Judge approves taps on SBF’s parents’ phones to meet bail conditions

By akohad Apr25,2023


Surveillance software has been successfully implemented on Sam Bankman-Fried’s parents’ cell phones to ensure he does not breach the conditions of his bail, with a Judge approving of the measure.

Bankman-Fried’s lawyers requested an extension on April 19 for the enforcement of the FTX co-founder’s recently revised bail conditions, citing difficulties in finding the required surveillance software for his parents’ cell phones.

Initially, Bankman-Fried’s lawyers suggested they would install software that would take a photo of the user “every five minutes.”

In an April 21 filing in a New York District Court, the lawyers said they found that while the surveillance software they were using didn’t have the capability to take a photo of the user every five minutes, it would instead be able to log the keystrokes of all activity on Bankman-Fried’s parents’ mobile devices.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, who is preceding over the case, approved the measures on April 24.

Judge Kaplan approved the measures as per an April 24 court filing in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Source: Court Listener

The software will also monitor the installation of unauthorized applications, internet browser history, iMessage as well as all voice calls and FaceTimes.

A technical consultant will review the keystroke logs and screenshots “at least three times a week” to ensure that Bankman-Fried’s bail conditions are not breached.

The ruling comes at a time of increased interest around Bankman-Fried’s access to cell phones.

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Judge Kaplan highlighted that Bankman-Fried had a “garden of electronic devices” with access to the internet at his parents’ home

Additionally, the Judge warned there was “probable cause” to believe Bankman-Fried was involved in attempted witness tampering. Bankman-Fried reportedly contacted the former general counsel of FTX in late January, who is referred to as “Witness-1” in court filings.

On March 28 it was reported Bankman-Fried’s parents agreed to limit his access to their devices. His parents also signed affidavits where they agreed to not bring prohibited electronic devices into their home.

On March 4, Judge Kaplan proposed that Bankman-Fried be prohibited from using smartphones, tablets, computers, and any video game platforms or devices that allow chat and voice communication.

He was also temporarily banned from using a VPN after prosecutors accused him of using the privacy-preserving software on two separate occasions; Jan. 29 and Feb. 12.

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