Elon Musk and Twitter are now fighting about Signal messages

Elon Musk’s private messages could land him in hot water again in his legal battle with Twitter. Lawyers for the two sides faced each other again in the Delaware Court of Chancery ahead of a trial in October that will decide the fate of the deal.

Among the issues raised in the more than three-hour hearing was Musk’s use of the encrypted messaging app Signal. Twitter’s attorneys allege that Musk withheld messages sent through the app, citing a screenshot of an exchange between Musk and Jared Birchall, head of Musk’s family office.

According to Twitter’s lawyers, the message referred to Morgan Stanley and Marc Andreesen, as well as “a conversation about EU regulatory approval” of Musk’s deal with Twitter. Twitter’s lawyers said they discovered a screenshot of the exchange after Musk and Birchall denied using Signal to talk about the deal. The screenshot showed that the message was set to be automatically deleted.

Lawyers for Twitter also cited “a missing text message” between Musk and the chairman of Oracle, who was set to become a co-investor in the Twitter deal. Musk and Ellison wrote in front of Musk the morning that the Twitter deal was “temporarily on hold.” It’s not clear what the meaning of the lyrics is, but Twitter’s attorneys noted that Musk wrote Ellison saying they were “interesting times” before arranging a call with him.

Twitter’s attorneys are asking the judge in the case, Kathaleen St. J. McCormick, to sanction Musk for his side’s handling of his messages. “We think it’s time for the court to impose a strict sanction,” Twitter’s attorneys said during the hearing.

Musk’s side attempted to downplay the importance of the Tesla CEO’s use of Signal. “There is actually no evidence that we destroyed evidence,” one of Musk’s attorneys replied. “Signal, you know, it sounds like a nefarious device,” she said. “In fact, Twitter executives have testified that some of them actually use signal messages.”

Musk’s attorneys cited the existence of Signal messages between Jack Dorsey and CEO Bret Taylor, noting that current CEO Parag Agrawal also passed Signal messages. “Signal is not an exotic mechanism, it is widespread in Silicon Valley to use this platform,” she said.

Notably, the recent hearing is not the first time that Twitter’s attorneys have used Musk’s private messages, which they received as part of the legal discovery process, in their bid to enforce the original terms of the Musk deal. Twitter’s lawyers previously elicited a text message between Musk and one of his Morgan Stanley bankers, in which he cited concerns as the reason his negotiations with Twitter were being delayed.

McCormick is expected to rule on Twitter’s request to sanction Musk in the next few days. A five-day trial that will determine the fate of the deal is scheduled for.

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https://www.engadget.com/elon-musk-twitter-signal-000946031.html?src=rss Elon Musk and Twitter are now fighting about Signal messages

Russell Falcon

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