At various places on our web site, we tell you how to contact us, and we encourage you to give us some personal details about yourself. You do not have to give us personal information to visit our site. We collect personal information from you only if you choose to give it to us.
When we ask you to provide information to us voluntarily, the Privacy Act of 1974 requires us to tell you how we can use the information. Under the Act, we cannot sanction you if you fail to provide all or any part of the information to us. Sanctions may apply if you provide information to us and you know it is false or misleading.
A. Our Authority for Requesting Your Information
The SEC is authorized to request information from you by various laws: Sections 19 and 20 of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 21 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Section 321 of the Trust Indenture Act of 1939, Section 42 of the Investment Company Act of 1940, Section 209 of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and Title 17 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 202.5.
B. The Principal Ways We May Use Your Information
Our principal purpose for requesting information from you is to respond to inquiries and complaints from members of the public. The SEC may also use your information to determine whether any person has violated, is violating, or is about to violate the federal securities laws or rules that the SEC enforces, such as the rules of the securities exchanges and the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board. The SEC may use the information you provide in an enforcement proceeding. If the information points to violations of other laws or regulations, we may turn it over to other government agencies, including United States Attorneys and state prosecutors. We generally do not disclose to you whether we have done so or not.
The SEC will not agree to limit its use of your information in any way, unless the SEC or its staff explicitly agrees to do so in writing.
C. Routine Uses of the Information You May Provide
Listed below are the ways we may routinely use your information:
||To coordinate law enforcement activities between the SEC and other federal, state, local or foreign law enforcement agencies, securities self-regulatory organizations, and foreign securities authorities.
||By SEC personnel for purposes of investigating possible violations of, or to conduct investigations authorized by, the federal securities laws.
||Where there is an indication of a violation or potential violation of law, whether civil, criminal or regulatory in nature, relevant records may be referred to the agency charged with investigating or prosecuting such violation or enforcing or implementing the statute, rule, regulation or order in question. Records may be referred to other federal agencies, state or local governments, foreign governments or foreign securities authorities, or securities self-regulatory organizations.
||In any proceeding where the federal securities laws are in issue or in which the SEC, or past or present members of its staff, are parties or are involved in an official capacity.
||Disclosure to a federal, state, local or foreign government agency or foreign securities authority maintaining civil, criminal or other relevant enforcement information or other pertinent information, such as current licenses, if necessary to obtain information relevant to an agency decision concerning hiring or retention of an employee, the issuance of a security clearance, the letting of a contract, or the issuance of a license, grant, or other benefit.
||Disclosure to a federal, state, local or foreign government agency or foreign securities authority, in response to its request, in connection with the hiring or retention of an employee, the issuance of a security clearance, the reporting of an investigation of an employee, the letting of a contract, or the issuance of a license, grant, or other benefit by the requesting agency, to the extent that the information is relevant and necessary to the requesting agency's decision.
||In connection with SEC suspension or disbarment proceedings under Rule 102(e) of the SEC's Rules of Practice 17 CFR 201.102(e).
||When appropriate, records may be disclosed to a bar association, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, a state accountancy board, or other federal, state, local or foreign licensing or oversight authority, foreign securities authority, or professional association or self-regulatory authority performing similar functions, for possible disciplinary or other action.
||In connection with investigations or disciplinary proceedings by a state securities regulatory authority or a foreign securities authority, or by a self-regulatory organization involving one or more of its members.
||As a data source for management information a) for production of summary descriptive statistics and analytical studies in support of the function for which the records are collected and maintained, b) for statistical information (without personal identification of individuals) under the Freedom of Information Act, or c) to locate specific individuals for personnel research or other personnel management functions.
||In connection with their regulatory and enforcement responsibilities under the federal securities laws or state or foreign laws regulating securities or other related matters, records may be disclosed to national securities associations that are registered with the SEC, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, the federal banking authorities (e.g., the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation), state securities regulatory or law enforcement agencies, or regulatory or law enforcement agencies of a foreign government or foreign securities authority.
||Disclosure to any trustee, receiver, master, special counsel, or other person or entity that is appointed by a court or by agreement of the parties in connection with proceedings involving alleged violations of the federal securities laws or the SEC's Rules of Practice, or otherwise, where such person or entity is specifically designated to perform particular functions with respect to the proceedings or in connection with the SEC's administration and enforcement of the federal securities laws or the SEC's Rules of Practice.
||Disclosure to any persons during the course of any inquiry or investigation conducted by SEC staff, or in connection with civil litigation, if the staff has reason to believe that the person to whom the record is disclosed may have further information about the matters related therein, and those matters appeared to be relevant at the time to the subject matter of the inquiry.
||Disclosure to any person with whom the SEC contracts to reproduce, by typing, photocopy or other means, any record for use by the SEC and its staff in connection with their official duties or to any person who is utilized by the SEC to perform clerical or stenographic functions relating to the official business of the SEC.
||Inclusion in reports published by the SEC pursuant to authority granted in the federal securities laws.
||Disclosure to members of advisory committees that are created by the SEC or by the Congress to render advice and recommendations to the SEC or to the Congress, to be used solely in connection with their official duties.
||To any person who is, or has agreed to be, subject to the SEC's Rules of Conduct and who assists in the SEC's investigation of possible violations of the securities laws, in the preparation or conduct of enforcement actions brought by the SEC for such violations, or otherwise in connection with the SEC's enforcement or regulatory functions under the federal securities laws.
||Disclosure may be made to a Congressional office from the records of an individual in response to an inquiry from the Congressional office made at the request of that individual.
||To respond to inquiries from Members of Congress, the press and the public which relate to specific matters that the SEC has investigated and to matters under the SEC's jurisdiction.
||To prepare and publish information relating to violations of the federal securities laws.
||To respond to subpoenas in any litigation or other proceeding.
||To a trustee in bankruptcy.
D. False Statements and Documents
Section 1001 of Title 18 of the United States Code provides as follows:
Whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the United States knowingly and willfully falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact, or makes any false, fictitious or fraudulent statements or representations, or makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or entry, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
The information you give the SEC may be used against you in any federal, state, local or foreign administrative, civil or criminal proceeding brought by the SEC or any other agency. You may refuse, in accordance with the rights guaranteed to you by the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, to give any information that may tend to incriminate you or subject you to fine, penalty or forfeiture.
E. The Freedom of Information Act
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) generally allows the SEC to make your information available to the public upon request. You may request that your information not be released to the public by writing a letter asking that it remain confidential under one of the exemptions described in FOIA (see 5 U.S.C. 552). The SEC determines whether your claim of an exemption is valid when someone requests your information under FOIA.
Rule 83 of the SEC's Rules on Information and Requests, (17 CFR 200.83) explains how you should make your request for confidentiality. Your letter may be sent or faxed to our FOIA Officer at 100 F Street, NE, MS 0-5, Washington, DC 20549 or fax number (703) 914-1149. Alternatively, you may follow the instructions on our on-line FOIA pages.