Anonymous ‘Investor F’ wants Telegram emails redacted in SEC case

An anonymous investor in messaging app Telegram has attempted to redact evidence before the U.S. courts in the firm’s legal battle with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Known only as “investor F”, the mysterious VC firm has objected to requests from the SEC relating to requests for emails, which Investor F considers “confidential and commercially sensitive documents.”

The formal request submitted by Investor F claims its “discussions about investment strategy are commercially sensitive,” due to the “highly competitive” nature of the market.

Investor F has requested that the SEC “redact both the commercially sensitive information contained therein, as well as any identifying information from Exhibit B, including Investor F’s name, the names of its employees, and other references throughout the document that would enable Investor F’s competition to discern its true identity.”

In particular, the investor raises concerns over a document known as “the Tenreiro Letter”, a document which “reflects a lengthy and substantive internal discussion during November 2018 among Investor F personnel relating to the Telegram deal.”

The letter is thought to relate to evaluations about whether Investor F should participate as a validator on the Telegram network for its token Gram, as well as an assessment of the custody arrangements in place for the cryptocurrency.

Dubbing this information “valuable business secrets,” the request is ostensibly about preventing the details of these internal discussions from entering the public domain.

“That evaluation process requires Investor F’s personnel to have frank and open internal discussions about investment strategy—including by email—which may touch on the amount of Investor F’s potential investments, the benefits and risks of certain investments, and how to handle technical issues that may be unique to certain opportunities.”

Investor F has said that it is appropriate for the information to be redacted on the principle of commercial harm, suggesting “courts have repeatedly granted confidential treatment to sensitive business information where disclosure would cause the producing party competitive harm.”

The development comes amid the ongoing case brought by the SEC against Telegram following its ICO in 2019, which the regulator alleged was in breach of securities laws.

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