• Sony to inspect PlayStation hacker's hard drive

    PlayStation 3 jailbreaker George Hotz must allow console-maker Sony to comb through his computer’s hard drive and retrieve information “that relates to the hacking of the PlayStation,” a federal judge ruled Thursday.
    US District Judge Susan Illston’s ruled from the bench in Sony’s ongoing legal action against the New Jersey hacker, who goes by GeoHot. The lawsuit is in connection to the 21-year-old being the first to fully hack the 4-year-old console, a jailbreak allowing it to play pirated and homebrewed games.
    Hotz posted the code on his website last month, and put a how-to video on YouTube. That landed him in court here on Digital Millennium Copyright Act civil allegations. Among other things, Sony accuses him of trafficking in devices that circumvent controls meant to protect copyrighted works.

    In the Thursday hearing, Hotz’ attorney, Stewart Kellar, objected to the judge’s bench order, saying Sony would be able to “observe” the contents of all his client’s files.
    “That’s the breaks,” Illston said.
    Hotz has already removed the YouTube video and the code from his website to comport with the judge’s earlier orders.
    The judge had originally ruled weeks ago that Hotz must surrender all of his computer gear to Sony. But Kellar asked for reconsideration, and a hearing was hastily called Thursday

    Illston informed Kellar that it was routine for the entire contents of computers to be searched in a bid to isolate what is being sought, as in child pornography prosecutions.
    “Your honor, we’re certainly not dealing with child pornography in this issue,” Kellar replied.

    Moments later, the judge responded:
    “Here, I find probable cause that your client has got these things on his computer,” she said. “It’s a problem when more than one thing is kept on the computer. I’ll make sure the order is and will be that Sony is only entitled to isolate … the information on the computer that relates to the hacking of the PlayStation.”
    The DMCA makes it either a civil or criminal offense to traffic in wares meant to circumvent devices protecting copyrighted works. Performing a similar hack on a mobile phone is lawful.

    Sony’s attorney, James Gilliland, was quick to point out to Illston that the mobile phone is not at issue here. “The conduct Mr. Hotz has engaged in is still covered by the DMCA,” he said.
    The judge also backed off on an order that Hotz “retrieve” the code from anybody who he may have forwarded it to.
    “It’s information. It can’t be retrieved. It’s just not practical,” Illston said. “What would they do, Xerox it and mail it back? ”
    Illston said she changed her mind because she was not clearly aware of the details in her earlier order.
    “This kind of got away from me and I apologize for that,” she said from the bench.

    The judge ordered Sony and Kellar to confer with each other on the parameters of where and when Hotz would allow Sony to sift through his computer. She also ordered him not to delete or modify any files connected to the jailbreak.
    Meanwhile, Sony is threatening to sue (PDF) anybody posting the code, even though Sony accidentallytweeted it earlier this week.
    Sony’s attorney, Gilliland, said the Japanese console maker has been sending out an undisclosed number of DMCA “takedown” notices to websites demanding the code’s removal.

    Sony is also asking Judge Illston to order Google to surrender the IP addresses [.pdf] and other identifying information of those who have viewed or commented about the jailbreak video on Hotz’ private YouTube page. The game maker is also demanding that Twitter provide the identities of a host of hackers who first unveiled a limited version of the hack in December.

    A hearing on that is scheduled next month. Sony is seeking unspecified damages.

    Source: Ars Technica
    Comments 6 Comments
    1. proforma's Avatar
      proforma -
      fuck the M-P-double-A
      fuck the R-I-double-A
      fuck the suits behind the BSA
      and fuck em all for the DMCA
    1. iLOVENZB's Avatar
      iLOVENZB -
      “Here, I find probable cause that your client has got these things on his computer,” she said

      Did they get the most illiterate judge in the whole of America? What "things" is she talking about? Considering most of the time judges and lawyers alike waffle on and talk in 10 syllable words when a 3 syllable word suffice I would find it almost embarrassing to even mention the word "things".

      "I’ll make sure the order is and will be that Sony is only entitled to isolate … the information on the computer that relates to the hacking of the PlayStation.”

      So if he had child porn they would ignore it?
    1. Appzalien's Avatar
      Appzalien -
      When Corporate goons get caught stealing millions they get a slap on the wrist or a little time in a Country Club priison. But you or I steal a loaf of bread or smoke some pot and we're screwed. It just goes to show how unbalanced our Judicial System is.
      I started my own ban on Sony soon after the music CD rootkit fiasco so I do not own a Play Station 3 and never will. There you go, Sony trashes thousands of PC's with their rootkit and gets a slap on the wrist and told to stop it. This poor shmoe wants to put linux on his machine and he's going to do time, you watch. It's not his fault Sony is stupid when it comes to security. It is his fault for going public with his findings though. Hackers are a little too proud of their skills and bragging can get you in trouble.
    1. StiffPigeon's Avatar
      StiffPigeon -
      I agree that Sony products suck, everything is proprietary. You know its bad when you buy a Sony digital camera and you have to purchase a Memory stick that they designed or a Battery that only fits a certain model.
      They couldnt use the standards like SD or XD like everyone else.
      Screw the Play Station, I would never own/buy one either (or any Sony product for that matter).
      Xbox 360, LG TV, Canon Cam and Samsung Fridge loaded with Beer... Good enough for me..
      Hope this guy Hotz has a good Lawyer and I hope he gets out of it but Sony is huge and has a ton of cash behind them..
      They are probably more pissed that a 21 year old beat down their security that they have years and thousands of hours into...
      Sony had 4 years to perfect it and this kid probably hacked it in 2 weeks, they should make him CEO......
    1. godofhell's Avatar
      godofhell -
      im pretty sure that his PC is already reformated
    1. rdtphd's Avatar
      rdtphd -
      what PC he did all that hacking from his TI-83.