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SEC Request for Slack Messages is ‘Extraordinarily Burdensome’, Says Ripple

Sumejja Muratagić-Tadić
Last updated: | 2 min read

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) request for “terabytes” of Slack messages between Ripple employees is “extraordinarily burdensome and highly disproportionate,” argued Ripple on Monday. Meanwhile, following a massive rally, XRP is the worst performer among the top 10 coins today.

Source: AdobeStock / Jiri

Ripple’s letter to Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn adds that collecting all the requested data would be expensive as well—with costs going up to USD 1m just to collect and process the data, without the additional cost of hosting, reviewing, and producing it.

The “Ripple Opposition to Slack Communications Motion to Compel” was sent to the Southern District of New York Judge on August 16, arguing that Ripple had already made a “reasonable offer of compromise” to review and produce additional messages from the nine custodians who had the highest volume of Slack communication.

These custodians, Ripple says, sent over half a million messages between them during the relevant period, some of which had already been produced during Ripple’s collection and production of responsive private channel data.

On the other hand, the SEC’s request for Ripple to provide “a much larger amount of data that is clearly disproportionate” 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,” the letter adds.

Additionally, it is “disproportionate” in the light of messages already produced. Finally, Ripple adds that there is precedent that discovery requests for Slack data are “uniquely burdensome and costly,” citing two previous court cases where this has been ruled.

The document adds that,

“[…] Ripple’s e-discovery vendor estimates that it would likely take 12-15 weeks to collect and process the additional data sought by the SEC—which does not even factor in the time it would take to review the Slack messages for responsiveness and privilege. […] (“[D]iscovery cannot continue ad infinitum. There comes a point in time when better is the enemy of the good.”)”

Finally, Ripple claims that the requested documents are “neither critical nor uniquely relevant,” and that the importance of the potential relevance in refreshing witnesses’ memories is “vastly overstated” and “in many cases, misstate[d].”

Ripple’s executives’ attorney James Filan has also revealed on Twitter that the company has filed a Motion to Seal exhibits attached to the SEC’s Motion regarding Slack communications, as well as those that are attached to the company’s opposition to the request, but the two disagree about what should be sealed.

Ripple argues that this data is not relevant to the public, but could hurt the company by revealing sensitive business-related information.

Meanwhile, Ripple-affiliated XRP coin is the worst performer among the top coins by market capitalization today. It has dropped 6.5% to the price of USD 1.2.

Yet, it is the second-best performer in the top 10 in the past week – having appreciated 44.6% (at 8:46 UTC).


Learn more:
SEC Demands ‘Terabytes’ of Ripple Employees’ Slack Messages
Ripple Asks Court to Throw out SEC Case Following Commissioners’ Letter

SEC Asks Court to Let it See Evidence of Ripple’s ‘XRP Lobbying’
Settlement Is Most Likely Outcome in Ripple vs. SEC Case – Attorney