Judge orders Ripple to turn over 1 million Slack messages to SEC
Judge orders Ripple to turn over 1 million Slack messages to SEC Judge orders Ripple to turn over 1 million Slack messages to SEC

Ripple was ordered to generate a compilation of a huge number of messages sent via Slack messenger and turn them over to the SEC.

Judge Sarah Netburn ordered Ripple to provide more than one million messages that were transmitted between employees via Slack. The SEC had tried to gain access to them before, albeit with poor results. That has now changed.

Despite Ripple’s protestations that it would cost up to $1 million to comply, the judge found the set of messages to be critical and unique evidence for the SEC’s ongoing case against Ripple for selling unregistered securities.

As reported by Law360, in its original August 9 request for Ripple messages, the SEC argued that the messages between Ripple employees were “related to the parties’ claims and defenses and proportionate to the needs of the case.” It also said that in addition to messages from Slack, Ripple should provide messages from all 22 email providers it uses.

Last month, the SEC’s defense told Judge Netburn that the Slack messages provided by Ripple appeared to be incomplete. Ripple initially denied the allegations, although it eventually said that it was a processing error that caused the company to submit only a small number of relevant messages and that more than a million were missing from the submitted summary.

The SEC said that Ripple’s failure to produce complete Slack records was “highly damaging” given the demonstration that the messages the SEC received clearly indicated that the remaining ones would be highly relevant:

“These communications include: (a) discussions of Ripple’s desire to create speculative XRP trading, (b) the impact of Ripple’s announcements and efforts on and Ripple’s concerns about the price of XRP, the relationship and centrality of XRP sales to Ripple’s overall business, and (d) the regulatory status of XRP.”

Ripple’s defense argued that it was unfair and unreasonable to generate a message statement that would cost approximately $1 million and last for the next several months. Judge Netburn responded that the cost to Ripple of preparing this message set by no means outweighed its importance to the case:

Any burden on Ripple is outweighed by

them by his previous agreement to create an appropriate set of messages sent via Slack […]”

– Judge Netburn concluded.

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