Sam Bankman-Fried lawyers reach agreement on use of messaging apps


Sam Bankman-Fried’s (SBF’s) lawyers have reached an agreement with federal prosecutors concerning his use of messaging apps.

According to a Feb. 6 court document, both parties have agreed SBF “shall not use any encrypted or ephemeral call of messaging application, including but not limited to Signal.”

However, under the agreement, the former FTX CEO will be able to access FaceTime, Zoom, iMessage, SMS text, email and Facebook Messenger.

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He will also be allowed to use the encrypted messaging service WhatsApp but only if “monitoring technology is installed on his cellphone that automatically logs and preserves all WhatsApp communications.”

The latest agreement comes as a result of a push in late January by federal prosecutors to ban SBF from contacting current or former employees of FTX or its sister trading firm Alameda Research.

In particular, prosecutors alleged on Jan. 15 that SBF had attempted to “influence” the testimony of FTX US general counsel Ryne Miller via the encrypted messaging app Signal.

On Jan. 30 it was also asserted that SBF had contacted FTX CEO John Ray to discuss ways to access company funds tied to Alameda wallets.

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As it stands, a Feb. 1 ruling dictates that SBF is prevented from communicating with current or former employees of FTX or Alameda Research “except in the presence of counsel” in order to remain on bail until his trial.

SBF has been under house arrest in Palo Alto, California since late December and his criminal trial is scheduled to begin in October in a Manhattan United States District Court.

Related: Silvergate faces DOJ investigation over FTX and Alameda dealings: Report

Meanwhile, bankruptcy proceedings for FTX are moving forward in the District of Delaware. In a court testimony on Feb. 6, the FTX CEO Ray recounted how difficult it was taking over the reins of the company in November.

Ray claimed that “not a single list of anything” relating to bank accounts, income, insurance or personnel were to be found at FTX, causing a chaotic scramble to hunt down information.

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On the day he began guiding the firm through its Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, FTX was hacked.

“Those hacks went on virtually all night long […] It was really 48 hours of what I can only describe as pure hell,” he said.

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Author: Brian Quarmby

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