PS3 Hacker on Deep Trouble
If I donated a few dollars to the PS3 hacker Geohot’s legal defense fund, does that make me liable for his actions, & do I not have the right to keeping that donation private? It was, after all, if I made it, a totally legal transaction between 2 private citizens. Well, according to Sony & Federal Magistrate Spero, the same magistrate who short time back approved the request of Sony to log all IP addresses visiting the hacker’s website. So it is going to be on the records whether you like it or not.
Sony sued Hotz and fail0verflow for hacking their PS3 back on January, and claimed copyright infringement, computer fraud as well as a violation of DMCA. Sony also filed a temporary restraining order against Hotz to prohibit him from performing any activities relating to jailbreaking the PS3. Hotz and the other defendants have maintained that their objective in hacking the PS3 was to permit the console to run other operating systems. Sony upgraded PS’3s firmware to v3.21 last summer which removed the feature of running Linux in PS3 stating security concerns.
While Hotz jailbreak of the PS3 did restore the ability to run alternate operating systems, it also exposed the PS3 to the threat of application piracy, something that Sony, understandably, was none happy about. Hotz maintains he’s completed nothing to promote piracy. I have never pirated a PS3 game in my life, nor helped or encouraged people to do so, Hotz wrote in a weblog post over the weekend.
Now Sony has made a request to get the details of the hackers Paypal accounts not just one or two months but Sony wants records reaching back a full three years has been granted. Keep in mind, all this is to choose whether George Hotz ought to be tried in his home state, where the alleged crimes occurred, or in San Francisco, near Sony’s US headquarters. Is that whole period of 3 years is relevant to a hack they worked out less than four months ago?
Whats most discerning is the judge’s lack of criticism of these ridiculous requests by Sony. It is alarming in the extreme. Giving up years worth of data that personally identifies thousands of individuals who have nothing to do with this case sounds bit alarming to me. It is as if Sony lost a dollar at the beach, & has now asked the judge to give permissions to dredge the whole harbor. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a donor-supported membership organization working to protect fundamental rights regardless of technology hss objected to the last order, & will certainly object to this one, but the damage is fundamentally done unless PayPal wakes up and rejects Sonys request to privide this kind of data and counter sues Sony.