Ever visited the website of famed iOS and Playstation 3 hacker Geohot? Or watched his video on YouTube? Or read his Blogspot blog? Well, you’re now part of a criminal investigation. A US judge has given Sony complete and unrestricted access to all IP addresses which ever visited his website and blog, or watched his YouTube video.
There’s two reasons why Sony wants all this information. First, Sony wants to demonstrate that Geohot’s Playstation 3 code was distributed widely. Second, Sony wants to show that enough Californians downloaded the code, making it acceptable for the case to take place in San Francisco, instead of Geohot’s home state New Jersey.
Magistrate Joseph Spero has ordered Google to hand over all server and IP logs for Geohot’s Blogspot blog. BlueHost, which hosts Geohot’s website, is also forced to hand over all server and IP logs. As for YouTube – they must hand over all account information related to an account named “geohot”, as well as all possible identifying information related to all the people who watched or commented on a video posted by this account. Twitter must hand over all tweets, personal messages, and account information.
That’s a whole boatload of information. Considering we and lots of other websites linked to his website quite a few times, I’m pretty sure many of you are now part of a criminal investigation. It’s absolutely beyond me how any judge with more than two braincells can disregard privacy concerns this easily. It’s very hard to maintain that this judge is impartial. I’ve never had a whole lot of faith in the US justice system whenever large companies were involved, and things like this do little to restore my faith.
Sony has threatened to sue anyone who posts the encryption key or hosts the jailbreak tools. Normally, I would post the key right here, since those silly pro-corporation laws the US is so fond of do not apply in Europe. Sadly, OSNews is a US site hosted in the US, so I can’t take that risk.
This just serves as another painful reminder that the internet is not anonymous like people love to think.
However this doesn’t change the fact that Sony are asshats that I purposefully avoid doing business with.