Prosecutors are urging a New York judge to dramatically restrict Sam Bankman-Fried’s use of electronics, citing what they consider a pattern of “problematic” conduct.
In a court filing on Wednesday, the government called for the FTX founder to lose access to “cellphones, tablets, computers, and the internet” except for a limited set of uses. If their proposal is accepted, for instance, he would still be able to review defense materials, use email, make and receive calls and texts, and communicate with his counsel.
The court filing suggests that prosecutors do not favor allowing Bankman-Fried to freely surf the internet. “His behavior shows that the existing conditions leave too much room for circumvention of restrictions aimed at preventing inappropriate conduct, including contacting witnesses and accessing cryptocurrency assets,” the filing said.
Prosecutors are miffed after Bankman-Fried’s recent attempt to contact the general counsel of his former crypto exchange, FTX, via an encrypted app called Signal, even though the counsel could be a witness in his trial.
They also expressed alarm over his use of a “virtual private network,” or VPN, which could theoretically allow him to avoid third-party monitoring of his internet use. (Bankman-Fried’s lawyers have said he was just watching football games—including the Super Bowl.)
Also on Wednesday, the FTX founder’s attorneys submitted their own proposed bail modifications. No surprise, they were considerably more lax.
They agreed to a ban on Bankman-Fried independently communicating with current or former employees of his crypto businesses, with the exception of his immediate family. They also agreed to placing some restrictions on the messaging platforms he can use, among other restrictions.