Sarah Netburn, the United States Magistrate Judge, has ordered Ripple, a San Francisco-based cross-border payment firm, to produce one million missing Slack messages between employees as requested by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
According to Law360, on 9th August, the SEC filed a motion to compel Ripple to produce 1 million slack messages between its employees, arguing that the messages with its employees were relevant to the parties’ claims and defenses and proportional to the needs of the case. The regulatory agency added that Ripple should also deliver all messages from 22 emails custodians to complement the Slack messages.
About a month ago, the SEC informed the Judge that the Slack messages earlier produced by the cross-border payment firm were incomplete. Although Ripple initially denied the claim, it later revised its statement by claiming that the error that resulted in producing a small number of relevant messages occurred in the course of processing the data.
Ripple stated further that over 1 million messages were missing and the process of producing such a huge amount of messages could cost up to $1 million.
The SEC responded by stating that Ripple’s failure to produce complete Slack messages was highly prejudicial:
“These messages include: (a) discussions about Ripple’s desire to create speculative trading in XRP, (b) the effect of Ripple announcements and efforts on, and Ripple’s concerns as to, the price of XRP, the relationship and central importance of XRP sales to Ripple’s overall business, and (d) the regulatory status of XRP.”
Complying Could Cost Up To $1 Million
In favor of the SEC, not considering the cost, the Judge ruled that Ripple should produce the messages, stating that the messages could serve as critical and unique evidence for the SEC in the ongoing case.
In response to Ripple’s argument on not being fair and reasonable to produce missing messages at a cost of up to $1 million over many months, Judge Netburn said:
“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.”