Ripple Opposes SEC’s Request To Access Employee Slack Messages
Ripple has pushed back the US Securities and Exchange Commission's request to access more than one million Slack messages shared by its employees.
Ripple Wants SEC Motion To Be Denied
The legal team representing Ripple penned a letter to Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn describing the SEC's request as burdensome and highly disproportionate. Ripple explained,
“Such a demand would have been overly burdensome even at the start of discovery and Ripple would have objected to it at that time had it fully understood the scope of the Slacks that would need to be searched. But it is now also disproportionate in light of the massive amounts of discovery already produced.”
According to Ripple, the motion to compel the firm to provide the messages is an extensive and costly fishing expedition that may take months to complete. Hence, they argue that the SEC motion should be denied. Ripple added that since several other courts have rejected similar discovery requests on slack data, the judge should consider rejecting this one.
Earlier this month, the SEC filed a motion for the court to order Ripple to disclose its employees' Slack history. The regulator said Ripple produced only 1,468 Slack messages when the documents were first reviewed in the case.
Last month, the SEC informed Ripple that the previous supply of Slack data was incomplete in which Ripple reportedly admitted to the mistake.
The SEC asserted that the Slack messages produced showed Ripple's employees discussing relevant issues in the case, such as Ripple's desire to create speculative trading in XRP. It also said it touched on Ripple's concerns on the price of XRP, XRP sales, and the regulatory status of XRP.
Now, the SEC is asking for the remaining Slack messages. The agency claims it is relevant to the case and would help refresh the memories of witnesses who couldn't recall critical facts during recent depositions. However, Ripple insists that the documents are neither critical nor uniquely relevant. According to the blockchain firm, the Slack messages could prolong the discovery phase, extended to October 15.
Ripple says that forcing it to obtain the additional Slack data will change the current scheduling order. The company's e-discovery vendor estimates that it would take 15 weeks only to retrieve the messages. In addition, Ripple will also have to review them.
The Ripple And SEC Battle Continues
The clash over Slack messages is the latest battle between the SEC and Ripple as their litigation slogs through its discovery phase.
The case between Ripple and the SEC started in December 2020. The agency had alleged that the firm and its executives conducted unregistered securities offerings with their XRP token sales.
Since then, the SEC has maintained its stance while Ripple insisted that it had done nothing wrong.