Judge orders Ripple to hand over 1 million Slack messages to the SEC. Ripple must now submit terabytes of Slack messages initially withheld because of an apparent data error to the SEC.
In response to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) request, U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn has ordered Ripple to hand over one million missing Slack messages between employees.
Counter Arguments Failed
Although Ripple expostulated that the estimated cost of complying with the court order would be around $1M, the judge considered these messages pivotal and key evidence for the SEC’s continuing case against the multi-billion-dollar company for selling unregistered securities.
On December 20, the SEC accused the former and present CEOs of Ripple Christian Larsen and Bradley Garlinghouse for selling XRP as an unregistered security.
The SEC debates that the messages sent between Ripple employees related to the parties’ claims and defences. And was proportionate and relevant to the case. In addition, the SEC also suggested that Ripple disclose all messages from 22 email accounts as well as the Slack messages.
Allegations and Justifications
Furthermore, the SEC informed the judge that the slack messages that Ripple handed over were incomplete. At first, Ripple denied this allegation. But later retracted it by alleging that the issue rests with data processing errors. Which led to Ripple producing less than one million relevant messages.
The SEC argued that Ripple refusal to provide the complete slack messages was highly detrimental. Since the messages, SEC already received indicated that the remaining would be of high relevance.
Ripple complained that producing messages that would cost up to $1M is considered to be inequitable and preposterous. On the other hand, the judge responded to Ripple complaint that the significance of these messages to the case excels the cost of producing them.
“Any burden to Ripple is outweighed by its previous agreement to produce the relevant Slack messages, the relative resources of the parties, and the amount in controversy,” said Judge Netburn.