15 U.S. Code § 1681u - Disclosures to FBI for counterintelligence purposes

(a) Identity of financial institutions
Notwithstanding section 1681b of this title or any other provision of this subchapter, a consumer reporting agency shall furnish to the Federal Bureau of Investigation the names and addresses of all financial institutions (as that term is defined in section 3401 of title 12) at which a consumer maintains or has maintained an account, to the extent that information is in the files of the agency, when presented with a written request for that information, signed by the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or the Director’s designee in a position not lower than Deputy Assistant Director at Bureau headquarters or a Special Agent in Charge of a Bureau field office designated by the Director, which certifies compliance with this section. The Director or the Director’s designee may make such a certification only if the Director or the Director’s designee has determined in writing, that such information is sought for the conduct of an authorized investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities, provided that such an investigation of a United States person is not conducted solely upon the basis of activities protected by the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
(b) Identifying information
Notwithstanding the provisions of section 1681b of this title or any other provision of this subchapter, a consumer reporting agency shall furnish identifying information respecting a consumer, limited to name, address, former addresses, places of employment, or former places of employment, to the Federal Bureau of Investigation when presented with a written request, signed by the Director or the Director’s designee in a position not lower than Deputy Assistant Director at Bureau headquarters or a Special Agent in Charge of a Bureau field office designated by the Director, which certifies compliance with this subsection. The Director or the Director’s designee may make such a certification only if the Director or the Director’s designee has determined in writing that such information is sought for the conduct of an authorized investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities, provided that such an investigation of a United States person is not conducted solely upon the basis of activities protected by the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
(c) Court order for disclosure of consumer reports
Notwithstanding section 1681b of this title or any other provision of this subchapter, if requested in writing by the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or a designee of the Director in a position not lower than Deputy Assistant Director at Bureau headquarters or a Special Agent in Charge in a Bureau field office designated by the Director, a court may issue an order ex parte directing a consumer reporting agency to furnish a consumer report to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, upon a showing in camera that the consumer report is sought for the conduct of an authorized investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities, provided that such an investigation of a United States person is not conducted solely upon the basis of activities protected by the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States. The terms of an order issued under this subsection shall not disclose that the order is issued for purposes of a counterintelligence investigation.
(d) Confidentiality
(1) If the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or his designee in a position not lower than Deputy Assistant Director at Bureau headquarters or a Special Agent in Charge in a Bureau field office designated by the Director, certifies that otherwise there may result a danger to the national security of the United States, interference with a criminal, counterterrorism, or counterintelligence investigation, interference with diplomatic relations, or danger to the life or physical safety of any person, no consumer reporting agency or officer, employee, or agent of a consumer reporting agency shall disclose to any person (other than those to whom such disclosure is necessary to comply with the request or an attorney to obtain legal advice or legal assistance with respect to the request) that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has sought or obtained the identity of financial institutions or a consumer report respecting any consumer under subsection (a), (b), or (c), and no consumer reporting agency or officer, employee, or agent of a consumer reporting agency shall include in any consumer report any information that would indicate that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has sought or obtained such information on a consumer report.
(2) The request shall notify the person or entity to whom the request is directed of the nondisclosure requirement under paragraph (1).
(3) Any recipient disclosing to those persons necessary to comply with the request or to an attorney to obtain legal advice or legal assistance with respect to the request shall inform such persons of any applicable nondisclosure requirement. Any person who receives a disclosure under this subsection shall be subject to the same prohibitions on disclosure under paragraph (1).
(4) At the request of the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the designee of the Director, any person making or intending to make a disclosure under this section shall identify to the Director or such designee the person to whom such disclosure will be made or to whom such disclosure was made prior to the request, except that nothing in this section shall require a person to inform the Director or such designee of the identity of an attorney to whom disclosure was made or will be made to obtain legal advice or legal assistance with respect to the request for the identity of financial institutions or a consumer report respecting any consumer under this section.
(e) Payment of fees
The Federal Bureau of Investigation shall, subject to the availability of appropriations, pay to the consumer reporting agency assembling or providing report or information in accordance with procedures established under this section a fee for reimbursement for such costs as are reasonably necessary and which have been directly incurred in searching, reproducing, or transporting books, papers, records, or other data required or requested to be produced under this section.
(f) Limit on dissemination
The Federal Bureau of Investigation may not disseminate information obtained pursuant to this section outside of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, except to other Federal agencies as may be necessary for the approval or conduct of a foreign counterintelligence investigation, or, where the information concerns a person subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, to appropriate investigative authorities within the military department concerned as may be necessary for the conduct of a joint foreign counterintelligence investigation.
(g) Rules of construction
Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit information from being furnished by the Federal Bureau of Investigation pursuant to a subpoena or court order, in connection with a judicial or administrative proceeding to enforce the provisions of this subchapter. Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize or permit the withholding of information from the Congress.
(h) Reports to Congress
(1) On a semiannual basis, the Attorney General shall fully inform the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and the Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs of the House of Representatives, and the Select Committee on Intelligence and the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate concerning all requests made pursuant to subsections (a), (b), and (c) of this section.
(2) In the case of the semiannual reports required to be submitted under paragraph (1) to the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence of the House of Representatives and the Select Committee on Intelligence of the Senate, the submittal dates for such reports shall be as provided in section 3106 of title 50.
(i) Damages
Any agency or department of the United States obtaining or disclosing any consumer reports, records, or information contained therein in violation of this section is liable to the consumer to whom such consumer reports, records, or information relate in an amount equal to the sum of—
(1) $100, without regard to the volume of consumer reports, records, or information involved;
(2) any actual damages sustained by the consumer as a result of the disclosure;
(3) if the violation is found to have been willful or intentional, such punitive damages as a court may allow; and
(4) in the case of any successful action to enforce liability under this subsection, the costs of the action, together with reasonable attorney fees, as determined by the court.
(j) Disciplinary actions for violations
If a court determines that any agency or department of the United States has violated any provision of this section and the court finds that the circumstances surrounding the violation raise questions of whether or not an officer or employee of the agency or department acted willfully or intentionally with respect to the violation, the agency or department shall promptly initiate a proceeding to determine whether or not disciplinary action is warranted against the officer or employee who was responsible for the violation.
(k) Good-faith exception
Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter, any consumer reporting agency or agent or employee thereof making disclosure of consumer reports or identifying information pursuant to this subsection in good-faith reliance upon a certification of the Federal Bureau of Investigation pursuant to provisions of this section shall not be liable to any person for such disclosure under this subchapter, the constitution of any State, or any law or regulation of any State or any political subdivision of any State.
(l) Limitation of remedies
Notwithstanding any other provision of this subchapter, the remedies and sanctions set forth in this section shall be the only judicial remedies and sanctions for violation of this section.
(m) Injunctive relief
In addition to any other remedy contained in this section, injunctive relief shall be available to require compliance with the procedures of this section. In the event of any successful action under this subsection, costs together with reasonable attorney fees, as determined by the court, may be recovered.

Source

(Pub. L. 90–321, title VI, § 626, formerly § 624, as added Pub. L. 104–93, title VI, § 601(a),Jan. 6, 1996, 109 Stat. 974; renumbered § 625 and amended Pub. L. 107–56, title III, § 358(g)(1)(A), title V, § 505(c),Oct. 26, 2001, 115 Stat. 327, 366; Pub. L. 107–306, title VIII, § 811(b)(8)(B),Nov. 27, 2002, 116 Stat. 2426; renumbered § 626,Pub. L. 108–159, title II, § 214(a)(1),Dec. 4, 2003, 117 Stat. 1980; Pub. L. 109–177, title I, § 116(b),Mar. 9, 2006, 120 Stat. 214; Pub. L. 109–178, § 4(c)(1),Mar. 9, 2006, 120 Stat. 280.)
References in Text

This subchapter, referred to in subsec. (g), was in the original, “this Act” and was translated as reading “this title”, meaning title VI of Pub. L. 90–321, known as the Fair Credit Reporting Act, to reflect the probable intent of Congress.
Prior Provisions

A prior section 626 ofPub. L. 90–321was renumbered section 627 and is classified to section 1681v of this title.
Amendments

2006—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 109–177reenacted heading without change and amended text generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: “No consumer reporting agency or officer, employee, or agent of a consumer reporting agency shall disclose to any person, other than those officers, employees, or agents of a consumer reporting agency necessary to fulfill the requirement to disclose information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation under this section, that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has sought or obtained the identity of financial institutions or a consumer report respecting any consumer under subsection (a), (b), or (c) of this section, and no consumer reporting agency or officer, employee, or agent of a consumer reporting agency shall include in any consumer report any information that would indicate that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has sought or obtained such information or a consumer report.”
Subsec. (d)(4). Pub. L. 109–178amended par. (4) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (4) read as follows: “At the request of the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the designee of the Director, any person making or intending to make a disclosure under this section shall identify to the Director or such designee the person to whom such disclosure will be made or to whom such disclosure was made prior to the request, but in no circumstance shall a person be required to inform the Director or such designee that the person intends to consult an attorney to obtain legal advice or legal assistance.”
2002—Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 107–306designated existing provisions as par. (1) and added par. (2).
2001—Pub. L. 107–56, § 505(c), which directed amendment of section 624 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, was executed by making the amendment to this section to reflect the probable intent of Congress and the renumbering of section 624 as 625 by section 358(g)(1)(A) ofPub. L. 107–56. See below.
Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 107–56, § 505(c)(1), inserted “in a position not lower than Deputy Assistant Director at Bureau headquarters or a Special Agent in Charge of a Bureau field office designated by the Director” after “Investigation, or the Director’s designee” and substituted “in writing, that such information is sought for the conduct of an authorized investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities, provided that such an investigation of a United States person is not conducted solely upon the basis of activities protected by the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States.” for pars. (1) and (2) requiring determination in writing that the information requested is necessary for the conduct of an authorized foreign counterintelligence investigation and that there are specific and articulable facts giving reason to believe that the consumer is a foreign power or a person who is not a United States person and is an official of a foreign power, or that the consumer is an agent of a foreign power and is engaging or has engaged in an act of international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities that involve or may involve a violation of criminal statutes of the United States.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 107–56, § 505(c)(2), inserted “in a position not lower than Deputy Assistant Director at Bureau headquarters or a Special Agent in Charge of a Bureau field office designated by the Director” after “signed by the Director or the Director’s designee” and substituted “in writing that such information is sought for the conduct of an authorized investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities, provided that such an investigation of a United States person is not conducted solely upon the basis of activities protected by the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States.” for pars. (1) and (2) requiring determination in writing that the information requested is necessary to the conduct of an authorized counterintelligence investigation and that there is information giving reason to believe that the consumer has been, or is about to be, in contact with a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power.
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 107–56, § 505(c)(3), inserted “in a position not lower than Deputy Assistant Director at Bureau headquarters or a Special Agent in Charge in a Bureau field office designated by the Director” after “designee of the Director” and substituted “in camera that the consumer report is sought for the conduct of an authorized investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities, provided that such an investigation of a United States person is not conducted solely upon the basis of activities protected by the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States.” for pars. (1) and (2) requiring a showing in camera that the consumer report is necessary for the conduct of an authorized foreign counterintelligence investigation and there are specific and articulable facts giving reason to believe that the consumer whose consumer report is sought is an agent of a foreign power and is engaging or has engaged in an act of international terrorism or in clandestine intelligence activities that involve or may involve a violation of criminal statutes of the United States.
Change of Name

Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs of House of Representatives treated as referring to Committee on Banking and Financial Services of House of Representatives by section 1(a) ofPub. L. 104–14, set out as a note preceding section 21 of Title 2, The Congress. Committee on Banking and Financial Services of House of Representatives abolished and replaced by Committee on Financial Services of House of Representatives, and jurisdiction over matters relating to securities and exchanges and insurance generally transferred from Committee on Energy and Commerce of House of Representatives by House Resolution No. 5, One Hundred Seventh Congress, Jan. 3, 2001.
Effective Date of 2001 Amendment

Amendment by section 358(g)(1)(A) ofPub. L. 107–56applicable with respect to reports filed or records maintained on, before, or after Oct. 26, 2001, see section 358(h) ofPub. L. 107–56, set out as a note under section 1829b of this Title 12, Banks and Banking.

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