United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: May 27, 2020

§ 78x.
Public availability of information
(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

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)
(June 6, 1934, ch. 404, title I, § 24, 48 Stat. 901; Aug. 23, 1935, ch. 614, § 203(a), 49 Stat. 704; Pub. L. 94–29, § 19, June 4, 1975, 89 Stat. 158; Pub. L. 101–550, title II, § 202(a), Nov. 15, 1990, 104 Stat. 2715; Pub. L. 111–203, title IX, §§ 929I(a), 929K, July 21, 2010, 124 Stat. 1857, 1860; Pub. L. 111–257, § 1(a), Oct. 5, 2010, 124 Stat. 2646.)
cite as: 15 USC 78x