Sam Bankman-Fried, the co-founder of the now-bankrupt FTX exchange, has been banned from using virtual private networks (VPNs) while out on bail, as the judge cited similar concerns to the co-founder’s use of encrypted messaging apps, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

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Fast facts

  • U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan said that VPNs, which hide a user’s IP address, are part of the list of privacy technologies that Bankman-Fried is banned from using.
  • Federal prosecutors filed a letter to judge Kaplan on Monday, alleging that Bankman-Fried recently used VPNs on two separate occasions, according to Bloomberg.
  • In a response letter on Tuesday, Bankman-Fried’s attorney, Christian Everdell, said that his client only used VPNs to watch NFL games on Jan. 29 and Feb. 12, via a subscription he purchased while he lived in the Bahamas: “On the specific dates referenced by the Government, our client used the VPN to access an NFL Game Pass international subscription that he had previously purchased when he resided in the Bahamas.”
  • The letter added that the “defense is prepared to adopt a reasonable bail condition that allays any concerns of the Government,” and that Bankman-Fried “will not use a VPN in the interim.”
  • Bankman-Fried was charged with fraud related to the failure of FTX exchange. He pleaded not guilty to the charges before he was granted a US$250 million bail and released to his parent’s home in California.
  • The court’s decision comes two weeks after judge Kaplan granted a motion filed by news organizations to reveal the identities of two unnamed co-signers of Bankman-Fried’s US$250 million bail bond.

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