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January 11, 2011 // 8:19 pm - Update #5: According to ArsTechnica via Groklaw, GeoHot and Sony now share same charge as a result of a PS3 OtherOS class-action lawsuit.

To quote: "One of Sony's defenses is rather interesting, as the company claims that it had no way of knowing gamers who bought the hardware would want to use these functions for the life of the system, and the multiple warranties and Terms of Service all said that Sony had the right to remove functions from the hardware."

Update #4: The latest documents reveal Judge Susan Illston has denied Sony's request for expedited discovery, essentially meaning Sony can't send out the subpoenas to other PS3 hackers mentioned previously, however, Wired reports Sony is now preparing to inspect GeoHot's hard drive.

Update #3: GeoHot has now updated his site with the following, to quote: "As of 2:00 PM EST, 1/14/2011, I am not subject to any TROs" followed by legal documents citing a request for dismissal by lawyers representing George Hotz and concluded with more legal documents now granting Sony the TRO although according to GeoHot laywers are now filing a motion to dismiss the TRO.

So, although there is still a court case to go through essentially what this means is US District Judge Susan Illston denied the temporary restraining order telling Sony to prove their case first, leaving the burden of proof upon them while Sony documents now allege George Hotz has a PSN account.

Update #2: Some videos of GeoHot on G4's Attack of the Show which aired at 7PM EST tonight are now available below, with his motion for temporary restraining order rescheduled for Friday, January 14, 2011 at 9:00 am.

Update: While Engadget now classifies the legal action as a restraining order as GeoHot hires a lawyer from Ettorney Law who previously won big cases against the RIAA and MPAA, Research Professor of Computer Science David S. Touretzky at Carnegie Mellon University has now mirrored the GeoHot file archive calling the bluff of Sony's legal team.

It appears infamous PS3 hacker GeoHot aka George Hotz is now in hot water himself along with 27C3 lecturers and fail0verflow members Marcan aka Hector Martin and sven aka Sven Peter and 100 John Does, as posted on IRC and his site Sony Computer Entertainment has now filed suit against him.

Charges include:

•18 U.S.C. 1030(a)(2)(C) - Confidential Information On Computer
•18 U.S.C. 1030(a)(4) - Intent To Defraud And Obtain Value
•18 U.S.C. 1030(a)(5)(A) - Knowing Transmission of Code
•18 U.S.C. 1030(a)(5)(B) and (C) - Intentional and Reckless Damage And Loss
•18 U.S.C. 1030(a)(6)(A) - Trafficking in Password
•18 U.S.C. 1030(a)(7)(B) - Intent to Extort

To quote from his site: "As of 1/11/2011 7:20 PM EST, I have been served with papers, see below...

Motion For TRO
Proposed Order

old front page, with relevant info removed, is here

contact me geohot ... gmail

any legal fund donation things you see are 100% fake as of now, don't get scammed"

Sony claims to have sent GeoHot a $1 donation for his PS3 hacking work, and from the legal docs, to quote: "Upon information and belief, Defendant George Hotz is bound by the Playstation Network Terms of Service and User Agreement (the PSN User Agreement), 14 of which states in relevant part that both parties submit to personal jurisdiction in California and further agree that any 23 dispute arising from or relating to this Agreement shall be brought in a court within San Mateo County, California.

The FAIL0VERFLOW Defendants intentionally circumvented SCEA's TPMs, accessed the PS3 System and trafficked in Circumvention Devices and SCEA's proprietary information, with full knowledge that their unlawful conduct would irreparably harm SCEA.

Indeed, five days prior to appearing at the Chaos Conference, Bushing echoed a fellow hacker comment anticipating this irreparable harm: Last chance to sell any Sony stock you may have.

By distributing the Circumvention Devices discussed herein, Hotz has caused irreparable injury and damage to SCEA. Russell Decl. at 9-10. Recognizing the harmful impact of his unlawful conduct on SCEA and attempting to leverage his circumvention activities, Hotz addressed SCEA when he posted the Metldr Keys. Bricker Decl. at 22, Exh. U.

In an attempt to obtain employment, he wrote: "if you want your next console to be secure, get in touch with me." Id.

Furthermore, in a January 6, 2011 interview with the BBC, Hotz acknowledged that his conduct will catalyze the piracy of video games: "I hate that it enables piracy." Id. at 27, Exh. Z.

Despite feigning disturbance resulting from the proliferation of piracy, Hotz then went on to release 3.55 Firmware JailBreak and the Signing Tool - both components of Circumvention Devices that are designed to facilitate videogame piracy.

Finally, SCEA will likely prevail on its claim under 1030(a)(7)(B), which prohibits intent to extort from any person any money or other thing of value by threatening to obtain information from a protected computer without authorization or in excess of authorization or to impair the confidentiality of information obtained from a protected computer without authorization or by exceeding authorized access. Hotz violated this provision when, in the same post in which the published SCEA's Keys, he attempted to obtain from SCEA thing of value in the form of employment: if you want your next console to be secure, get in touch with me."

PSX-Scene has also posted some additional court documents and the following, to quote: "My Wikileaks Fax machine just finished dumping the finished E-filings for today by Sony, with the official Court Stamp and Signings, and included now is what SCEA wants to claim in damages and their reasons, and dates of when the info was released by Team Fail0verflow and Geohot and various other info like sharing of work via twitter, posting youtube videos, etc."

From Marcan42: "Ah, so Sony decided to sue everyone under US law. Guess I won't be visiting the US in a while..."

From fail0verflow: "Looks like Sony decided to ignore the facts and sue us all for it. See"

GeoHot on IRC: (IPs/other users/etc removed)

geohot: they expect me to be in SF tomorrow at 9am :/
geohot: they also say i am taking donations, which i am not
geohot: and that i have a twitter, which i do not
geohot: moving to spain :P
geohot: old index page and has been restored to
geohot: i assure you i am takely this matter very seriously
geohot: after reading the documents and consulting with my legal team, i have decided to repost the information and jailbreak
geohot: the tro is proposed, not signed
geohot: if the court signs off on the tro, i will comply with the courts decision
geohot: whats ironic is the program to get the metldr key was run under otheros
geohot: 100% legally
geohot: on 3.15
geohot: nothing was circumvented

Sony Takes Legal Action Against Infamous PS3 Hacker GeoHot

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#182 - Wootzy - March 5, 2011 // 2:20 am
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WTF! I downloaded a file from geohot's website. Does that mean I'm have to worry about Sony coming after me!?

#181 - daveshooter - March 5, 2011 // 2:17 am
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Now Sony, have just shown me how gullible the really are. What ever next?

#180 - shummyr - March 5, 2011 // 1:53 am
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Quote Originally Posted by enotsleachim View Post
that's crazy.. whatever sites i visit, are MY business... no one else's.

That is absolutely correct, I feel the exact same way, its called net neutrality sony...
Quote Originally Posted by bl4cXh4td3m0n View Post
Ya damn straight and these guys are outta control. I'm doing something about this, I can't sit idly by anymore. Look for it.

Neither can I..

#179 - bl4cXh4td3m0n - March 5, 2011 // 1:43 am
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Quote Originally Posted by enotsleachim View Post
that's crazy.. whatever sites i visit, are MY business... no one else's.

Ya damn straight and these guys are outta control. I'm doing something about this, I can't sit idly by anymore. Look for it.

#178 - cmptrblder2 - March 5, 2011 // 1:39 am
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Good, they can also sue the retard that works for them that posted it on twitter... LOL

#177 - enotsleachim - March 4, 2011 // 11:35 pm
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that's crazy.. whatever sites i visit, are MY business... no one else's.

#176 - PS4 News - March 4, 2011 // 10:36 pm
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Today (linked above) has published legal documents confirming a federal judge has granted Sony the right via subpoena to unmask anybody who visited GeoHot's site, including but not limited to those who downloaded the PS3 "" file.

To quote: "A federal magistrate is granting Sony the right to acquire the Internet IP addresses of anybody who has visited PlayStation 3 hacker George Hotz' website from January of 2009 to the present.

Thursday's decision (.pdf) by Magistrate Joseph Spero to allow Sony to subpoena Hotz' web provider raises a host of web privacy concerns.

The subpoena to Bluehost, which maintains Hotz' site, is part of Sony's lawsuit against the 21-year-old New Jersey hacker. Respected for his iPhone hacks and now the PlayStation 3 jailbreak, Hotz is accused of breaching the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and other laws after he published on his website an encryption key and software tools that allow Playstation owners to gain complete control of their consoles from the firmware on up.

Sony also won subpoenas (.pdf) for data from YouTube and Google, as well as Twitter account data linked to Hotz, who goes by the handle GeoHot.

The Bluehost subpoena requires requires the company to turn over "documents reproducing all server logs, IP address logs, account information, account access records, and application or registration forms" tied to Hotz' hosting. The subpoena also demands "any other identifying information corresponding to persons or computers who have accessed or downloaded files hosted using your service and associated" with the website, including but not limited to the " file."

Sony told Spero, a San Francisco magistrate, that it needed the information for at least two reasons.

One is to prove "defendant's distribution" of the hack. The other involves a jurisdictional argument over whether Sony must sue Hotz in his home state of New Jersey rather than San Francisco, which Sony would prefer. Sony said the server logs would demonstrate that many of those whom downloaded Hotz' hack reside in Northern California — thus making San Francisco a proper venue for the case.

The DMCA prohibits the trafficking of so-called "circumvention devices" designed to crack copy protection schemes. The law does not require Sony to prove that Hotz received payment for the hack, which was designed to allow PlayStation 3 owners the ability to run home-brewed software or alternative operating systems like Linux. It builds on a series of earlier jailbreaks that unlocked less protected levels of the PlayStation's authentication process.

Jailbreaking a console is also a prerequisite to running pirated copies of games, which Sony emphasizes in its lawsuit.

"I think the these subpoenas, the information they seek, is inappropriate," said Corynne McSherry, a staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. In a letter to Magistrate Spero, she termed the subpoenas "overly broad." (.pdf)

The judge also signed off on a subpoena to Google seeking the logs for Hotz' blog,

A subpoena to YouTube, also approved, seeks information connected to the "geohot" account that displayed a video of the hack being used: "Jailbroken PS3 3.55 with Homebrew." The subpoena demands data to identify who watched the video and "documents reproducing all records or usernames and IP addresses that have posted or published comments in response to the video."

A fourth subpoena is directed at Twitter, demanding the disclosure of all of Hotz' tweets, and "documents sufficient to identify all names, addresses, and telephone numbers associated with the Twitter account."

Sony has threatened to sue anybody who has posted the hacking tools or the encryption key. It is seeking unspecified damages from Hotz.

A hearing on whether Hotz will be tried in San Francisco or New Jersey is set for next month in San Francisco federal court."

More PlayStation 3 News...

#175 - PS4 News - March 1, 2011 // 12:51 am
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Another update for those following:
In the latest round of Sony vs. Geohot legal wrangling, court documents reveal that there is now a dispute as to how Geohot's hard drives are being handled by the third-party company designated to analyze them.

The original court order only called for the drive(s) to be delivered to a third party "for the purpose of isolating, segregating and/or removing the information on those devices related to Defendant Hotz's circumvention of the TPMs in the PS3 system."

Now the company doing the analysis wants to create TWO FULL IMAGES of the drive(s), in both decrypted and encrypted form!!! According to Geohot's attorneys, "SCEA is not entitled to inspect the impounded drives under the impoundment order, nor is it allowed to create and preserve additional copies of the impounded drives, but this is precisely what it seeks to do."

SCEA, of course, is demanding that this fast one be allowed.
For the foregoing reasons, SCEA requests that the Court order that Mr. Hotz comply with TIG‟s recommended impoundment protocols and that those protocols be supplemented to ensure that preservation requirements are met as follows:

(1) TIG create and preserve two forensically sound images (e.g., bit stream images) of each impounded storage device in its encrypted form: One to be maintained by TIG in a secure vault for preservation purposes and the second to be used for decryption and/or any other necessary analysis by TIG;

(2) TIG create and preserve two forensically sound images (e.g., bit stream images) of each impounded storage device in its un-encrypted form. One to be maintained by TIG in a secure vault for preservation
purposes and the second to be used for TIG‟s necessary analysis; and

(3) TIG maintain and preserve all of the forensically created images for the duration of the lawsuit.

SCEA further requests that the Court order Mr. Hotz to: (a) provide TIG with the tools and keys necessary to decrypt the impounded storage devices and the keys and passwords necessary to decrypt or unlock any protected files contained on the impounded storage devices;

(b) identify for TIG all virtual machines or hard disks stored or at any time run on the impounded storage devices.3 Furthermore, to verify compliance with the impoundment order, SCEA requests that the Court order Mr. Hotz to provide a declaration setting forth: (i) verification that all storage devices on which any circumvention devices or any information relating to Mr. Hotz‟s circumvention of the technological protection measures in the PS3 System are stored have been delivered to TIG; (ii) why the storage device used by Mr. Hotz in the January 7, 2011 YouTube video entitled "Jailbroken PS3 3.55 with Homebrew" was not delivered to TIG for impoundment; and (iii) the identity of any remote storage of the circumvention devices or any information relating to Mr. Hotz‟s circumvention of the technological protection measures in the PS3 System.4 Finally, SCEA seeks fees and costs in relation to this motion.

#174 - PS4 News - February 25, 2011 // 4:21 pm
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Here is the latest GeoHot video interview from The Alyona Show for those interested:

#173 - severusx - February 21, 2011 // 8:25 pm
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George Hotz, the hacker being sued by SCEA for enabling homebrew applications on the PS3, has closed his first round of donations to his legal defense fund. Hotz states that he has met his first goal and hopes to level the playing field in his ongoing legal battle with Sony by adding more lawyers to his team.
First round of donations is closed

Thank you so so much for all of your help, things are looking up money wise.
Expect to see a few more lawyers on my responses!
I have enough to cover my legal fees for the time being.
And in the absolute worst case scenario, we don't want Sony getting it :-P

For now, the best thing you can do is spread the word
Let people know how Sony treats customers
Let people know Sony would rather sue than be proactive and try to fix the problem
Let people know about laws like the DMCA which stifle innovation, and don't do anything to fix the problems they were created to solve

I will keep this blog updated as the case develops.