Last week Anonymous unceremoniously threw its weight behind George Hotz, Alexander Egorenkov and others sued by Sony for tinkering with its home gaming console, the PlayStation 3. And when the hacktivist collective focuses its considerable online ire at a target, there are consequences – and in this case, even collateral damage.
Following its DDoS attack on two major Sony sites and the far-reaching effects on the company’s online PSN platform, Anonymous has scaled back its online operations and instead aims to leverage anger and frustration with Sony by staging a one-day global boycott of the company’s products. Despite the settlement between Sony and George Hotz, the boycott is proceeding as planned, says Anonymous.
“We are ceasing our DDoS attacks on Sony altogether, as we believe the impact of this particular type of attack has surpassed it’s peak,” reads a recent update at the official Anonymous news site. “Anonymous is now choosing to pursue other ways of getting Sony’s attention.”
That way is the aforementioned OpSony boycott which currently boasts nearly 3,000 pledged attendees on its Facebook page. Whether or not thousands turn out at Sony stores around the world to sit in and voice their opinions on April 16th is another story altogether, but considering past real-life events staged by the group it should be interesting regardless of turnout.
As for Sony’s recent settlement with George Hotz, Anonymous remains unbowed.
“This is not about one man’s lopsided battle against a huge corporation,” says the group. “The actions of Sony have far-reaching implications for every person who has purchased and therefore owns a piece of equipment, regardless of the manufacturer.”
Though not displaying any ill-will towards Hotz for his decision to settle the case rather than hunker down for what would likely be a long and pricey legal tête-à-tête against the corporate giant, Anonymous worries the precedent set may “embolden other greedy corporations.”
Hotz has already lent his support to the OpSony cause. On the day news of the settlement broke, he posted on his personal blog that he would refrain from buying Sony products in the future, promising “more to come.”
Currently under a permanent injunction as per the terms of the settlement, Hotz cannot publish hacks related to Sony products and is likely barred from discussing certain details of the case.
The now 21-year-old hacker debuted when he jailbroke Apple’s iPhone, causing a stir within both the hacking and legal communities. Hotz’s work there had vastly different results: the DMCA was amended to grant consumers the legal right to hack their phones. Many predicted courts would have applied that precedent to game consoles had push come to shove.