SEC has asked Ripple for Slack messages, arguing that a previous batch of communications data was incomplete. According to the SEC, Ripple stated that it had only collected a small fraction of Slack messages due to a data processing error in a document from August 9, 2021.
If Ripple didn’t submit complete Slack messages, the SEC claims, it hurt the company’s current legal battle. The defense team has written to Judge Sarah Netburn in the ongoing SEC vs. Ripple trial action, objecting to the SEC’s attempt to compel the agency to provide Slack discussions. They want more than a million pages of discovery produced.
Slack is a private messaging software with chat rooms, private messages, and direct messaging. As a result of the government-imposed lockdowns in early 2020, it gained a reputation.
Slack Messages Are Important to Construct the Ripple Courtroom Case
Jorge Tenreiro, an SEC lawyer, argued that the Slack chats are needed to develop a complete picture of the case for abstract trial. Debevoise & Plimpton, a law firm representing Ripple, filed a response to the SEC’s action this week.
The SEC’s request was described as an “extraordinary demand” and a “pricey fishing expedition” by the agency. It may also take too long to complete and provide significant value to their customer.
Ripple’s lawyers went on to call it “disproportionate” and “absolutely unreasonable” to want over a million pages of documentation.
“Ripple’s in-depth production of over a million pages of discovery, including emails, documentation, textual content messages, and reply to Slack threads for 33 custodians, was unnecessarily duplicated by the SEC’s unreasonable request”.
Ripple’s legal team also submitted a declaration from Canaan Himmelbaum in addition to the above arguments. He works with Consilio, a Ripple information vendor, as the Director of World Enterprise Growth.
Himmelbaum discussed the difficulties in obtaining data from the Slack platform. This includes processing terabytes of data. He also discussed challenges with dealing with customized modules, which obstruct the extraction of data.
In addition, the exports are in machine-readable JSON format, which makes human review difficult. According to the declaration, the total cost of complying with the SEC’s request is estimated to be $900,000.