Independent knowledge.

Independent knowledge. The phrase independent knowledge means factual information in the whistleblower's possession that is not generally known or available to the public. The whistleblower may gain independent knowledge from the whistleblower's experiences, communications and observations in the whistleblower's personal business or social interactions. The Commission will not consider the whistleblower's information to be derived from the whistleblower's independent knowledge if the whistleblower obtained the information:
(1) From sources generally available to the public such as corporate filings and the media, including the Internet;
(2) Through a communication that was subject to the attorney-client privilege, unless the disclosure is otherwise permitted by the applicable federal or state attorney conduct rules;
(3) In connection with the legal representation of a client on whose behalf the whistleblower, or the whistleblower's employer or firm, have been providing services, and the whistleblower seek to use the information to make a whistleblower submission for the whistleblower's own benefit, unless disclosure is authorized by the applicable federal or state attorney conduct rules;
(4) Because the whistleblower was an officer, director, trustee, or partner of an entity and another person informed the whistleblower of allegations of misconduct, or the whistleblower learned the information in connection with the entity's processes for identifying, reporting, and addressing possible violations of law;
(5) Because the whistleblower was an employee whose principal duties involved compliance or internal audit responsibilities; or
(6) By a means or in a manner that is determined by a United States court to violate applicable Federal or state criminal law.
(7) Exceptions. Paragraphs (g)(4) and (5) of this section shall not apply if:
(i) The whistleblower has a reasonable basis to believe that disclosure of the information to the Commission is necessary to prevent the relevant entity from engaging in conduct that is likely to cause substantial injury to the financial interest or property of the entity or investors;
(ii) The whistleblower has a reasonable basis to believe that the relevant entity is engaging in conduct that will impede an investigation of the misconduct; or
(iii) At least 120 days have elapsed since the whistleblower provided the information to the relevant entity's audit committee, chief legal officer, chief compliance officer (or their equivalents), or the whistleblower's supervisor, or since the whistleblower received the information, if the whistleblower received it under circumstances indicating that the entity's audit committee, chief legal officer, chief compliance officer (or their equivalents), or the whistleblower's supervisor was already aware of the information.

Source

17 CFR § 165.2


Scoping language

As used in this part:

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