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Judge Approves Taps on SBF’s parents’ Phones to Meet Bail Conditions

Surveillance software was successfully installed on Sam Bankman-Fried’s parents’ cell phones to ensure he does not violate the terms of his bail, and the technique was approved by a Judge.

Bankman-Fried’s lawyers requested an extension on April 19 to execute the recently updated bail conditions of the FTX co-founder, claiming difficulty in locating the requisite surveillance software for his parents’ cell phones. Initially, Bankman-Fried’s attorneys proposed installing software that would snap photos of the user “every five minutes.”

The lawyers said in an April 21 filing in a New York District Court that while the surveillance software they were using couldn’t take a photo of the user every five minutes, it could log the keystrokes of all activity on Bankman-Fried’s parents’ mobile devices.

On April 24, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan, who presided over the case, approved the measures. The software will also track unlawful app installations, internet browser history, iMessage, and all phone conversations and FaceTimes. A technical specialist will go over the keyboard logs and screenshots “at least three times a week” to make sure Bankman-Fried’s bail terms are not broken.

The decision comes at a time when there is heightened interest in Bankman-Fried’s use of cell phones. Bankman-Fried had a “garden of electronic devices” with an internet connection at his parents’ house, according to Judge Kaplan.

Furthermore, the Judge stated that there was “probable cause” to suspect Bankman-Fried was involved in witness tampering. Bankman-Fried allegedly contacted the former general counsel of FTX in late January, who is referred to as “Witness-1” in court records.

Bankman-Fried’s parents agreed to limit his access to their gadgets on March 28. His parents also signed statements promising not to bring prohibited electronic gadgets into the house.

Judge Kaplan suggested on March 4 that Bankman-Fried be barred from using smartphones, tablets, computers, and any video game platforms or devices that allow chat and audio contact. He was also temporally barred from accessing a VPN after prosecutors accused him of doing so on two different instances, on Jan. 29 and Feb. 12.


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