Sony has been given access to the website of the chap who first hacked the PlayStation 3’s security, thus enabling the playing of pirated software. This lets them track the computer details of anyone who has ever visited the site.
US magistrate Joseph Spero granted Sony this somewhat invasive permission after an earlier similar request was denied. If this is second time lucky for Sony, it’s potentially very unlucky for legions of PS3 gamers who may only have visited George Hotz’s website because they were interested to learn what all the fuss was about. But it gets worse.
Sony has also been given access to Google, YouTube and Twitter files relating to the hack. In theory this means they could trace anyone who has ever checked out Hotz’s online blog; who has viewed/commented on the YouTube clip explaining how the hack works or who has contributed to the lively chat on Hotz’s Twitter account.
As we reported earlier, Sony has been sending out cease-and-desist orders to PS3 users who were suspected of using the hack – lifetime bans from the PlayStation Network were threatened if compliance was not immediately forthcoming. Presumably this latest move makes it easier for them to cast their net further and wider. Unfortunately this is also likely to ensnare large numbers of the merely curious alongside the bona-fide transgressors.
Perhaps that’s just the price we all have to pay now that this hack is in the public domain. Such draconion measures are unlikely to wipe out piracy altogether, though – hackers have reportedly already discovered ways to reverse any ban that’s handed to them.
Whatever the case, we can’t help thinking that none of this would have been necessary if Sony had secured its console properly in the first place…