Mainstream media challenge decision to protect FTX customers: Report

The four major media outlets advocating for the release of FTX customer names have opposed the decision to seal them. Meanwhile, a crypto lawyer told Cointelegraph that “there is clear evidence” of potential harm if the names were to be disclosed.

According to a June 23 Reuters report, Bloomberg, Dow Jones & Company, The New York Times, and the Financial Times have appealed Judge Dorsey’s decision to seal the names of FTX customers from the public.

The decision to allow FTX to “permanently redact” the names of individual customers from all court filings was made by Dorsey on June 9, for the safety of the customers, declaring that they are the “most important issue in this case.”

However, legal representatives for the media organizations have reportedly challenged this in a June 22 court filing, arguing that FTX is not entitled to a “novel and sweeping exception” to bankruptcy disclosure requirements simply because its “customers used cryptocurrency.”

The media outlets have stood by the fact that bankrupt companies are usually obligated to disclose the names and amounts owed to their creditors.

Despite this, Dorsey made the decision to keep the names sealed stating that he wants to ensure that customers “don’t fall victim to any scams.”

This is in line with the exception in U.S. bankruptcy law that addresses the potential risk of harm by disclosure.

It is not the first time the media outlets have objected to the names of FTX customers being sealed, having previously filed an objection on May 3.

In the earlier filing it was argued that revealing the names wouldn’t subject creditors to “undue risk” as well as contending that the list does not qualify as “confidential commercial information.”

Related: FTX seeks to claw $700M from Bankman-Fried friends and affiliated funds

Speaking to Cointelegraph, Dubai-based crypto lawyer Irina Heaver said she applauds the wisdom behind the Dorsey’s ruling “in allowing FTX to keep customer names confidential.”

“This appeal by media organizations seems to completely overlook the unique risks faced by the individuals if their identities are revealed” Heaver stated.

“This is not a hypothetical concern, there is clear evidence of the harm that can be caused by such disclosure. With 9 million users, the potential for widespread financial and personal damage is colossal.”

Heaver pointed at the “Celsius case” as an example, which led to “a surge in phishing attacks” in July 2022.

Celsius depositors received a warning email after the company disclosed that certain customer data had been compromised, which occurred due to an internal employee leaking a list of emails to a third-party bad actor.

Magazine: Can you trust crypto exchanges after the collapse of FTX?