Bankman-Fried used VPN to watch Super Bowl, will stop using private network until bail is settled

Quick Take

  • Sam Bankman-Fried used a VPN to watch the Super Bowl, but he has promised to stop using the tech until his bail terms are settled.
  • The Justice Department and Bankman-Fried’s lawyers asked a judge for more time, until Friday, to amend his bail terms.

Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried used a VPN to watch the Super Bowl, but he has agreed to stay away from the tech until his bail terms are settled, Bankman-Fried’s lawyer wrote in a court filing on Tuesday.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams raised concerns on Monday that Bankman-Fried had used a VPN several times over the last two months. The government is concerned about the use of the technology because it shields the government and other third parties from seeing "which websites a user is visiting or what data is being sent and received online,” Williams wrote.

Bankman-Fried used a VPN to watch the AFC and NFC championship games on Jan. 29, along with the Super Bowl, via an NFL Game Pass international subscription he bought when he lived in the Bahamas, according to his lawyers. 

Bankman-Fried and the Justice Department each requested more time to negotiate his bail terms, and discuss the VPN issue, according to court documents. Both parties have asked a judge to extend the deadline to come to an agreement until Friday. 

“Our client will not use a VPN in the interim,” Bankman-Fried’s lawyers, Mark Cohen and Christian Everdell, said in a letter to the judge. 

Encrypted messaging

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Bankman-Fried’s bail terms have been in contention since January, after prosecutors claimed he used the encrypted messaging app Signal to contact a potential witness in his criminal case. Bankman-Fried is under house arrest on a $250 million bond and could spend decades in jail if he is convicted.