Judge Lewis Kaplan approved the alternative method employed by Sam Bankman-Fried’s lawyers to monitor his parents’ cell phones despite not meeting some of the conditions set by the court.
The court ordered SBF’s defense in March to monitor his parents’ phones to ensure that he was not doing anything that goes against the conditions of his bail.
Alternate monitoring method
SBF’s lawyers told the court that the defense had submitted a list of the apps SBF’s parents use to the government and installed monitoring software on both their phones.
The software will keep track of the internet browsing, messages and apps on the phone to ensure that SBF does not violate his bail terms.
However, the software is not capable of photographing the user every five minutes as stipulated in the court’s previous order.
To cover for this insufficiency, the software includes a “keystroke logging function” that tracks all activity on the phone and keeps a digital record of it that is updated every few minutes. Additionally, the software will track all voice and video calls made through the phones.
A technical consultant will review the logs three times a week and is tasked with reporting any violations to the government.
SBF’s lawyers said these conditions were sufficient to ensure any violations are immediately caught and reported and requested the judge to modify the bail conditions accordingly.
Stricter bail terms
The stricter conditions come after prosecutors found that SBF had violated his bail terms by using an encrypted messaging app to contact a former employee and a virtual private network (VPN) to hide his internet activity.
Prosecutors subsequently requested the court to take action against this blatant disregard of the law, which the court granted in March.
The court ordered that SBF’s bail conditions be modified to include new terms, including swapping his laptop for a new device that would keep tabs on his activity via monitoring software and swapping his cell phone for a non-smartphone version.
It also restricted SBF’s internet usage and stipulated that his parent’s phones be monitored to avoid any potential circumvention of the bail conditions.
The court set an April 4 deadline to implement the order. However, the defense filed a request to delay the deadline as it needed more time to meet all of the conditions set forth.
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