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Musk wants his freedom to tweet anything back, seeks to end SEC consent decree

WION logo WION 28-09-2022 (Wion Web Team)
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Elon Musk is battling for his free speech. Reportedly, the Tesla founder through his attorneys on Tuesday filed a brief to end a consent decree with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) which requires him to seek the approval of a Tesla lawyer before tweeting posts that might contain material information about the company.

The brief was filed with the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan where Musk's lawyers called the pre-approval mandate a "government-imposed muzzle" and urged the federal body to remove it as the objectives of the provisions had been served. 

"Under the shadow of the consent decree, the SEC has increasingly surveilled, policed, and attempted to curb Mr. Musk's protected speech that does not touch upon the federal securities laws. Any objective served by the pre-approval provision has been served." said Musk's lawyer.

While the financial regulator did not reply to Musk's brief immediately, it is expected to file its own brief with the appeals court soon. 

Musk was put under the proverbial shackles of censorship after an SEC lawsuit claimed that he had defrauded the investors by tweeting information regarding his company. Reportedly, on August 7, 2018, Musk tweeted that he had secured funding to take Tesla private, despite the deal nowhere near being finalised.

Read more: Musk files plea seeking to end restrictions that required supervision for some tweets

However, his tweet made investors jump in prematurely, only to lose their investment later. Consequently, Musk was cornered by the SEC and was forced to accept the consent decree. 

According to a previous filing by Musk's lawyers, the former Tesla CEO felt "forced" to sign the initial 2018 agreement because "the SEC’s action stood to jeopardise the company’s financing" and "protracted litigation" would not be in shareholders’ interest.

(With inputs from agencies)


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