Ripple’s requests for Bitcoin, Ethereum-related documents are ‘overbroad,’ claims SEC

In what is the latest development in the legal battle between the United States’ SEC and Ripple Labs, Dugan Bliss, a senior trial counsel at the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission, has written a letter to Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn underlining the agency’s response to Ripple Labs’ demand for Production of Documents (the “Requests”).

According to the plaintiff, the agency has already produced over 81 GB of data comprising of 97,865 documents and 3,911 external e-mails, including non-privileged and protected documents as well as respective documents from third parties, transcripts, subpoenas, external emails, and other related communications.

As per the letter, the SEC has agreed to supply the Defendants some of the information they seek, including related email communications which have keyphrases such as XRP or Ripple, communications between third parties and nine senior personnel from the SEC, as well as documents received from the third parties during the investigations involving the said digital assets.

However, the SEC’s proposed compromise did not really meet the expectations of Ripple. Instead, Ripple authorities demanded two additional documents, a) documents regarding Bitcoin and Ether, b) Internal SEC communications about XRP, Bitcoin, and Ether.

SEC representatives argued that,

“…. simply invoking comparisons to Bitcoin and Ether (or labeling a digital asset a currency) is not a cognizable defense. Discovery pertaining to Bitcoin and Ether can therefore have no bearing on the issues in this case or at least is not proportional to the needs of the case, as Judge Hellerstein held in an SEC digital asset case.”

The aforementioned letter went on to claim that Ripple’s requests in the matter are “disproportionate, overbroad, and unduly burdensome.”

“…. not only do they demand irrelevant discovery, they also demand highly burdensome discovery, including for internal documents that would require a significant privilege review.”

According to the SEC, the defendants are trying to “shift the blame of their own actions or inactions on the SEC.”

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