provisions of this chapter, the rules and regulations thereunder, and its own rules. See 20 USC 1070d-35
  • officer: includes any person authorized by law to perform the duties of the office. See 19 USC 2291
  • Oversight: Committee review of the activities of a Federal agency or program.
  • person: means a natural person, company, government, or political subdivision, agency, or instrumentality of a government. See 20 USC 1070d-35
  • Prosecute: To charge someone with a crime. A prosecutor tries a criminal case on behalf of the government.
  • records: means accounts, correspondence, memorandums, tapes, discs, papers, books, and other documents or transcribed information of any type, whether expressed in ordinary or machine language. See 20 USC 1070d-35
  • securities laws: means the Securities Act of 1933 (15 U. See 20 USC 1070d-35
  • self-regulatory organization: means any national securities exchange, registered securities association, or registered clearing agency, or (solely for purposes of sections 78s(b), 78s(c), and 78w(b) 1 of this title) the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board established by section 78o-4 of this title. See 20 USC 1070d-35
  • State: means any State of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, or any other possession of the United States. See 20 USC 1070d-35
  • Statute: A law passed by a legislature.

It shall be unlawful for any member, officer, or employee of the Commission to disclose to any person other than a member, officer, or employee of the Commission, or to use for personal benefit, any information contained in any application, statement, report, contract, correspondence, notice, or other document filed with or otherwise obtained by the Commission (1) in contravention of the rules and regulations of the Commission under section 552 of title 5, or (2) in circumstances where the Commission has determined pursuant to such rules to accord confidential treatment to such information.

(c) Confidential disclosures

The Commission may, in its discretion and upon a showing that such information is needed, provide all “records” (as defined in subsection (a)) and other information in its possession to such persons, both domestic and foreign, as the Commission by rule deems appropriate if the person receiving such records or information provides such assurances of confidentiality as the Commission deems appropriate.

(d) Records obtained from foreign securities authorities

Except as provided in subsection (g), the Commission shall not be compelled to disclose records obtained from a foreign securities authority if (1) the foreign securities authority has in good faith determined and represented to the Commission that public disclosure of such records would violate the laws applicable to that foreign securities authority, and (2) the Commission obtains such records pursuant to (A) such procedure as the Commission may authorize for use in connection with the administration or enforcement of the securities laws, or (B) a memorandum of understanding. For purposes of section 552 of title 5, this subsection shall be considered a statute described in subsection (b)(3)(B) of such section 552.

(e) Freedom of Information Act

For purposes of section 552(b)(8) of title 5 (commonly referred to as the Freedom of Information Act)–

(1) the Commission is an agency responsible for the regulation or supervision of financial institutions; and

(2) any entity for which the Commission is responsible for regulating, supervising, or examining under this chapter is a financial institution.

(f) Sharing privileged information with other authorities

(1) Privileged information provided by the Commission

The Commission shall not be deemed to have waived any privilege applicable to any information by transferring that information to or permitting that information to be used by–

(A) any agency (as defined in section 6 of title 18);

(B) the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board;

(C) any self-regulatory organization;

(D) any foreign securities authority;

(E) any foreign law enforcement authority; or

(F) any State securities or law enforcement authority.

(2) Nondisclosure of privileged information provided to the Commission

The Commission shall not be compelled to disclose privileged information obtained from any foreign securities authority, or foreign law enforcement authority, if the authority has in good faith determined and represented to the Commission that the information is privileged.

(3) Nonwaiver of privileged information provided to the Commission

(A) In general

Federal agencies, State securities and law enforcement authorities, self-regulatory organizations, and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board shall not be deemed to have waived any privilege applicable to any information by transferring that information to or permitting that information to be used by the Commission.

(B) Exception

The provisions of subparagraph (A) shall not apply to a self-regulatory organization or the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board with respect to information used by the Commission in an action against such organization.

(4) Definitions

For purposes of this subsection–

(A) the term “privilege” includes any work-product privilege, attorney-client privilege, governmental privilege, or other privilege recognized under Federal, State, or foreign law;

(B) the term “foreign law enforcement authority” means any foreign authority that is empowered under foreign law to detect, investigate or prosecute potential violations of law; and

(C) the term “State securities or law enforcement authority” means the authority of any State or territory that is empowered under State or territory law to detect, investigate, or prosecute potential violations of law.

(g) Savings provision

Nothing in this section shall–

(1) alter the Commission’s responsibilities under the Right to Financial Privacy Act (12 U.S.C. 3401 et seq.), as limited by section 78u(h) of this title, with respect to transfers of records covered by such statutes, or

(2) authorize the Commission to withhold information from the Congress or prevent the Commission from complying with an order of a court of the United States in an action commenced by the United States or the Commission.