Last month Sony filed a far-reaching request for expedited discovery which would provide the company access to a wealth of information pertaining specifically to those who had visited George Hotz’s website, watched his PS3 ‘jailbreaking’ video or even tweeted about it via social networking site Twitter. A judge approved the motion, clearing the way for the company to collect IP information from the so-named websites. If anything, Sony is sending a message – one that might have worked.
Wired reported on Magistrate Joseph Spero’s ruling, detailing the extent of the motion. Essentially, Sony can glean information on people who may not have committed any crimes or even used the knowledge to modify their consoles. Someone who only watched the ‘jailbreak’ video could have their IP address turned over to Sony.
In theory, Sony could check subpoenaed IP addresses against active PSN accounts for a match. However, it’s up for debate whether or not Sony is able to discern if someone is actually running unauthorized software in the first place, barring blatant online cheating. It’s unlikely Sony would ban people over a coincidence.
Since Sony decided to battle hackers with the legal system, several developments outside of its main issue with George Hotz and fail0verflow have occurred.
Last week hacker Waninkoko announced he would no longer be researching the PS3. Now, fellow hacker Mathieulh claims he’s found a huge exploit within the console’s latest 3.56 firmware that would allow users to run CFW on it. Unsurprisingly, he’s decided not to release the details: “I don’t intend to ever unveil it.” A smart move perhaps, considering Sony’s recent dogged pursuit of everyone and anyone with ties to Hotz and PS3 hacking. Not named in Sony’s original motion “Exhibit M,” Mathieulh obviously wants to keep it that way.
Alexander Egorenkov (AKA graf_chokolo) had the (dis)pleasure of finding out firsthand just how serious Sony is. His home was raided last month by German police and a Sony Computer Entertainment Europe representative, resulting in the seizure of computer equipment and PS3 consoles. Egorenkov also faces a lawsuit for 1 million Euros brought by the company.
More on this news as it develops.