Attorneys working on behalf of former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried have agreed to pay a security expert to assist the federal judge overseeing his advanced encryption fraud case to help possibly adjust Bankman-Fried’s bail conditions.
Bankman-Fried attorneys Christian Everdell and Mark Cohen sent a letter to Judge Lewis Kaplan on Feb. 21 agreeing to his motion for a technical professional to assist him.
According to the letter, “the defense has already begun researching and contacting potential experts and expects to be able to present one or more potential candidates to the court by the end of the week.”
NEW: Filed just today, the defense expects to propose one or more potential candidates to serve as an independent technical expert to advise the court on @SBF_FTXbail conditions until the end of the week. pic.twitter.com/WfkF5frBAn
— Eleanor Terrett (@EleanorTerrett) February 21, 2023
Judge Kaplan made the motion at a bail hearing last week after bail conditions were tightened when it was discovered that Bankman-Fried had been accessing the internet using a VPN (virtual private network).
A VPN cloaks and encrypts a user’s Internet traffic and is often used to change Internet (IP) addresses, add a layer of security to communications, or access censored content in autocratic regimes.
The judge sought to strike a balance between allowing Bankman-Fried to have access to communications channels to prepare his defense and the potential misuse of messaging applications and privacy software.
Judge Kaplan temporarily disabled Bankman-Fried from using a VPN or any encrypted messaging apps until the terms of his bail are agreed.
Related: Sam Bankman-Fried may no longer be allowed to play League of Legends
A technical expert will help the arbitrator navigate issues related to encrypted messaging, privacy-focused messaging apps, and VPNs.
Bankman-Fried and his lawyers say he used VPN on two occasionswatch the NFL playoffs on January 29th and watch the Super Bowl on February 12th.
Prosecutors asked for strict bail conditions limiting Bankman-Fried’s access to the Internet and messaging platforms. They also claimed that VPN use “raised several potential concerns” about potential access by crypto platforms that blocked users in the United States.