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back to article Sony wins subpoenas revealing visitors to PS3 jailbreaker site

A federal magistrate has awarded Sony a subpoena allowing the company to obtain the IP addresses of everyone who visited the personal website of PlayStation 3 jailbreaker George Hotz for the past 26 months. Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero of San Francisco also granted Sony's request for subpoenas on Google, Twitter, and …

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Anonymous Coward

Don't have a PS3 ...

.... will gladly add my IP address to your data trawl though.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Don't have a PS3

Good call. I will also gladly give them my IP, dynamic and UK based as it is... In fact with a few router resets they can have a dozen IPs from me. They are then welcome to try to get my name from my ISP, good luck with that. I assume they have their own direct hotline which bypasses the call centre in India?

They are then more than welcome to send me a threatening letter telling me what I can, or can't do with something that I own... Or in my case, something that I don't.

A/C because I don't want to make it too easy. let's make them jump through maximum hoops before finding the information they have jumped for is completely useless!

BTW, it's worth a visit on your mobile phone. The UK networks have multiple outbound gateway IPs and each connection takes a different one from the pool. Even each image request to a page will come from a different IP!

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Indeed.

Also, several proxies, TOR exit nodes, and various offshore servers. Can't stop the signal...

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Silver badge

May I Be The First To Suggest........

That we all visit this website and download any videos and instruction documents that we can find relating to this matter.

It is important that as many people as possible learn and realise what that law requires us not to do; so let us study what George Hotz did, so that we can avoid doing it ourselves.

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Vic
Silver badge

Not yet proven...

> what that law requires us not to do;

Remember that it is only SCEA's *allegation* that any law requires us not to do this; no court has yet upheld that view (nor rejected it).

So SCEA has been granted the right to find out the IP addresses (and thence, according to their argument, the identities) of anyone who has associated with Hotz via his website, and heard any of his ideas, which might well qualify as Free Speech in the US.

I find this ruling rather troubling...

Vic.

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FAIL

Good call sir.

I will also be adding as many IP's to their data trawl as possible.

What's baffling me though is how Sony intend to track the video and jailbreak files across the torrent network? I just had a little look, and you can get the whole shebang - and it's well seeded!

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Anonymous Coward

Correct, Vic

Vic is correct but most people are too stupid to realise that this is solely driven by Sony Computer Entertainment of America - and not the other ones.

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Flame

Another blow to my privacy

I find it outrageous that some judge that has no jurisdiction over me has the right to disclose to a commercial enterprise such as Sony, the fact that I visited a site belonging to someone who they have a grievance with. The kid is hacking a games console, not showing people how to make nuclear bombs! Any UK solicitors willing to take this further? I am looking for some advice on this, must be free of course :)

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Terminator

Violation of personal privicy!!!

This is called corporate law.

It's clear that today corporations dictates what we do, how we do it and when we do what they want us to do. This goes beyond continental or country- borders. A problem worsened by the fact that most local country-side governments are ALL corrupt (and usually no-more then a local front-end for these mega-corporations).

"Blade Runner" meets "1984" meets "They Live!" :-(

This is far off from the Utopian vision that Gene Roddenberry had in "Star trek".

At this rate we'll be back in the middle ages by 2020 (or in prison). But at least we'll have our punky-sized smart-phone with holographic display showing us idiotic TV shows coupled with even more idiotic advertisement and the occasional game of 3D solitaire.

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Silver badge

Any UK solicitors willing to take this further?

Nahh mate! ACS law went tisup earlier this year

:-D

ahh a gift that keeps on giving

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Thumb Up

Free legal advice

Step 1. Select a lawyer who specializes in the field you need help with.

Step 2. Write politely to lawyer making your your grievance clear.

Step 3. Wait. If the said lawyer is not rushed off his/her feet and your case looks solid, you will probably get quite a lot of good advice.

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Anonymous Coward

I wonder

So, let's say I go and visit the site now, and they get my IP address... what are they going to do about it? I don't have a PS3, so it's not like I can make use of that information...

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FAIL

OK dumbasses

They won't be knocking on your door..

They are using IP addresses to confirm that DMCA laws were broken in California because people downloaded the jailbreak code there. Thus it's valid to hold the trial in California.

It's as simple as that.

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Big Brother

Welll....

Still, you have the information. And that information is dangerous to Sony. They might try to find a DMCA - like law against possession of 'circumvention device' and sue you and a bunch of other people for that, to make an example.

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Anonymous Coward

Oh goody

I shall look forward to receiving my nasty letter then. I visited his site and watched the videos out of curiosity.

I *really* hope they try to take it further because I have never and will never own a PS3

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ahh well

I think Sony are going to far too, it's a games console for us to do with what we want and how dare they change how it works AFTER I bought it (removing OtherOS - the ba$tards) - I won't be buying another Sony device, ever! Power to the people!!

ice.

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Anonymous Coward

Sony, the Microsoft of consumer electronics!

Sony, the Microsoft of consumer electronics!

Other tactics same result... world domination.

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Flame

I'll just click the link then....

Lets see what happens. I don't use, have never used and never will use any Sony product or service (not just the PS3). We need a devil icon for the CEO/MD of Sony.

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Unhappy

I had an old recycled Sky Digibox

I used it to watch stuff on both the Sky platform and the Astra 1 cluster. Given this was the days before BBC went free to air, I spent most of the time with Astra 1.

Now, we had necessary firmware updates to give radio channels a zero prefix, and along the way stopped the "Other channels" from working until the thing had valid up to date EPG data.

Likewise this, if I had a games console, I would not trust it to have any capabilities beyond those of being a games console. That it could run another operating system is...not a gaming function.

.

That said, with the "Other OS" referred to in any advertising literature, on the box, etc? If so, maybe those affected could look to launching their own action against Sony, as it shouldn't be too far beyond the realms of reality to demonstrate that the choice and purchase of the equipment was based heavily on a feature that was later arbitrarily removed. But if there was no publicity promoting the feature, let this be a lesson...

Unhappy face as what is the big deal so long as you aren't trying to cheat, rip off games, or otherwise deprive Sony of income...

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It's in the manual

http://manuals.playstation.net/document/en/ps3/current/settings/osinstall.html

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Troll

I guess...

Google will be getting one of there letters? And yahoo. Not bing though, they're indexings awful.

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I just went to visit his website

hoping that my IP address will be recorded. I never owned nor I will ever own a Sony PS3 and I'll make sure my son learns about this so that he will never want to own one.

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Stop

what if your son has a brain ?

What if he just wants a decent games console and doesn't give a fuck about linux ??? Its funny when u ask one of thoes twats who were running linux on there PS3 why they installed the update that removed the linux option and they say it so they could run a new game. So u say so u did buy it as a Games Console then ??? they neva have an answer.

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Grenade

"becuz"

They could have played the same games on the XBox 360, but chose to pay more for a PS3 because of this feature. How hard is this to understand? Do I have to make a car analogy?

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Stop

@foo_bar_baz

Do u really think the PS3 would have sold less if it had NEVER had the option the in stall linux ? And how different would your life really have been ? The ban in Europe will not effect Sony for a couple of reasons.. Reason 1. The PS3 is sold at a LOSS. So they will loose LESS. Have a good think about that one. Reason 2. I think the PS3 is near the end of its life. PS4 cant be that far off.

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Sony managers are out of mind..stop this b*s*it!

George Hotz is a Sony employee. Just like so called "hackers" releasing PSP jailbroken firmwares are Sony employees too. It's all marketing. But now Sony managers got so dumb that want to scare actual and potential customers.. inside Sony there are some really dumb managers that have no clue what they are doing and instead of increasing market share thru the usual trick of mod-chips like on PS1 and PS2 (and like everyone else including Apple,Microsoft,Nintendo do with their products)..now they want to start suing real people turning the marketing hacking thing from farce into nightmare for people.. when after all there is no really working hack for PS3 because if it was a real hack that Sony didn't plan it all by itself then they wouldn't have had any possible way to ban whoever used the hack. The fact is that with PS1 and PS2 they didn't really do anything legally wise against whoever bought the modchips..of course them producing those "hack tools" under Chinese names..why would they want to kill themselves? But now inside Sony there are clearly two group of managers and the end result is going to be the demise of Playstation3 market share in the not so long run.

Screw with actual and potential customers once.. you might get away with it.. screw with them again using some retarded scare tactics abusing the justice system and your business is going to collapse sooner than later.

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Sony are stupid

I visited his site and I own a PS3. I haven't jailbroken my PS3 yet because I haven't felt the need to, but I might just do it to spite Sony. The way they're going after the hackers who have done nothing wrong apart from figuring how to jailbreak their own legally owned hardware is outrageous.

I've usually been pretty pro-Sony, sure during the rootkit fiasco I viewed it as don't ever buy anything from Sony that will go in my pc but I was ok with their console.

So, I own a 360 and a PS3. I have two choices neither of which I like. Either pay to play online (which I absolutely detest and don't pay for out of principle) or use a console from a company that is making me hate them.

The annoying thing is the majority of my console games are on the PS3 and there isn't really a choice, I can go with the artificially hobbled unless I pay functionality of the 360 or I can go with a company that is doing everything in their power to make me hate them.

PS. I owned a Wii, great first party games. Too many crappy third party waggle games.

I guess at some point I may just sell my PS3. There are some good games coming out on the pc soon like Portal 2 and Mass Effect 3 will be on the pc when it's released. (I made the mistake of buying the 360 version of Mass Effect 2.. planet scanning... urgh)

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Troll

^this

Agree... Once upon a time, a long long time ago, my Aggro list was quite simple indeed....

1. Microsoft

2. Apple

Then, strangely enough a couple of years ago, Apple gained aggro, so then it was:

1. Apple

2. Microsoft...

Apple did a sterling job tanking till one fateful day, Sony pulled aggro.. Now it's :

1. Sony

2. Apple

3. Microsoft.

And, boy, did Sony pull..... It's almost as if they're doing it so make whatever Apple do seem more acceptable.

Fortunately, the way things work around me at the moment, it's easiest to get rid of any and all dealings at all with parties (1) and (2) than (3).

So... guess what, the top two of you? You're no longer welcome around here :P

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Nothing on there anymore...

...any other sites we should all visit before Sony etc shut them down?

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Pirate

Oh Sony...

Treat any curious person as a criminal and they may as well go the whole way.

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Silver badge
Flame

Way, way, way over the top

I would have said "outrageous", but 'Bristol Chemist got there first.

Why is the law facilitating Sony's discovery aims? Sure, help them build a case against the actual miscreant if you want, but this level of delving is just creepy as hell.

I truly have nothing to hide, so I should have nothing to fear. But I'm not so sure now. Is it safe to go anywhere anymore?

Bottom line : this judgement makes US Law subservient to corporations' commercial interests. I suppose we all suspected it for years, but now it's official. And where they go, we follow.

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Bronze badge
Welcome

Here...let me help you with that...

"Bottom line : this judgement makes US Law subservient to corporations' commercial interests."

Let's try that again, shall we?

Bottom line : this judgement is another example of US Law subservient to corporations' commercial interests.

There, sorted.

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FAIL

This could be fun

I know I, and several others, looked at this at work, so they get the proxy server address in Germany - will they then try and serve a subpeona on an overseas company to get details of what internal employees accessed a given site a couple of months ago?

Which will fail as teh log files are purged every 30 days or so.

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Anonymous Coward

IFRTA "a feral magistrate". Seems apt somehow.

And good luck with all those IP addresses. GeoHot hit slashdot a couple times, so that's about half the American internet then, and a goodly chunk from elsewhere. I guess we'll find out soonish that sony will take this "evidence" and start to sue outside USoA jurisdiction too. That's going to be interesting in the Chinese sense; is that "evidence" admissible elsewhere? I'd really rather not learn the hard way.

The more general problem is that while this sort of dragnet evidence gathering is becoming more popular including with law enforcement, it isn't all that useful, but it will indeed cause lots of innocents to end up on rabiate corporates and LEOs their computer storage and possibly in freshly exploded case files too.

And, hm, GeoHot probably needs to learn how to negotiate, stat. The Japanese are fiendishly good at it, so this is about the school of the hardest knocks imaginable, but he'd better catch on quick, because it appears he's not getting his money's worth.

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Thumb Up

Oooh

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30YW3wgRvyI

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Well...

If Sony get's these IPs and cross references them against the PS3s detected as being jailbroken, it will give them pretty good evidence of the harm that GeoHot caused without them having to do anything further than getting IP addresses.

There may be some element of trying to establish any co-accused, but I suspect this has more to do with establishing damages than anything else. To be honest, I also don't think that Sony's attorneys ever expected to get the data. I can't believe that Hots' attorneys allowed him to agree to these subpoenas even in a narrowed form.

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Big Brother

Well I hope so...

I do have a PS3 (my 2nd, due to YLOD on my no-longer Linux capable 60GB fat one)....

I did read GH's blog a few times, as I find most stories of jailbreaking etc quite interesting. My PS3 is completely untouched, other than for a bigger hard drive (which is perfectly acceptable), and I agree that with the suspicion that Sony will engineer a way to check which PS3s are tampered with. It will however, be interesting to see if I (or anyone else) gets a letter/contact from Sony just for the fact they (or their routers IP) 'visited that site' (and therefore are obviously guilty!), as whilst DMCA etc might be valid in the US, it's not valid in other places. Alternately, I wonder if they avoid letters and just figure out PSN IDs and cut them off. In any case, I suspect mistakes would be made....

Personally, the only things I'd like to see hacked (or 'enabled') on my PS3 are somethings I don't believe can be done currently anyway - i.e. multi-region DVD playback (I have some US special edition DVDs). The other thing would have been the ability to extract/copy the data from my fat PS3 *after* it died (I failed to do a recent backup)....

Still, ION, the only devices I own which are rooted are ones for which the software/toolchains have been open-sourced anyway :P

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Flame

Honestly now...

Do you not think now Sony has gone too far? These bastards are really pushing it. At the moment, it's no longer about hacking a console or alleged digital rights infringement.

it's about privacy and freedom.

What's more interesting is how the legal system is allowing this to happen.

Do the right thing.

Boycott Sony.

At the very least think about it. There may be more that one can do, although not being familiar with the US legal system, I am not sure what avenues are available.

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FAIL

Well...

I visit his site few times in the last year ( I visited the site 2 times just now ;) ), and they were not PS3 related (it was for the iCrap stuff).

Everything in my house that is electronics is Sony....I was gone go and get new TV (even though my old Sony is still good but not HD) and I had already plan on what TV to get.

Darn Sony, now I need to look at the sales again to find one that is not Sony.

When they knock on my door maybe they can take the old TV with them (it's a big one and heavy)

I was gone get the new Xperia as well, HTC looks good to....

If any one from Sony is reading this, you just lost customer and revenue....hope you are happy.

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Silver badge

Samsung make nice tellies

...and at about half the price of Sonys too.

Just saying...

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Paris Hilton

I'm not normally one for privacy concerns

But surely this is taking things to far as to regards to looking at everyone who has been on the website, I havnt been as I can't be bothered with things like this but im. Sure lots. Of people will. Watch just to see what is being done. It's like saying a group of people in a town have committed crime so we must get the identities of everyone who lives in that town and also the identities of those who have visited is past by.

I do own a ps3 but I have one game that I never play and occasionally use it for blu-ray but if were all honest the xbox is a far superior console. Perhaps sony should spend less time on making lawsuits and more time making better products. I seriously doubt I will. Buy anymore Sony products after this.

Paris, because she is also entitled to things she just doesn't deserve.

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Thumb Down

Hmm

I think I might have visited his site; I know I looked at the fail0verflow one when the news broke. And there IS a PS3 in the house that shares the same internet connections. It's my lad's, and is completely untouched. Heck, he even buys things off PSN. If Sony try and allege anything against us, I'll fight it tooth and nail!

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Anonymous Coward

Same here

Same here, my son has a ps3, so I go looking round this blokes site out of interest to see what all the fuss is about, then they get my ip. There are four of us in our house and we all use the internet. They can't do this, too many wrong accusations I think.

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FAIL

LOL@Sony

I'm in the market for a new TV and it won't be a Sony.

Congratulations to them for making a mountain out of a molehill.

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FAIL

If they had any sense...

...which they obviously don't, they would match up the IP addresses of people who visited geohot against the IP addresses collected by the spyware built into each and every PS3.

Still, for what its worth I have added my IP to the geohot visitors list - hopefully to slow down their trawl even if only a little bit.

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Anonymous Coward

How much will it cost visitors

Anyone who looked will now be in the position of all the people in the file sharing predatory lawyer mess.

You went to look, but never downloaded anything. Now you get "The Letter" that lets you know that for only $5000 you can not have to appear in court with a lawyer in some distant city to try to convince a jury that has no idea what is going on and that you did nothing but observe. For some, you don't own a PS3. But maybe you were selling your knowledge to all your friends and neighbors. How will you go about proving you don't own a PS3 or will never buy one. Permanent banning of you register one at that IP? Any IP tracked to within a mile of the offending IP. Yes that is mostly silly; but it is the US system of law berift of reason.

That judge really really needs to think about this a bit harder. I would bet he has no idea what has been going on with the file share thing.

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Bronze badge
Welcome

Here's what you do should you get "The Letter"

1) Make yourself up a big ol' pot of pinto beans. (I like ham hocks in mine, but YMMV)

1a) Eat hearty

2) Next morning take yourself a righteous dump.

3) Use said Letter to wipe remnants of said righteous dump

4) In another envelope, return said Letter to sender.

There. Sorted.

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FAIL

Possibly...

I guess Sony could match those IP's against the list I'm sure they have from the PSN network - they could then block those IPs from using the store & other online services.

Haven't they learnt yet it's not a great idea to go after your customers?

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Hardly

An IP address won't give Sony anything unless they also subpoena the ISP to identify the user, since 99% of broadband users have dynamic IP addresses. So if Sony block an IP address on its own they're a. incredibly stupid, b. incredibly stupid, but then with this case I think we've established that already.

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