Mainstream media renew push for non-US FTX user identities

Four media outlets in the United States have continued efforts to get the identities of non-U.S. FTX customers revealed, filing new objections to a previous motion to seal their identities. 

Bloomberg, Dow Jones, The New York Times and The Financial Times first filed a motion objecting to FTX and the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors being authorized to redact and withhold customer information on Jan 11.

While the court previously had heard similar arguments by the four firms, the May 3 filing made a new objection to the Committee’s motion to seal the identities of non-U.S. customers.

The four media firm’s most recent filing against FTX and the Committee. Source: Kroll.

The media outlet’s most recent argument is that there is no legal basis to redact the names pursuant to non-U.S. data privacy laws.

The media giants argued that under section 105 of the Bankruptcy Code – the provision which grants the bankruptcy court judicial power – there is no part that permits foreign law to override the right of access to information under U.S. constitutional and statutory law:

“At bottom, Movants desire to avoid “enforcement of the public disclosure requirements of U.S. bankruptcy law […] furnishes no basis for sealing.”

“The law of the United States — constitutional and statutory — guarantees the public a strong presumptive right to inspect bankruptcy filings. That right cannot be abrogated by a party’s assertion of legal obligations under foreign law,” the media firms added.

The first argument raised – which was claimed in an earlier filing – was that the names of FTX’s creditors do not constitute “confidential commercial information.”

The second – also raised in an earlier filing – is that such disclosure wouldn’t subject the creditors to “undue risk.”

Related: FTX has recovered $7.3B in assets, will consider rebooting exchange

FTX and the Committee have until May 4 at 4:00pm Eastern Time (ET) to submit an objection.

The hearing date for the filing will take place on May 17 at 1:00pm (ET).

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