This week, Twitter’s legal team served Halo Privacy Inc. of Lynnwood, Washington with a subpoena in order to obtain documents and information for the company’s lawsuit against Elon Musk over the latter’s effort to revoke their $44 billion acquisition deal.
The subpoena and related exhibits, which GeekWire obtained from public court records in King County Superior Court in Seattle, ask Halo Privacy for communications and other records pertaining to Twitter bots, spam, or fake accounts, as well as any related analyses performed by the company based in the Seattle area.
Musk is trying to get his agreement to buy the San Francisco-based firm back by contesting Twitter’s revelations concerning bots and false accounts.
Twitter’s subpoena to Halo Privacy, among other things, asks for papers and information regarding any contract, engagement, or arrangement between the business and Musk, his advisers, or data scientists.
The 2015-founded Halo Privacy does not seem to have previously been associated with Musk or his legal battle with Twitter. Representatives from Halo Privacy have not gotten back to GeekWire with any comments.
According to the company’s website, it provides “platinum services and technology for the most discriminating and demanding privacy consumers,” with a “premium privacy solution suited for the C-Suite, Boards of Directors, Family Offices, and Ultra High Net Worth.” Additionally, it provides a Linux-based appliance for secure messaging and collaboration.
CEO of Halo Privacy Kevin Kelly’s firm tagline is “Your Secrets, Kept Secret,” according to his LinkedIn page.
The Seattle filing comes amid a flurry of activity in the larger dispute this week, including rulings by Delaware Judge Kathaleen McCormick largely rejecting Musk’s discovery requests, including some requests the judge called “absurdly broad” and a whistleblower complaint from former Twitter security leader Peiter Zatko that could play into Musk’s hands.
On October 17, a trial is scheduled in Delaware Chancery Court. In connection with the Delaware lawsuit, the King County Superior Court issued a subpoena to Halo Privacy.
Parts of the subpoena focus on particular assertions made by Musk and ask for any records, correspondence, or other items in Halo Privacy’s control that are connected to tweets by the founder of SpaceX and Tesla, such this one.
The subpoena also identifies six news stories and requests documentation pertaining to any correspondence with media representatives, websites, or social media platforms regarding these or other articles.
- Really, only 5% of Twitter users are spam bots? Elon Musk is curious, per Reuters on May 13.
- According to Bloomberg, May 16, Musk says a lower-priced Twitter deal is “not out of the question.”
- Elon Musk claims that the Twitter deal cannot proceed until there is clarity over phoney accounts – Wall Street Journal, May 17.
- Musk’s Twitter threats have halted new financing, according to sources. – Reuters, 6/6
- Full Elon Musk Interview – June 21 – Bloomberg
- Twitter Purchase by Elon Musk is in Danger – Washington Post, 7 July
The subpoena also asks Halo Privacy to produce any documents or communications related to Cyabra’s tweet from May 17 informing Musk that it believed 13.7% of Twitter accounts were false. Cyabra is a Tel Aviv-based software startup.
Here or below, you can read the complete language of the subpoena and its supporting exhibits.