A federal judge on Tuesday barred FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried from using virtual private networks (VPNs) while on bail after he used a private connection to watch the AFC and NFC championships and the Super Bowl.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday asked Judge Lewis Kaplan for more time to discuss the terms of Bankman-Fried’s bail, after the founder of the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange was found to have used VPNs on Jan. 29 and on February 12 to access his international NFL Game Pass subscription.
The Justice Department noted that while using a VPN isn’t inherently harmful, it can act as an encryption mechanism and prevent the government from seeing “what websites a user is visiting or what data is being sent and received online.”
VPNs can also be used to access international cryptocurrency exchanges that lock out US users, the Justice Department added.
On Tuesday, Bankman-Fried’s attorney argued in a response letter that his use of a VPN “implies none of the concerns” raised by the Justice Department, but agreed with the request for additional time and said Bankman -Fried won’t be using a VPN in the meantime.
Kaplan on Tuesday gave the two sides a brief extension until Wednesday and changed Bankman-Fried’s bail terms to include a ban on VPNs.
This is the second time Bankman-Fried’s bail conditions have been changed since he posted bail in late December. Earlier this month he was barred from contacting current and former employees and using encrypted messaging apps over concerns about witness tampering.
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