Sony granted permission to identify hacker Geohot's website visitors

Sony to subpeona PS3 hacker's provider for users' personal information

Were you one of the many who logged on to Geohot's (aka George Hotz) website within the last year? Don't be surprised if Sony finds out. A US judge had granted the electronics giant permission toreveal the identities of anyone who visited Hotz' site from January 2009 and beyond.

The controversial decision was made last week as part of Sony's ongoing legal fracas with the young man its lawyers claim was instrumental in developing and distributing the means to jailbreak the PlayStation 3. The subpeona forces the internet host for Hotz's site, Bluehost, to provide “documents reproducing all server logs, IP address logs, account information, account access records and application or registration forms.” It also demands Bluehost pass on user information for all others who came in contact with the hack file in question, geohot.com/jailbreak.zip.

According to Sony, the reason it is seeking this information is to first prove that Hotz did indeed distribute the hack and, more importantly, to sway the court into trying the case in San Francisco rather than Hotz's home state of New Jersey. It intends to do this by using the subpeonaed info to prove the majority of those who downloaded the PS3 jailbreak file did so from Northern California.

In addition to subpeonaing Bluehost, Sony has also won similar permissions toobtain logs and user details associated with Hotz's Google blog,his “Jailbroken PS3 3.55 with Homebrew” YouTube video,and hisTwitter account.

Worried? Don't be. Sony isn't out to sic its legal dogs on anyone who downloaded Geohot's hack. It'sonly out to strengthen its case against Hotzand bring the fight to its preferred state. Of course, if you're concerned about the wanton disregard for internet privacy and the ability for multinational companies to find out where you live and what you browse– then yes, this is goodcause to sleep with one eye open.

[Source:Wired]

Mar 7, 2011

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