As part of his bail conditions, disgraced cryptocurrency entrepreneur Sam Bankman-lawyers Fried’s have asked that he be allowed to use a flip phone or other non-smartphone communication device.
The proposal, which was sent to the court in a letter on Friday, comes as the judge considers whether to increase the stringency of Bankman-bail Fried’s requirements due to concerns that the former billionaire may be communicating in a way that can’t be traced.
Last month, prosecutors claimed that Bankman-Fried accessed the internet twice while using a virtual private network (VPN), which prevents unauthorised parties from monitoring a user’s online activity. They also claimed he may have tampered with a witness by sending an encrypted message to the general counsel of FTX US via the Signal messaging app back in January.
In order to protect the fairness of the trial, presiding Judge Lewis A. Kaplan has suggested that Bankman-Fried be incarcerated if his communications cannot be monitored. The former head of FTX was granted bail in the amount of $250,000,000 in December and is currently living with his parents in Palo Alto, California.
As proposed, Bankman-mobile Fried’s capabilities would be reduced to voice calls and short message service (SMS) texts. A new, restricted laptop would be provided for him, “configured so that he is only able to log on to the internet via specified VPNs,” allowing him access to only the whitelisted sites.
Websites like Ftx.com, which can help him prepare for his defence, and others like The New York Times and Netflix, which can provide him with personal news, are among them.
Both parties agreed in the letter that Bankman-Fried would have access to software like Zoom, Microsoft Office, and Adobe Acrobat to help him prepare for his defence. Bankman-parents Fried’s were also asked to swear in affidavits that they “will not bring additional devices into the home” or permit access to their own password-protected devices, and monitoring software was proposed to be installed on the device to track any activity.
There is still the matter of Kaplan’s approval of the proposal.
Bankman-Fried would also be restricted in his internet browsing, being allowed only to visit sites approved by the court. The attorneys suggested YouTube, read-only websites showing crypto prices, and research websites to help him prepare for his defence.
For his own entertainment, Bankman-Fried also requested access to news websites, streaming media services like Netflix and Spotify, food delivery services like Uber Eats and Amazon, sports sites like baseball and football.
The judge had previously expressed concern over Bankman-use Fried’s of his parents’ electronic devices. The parents’ devices would be password protected, and their lawyers suggested they sign affidavits saying they wouldn’t let their son use them. In addition, there would be software on each device that could take pictures or videos of the user.