Sony is going beyond Orwell over PS3 jailbreaking

Last Friday, Wired’s Threat Level blog posted something far scarier than the standard “Facebook & privacy” stories/arguments that seem to dominate the privacy discussion.

A federal judge has ordered the hosting company of George Hotz’s PS3 jailbreaking site to release to Sony the IP addresses of anyone who visited the site from January of 2009…until now. Fair warning: If you click that link, the list now includes you.

Hotz was accused of violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and a couple of other laws after posting instructions on how to gain root access to Sony’s gaming system.

The scary part is all of the subpoenas that were approved: the logs of Hotz’s account, the IP logs of whoever watched the instructional video on YouTube and “documents sufficient to identify all names, addresses, and telephone numbers associated with the Twitter account.” Take it to the extreme and this could be just about anyone who has ever read any of Hotz’s tweets. Even if someone else re-tweeted them and it showed up in your feed.

While Sony has threatened to sue anybody else who posts the hacking information, it’s amazing the government would invade the privacy of readers. While the act of jailbreaking the PS3 may be illegal, reading about it on the Internet should not be reason enough for the government to give up citizens’ information so easily. - Matt

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