Japan says no to PlayStation Network relaunch

An official in Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry says the government is waiting for Sony to deliver better security measures.

Don Reisinger
CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read

As Sony starts to relaunch its PlayStation Network service around the world, one country is conspicuous in its absence: Japan.

Speaking to Dow Jones Newswires yesterday, a Japanese government official said the country has not yet allowed Sony to launch PlayStation Network within its borders because of concerns over the security of the service.

"As of May 13, Sony was incomplete in exercising measures that they said they will do on the May 1 press conference," Kazushige Nobutani, Japan's director of media and content in the country's Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry told Dow Jones. The official didn't comment on which Sony's "measures" were lacking.

Sony, which is based in Japan, started to relaunch its PlayStation Network service on Saturday. The company said it would first be made available to customers in the Americas, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the Middle East. It didn't say when it expected to bring the service back to players in Japan or other Asian countries.

PlayStation Network troubles first started last month when the company's servers were attacked by a hacker or hackers. The company was forced to take down its PlayStation Network, Qriocity, and Sony Online Entertainment services and revealed that over 100 million customers had their personal data stolen. It spent the last several weeks improving the security of its services to limit the chances of such a breach recurring.

"The company has made considerable enhancements to the data security, including updating and adding advanced security technologies; additional software monitoring and penetration and vulnerability testing; and increased levels of encryption and additional firewalls," Sony said in a statement accompanying the relaunch of its service. "The company also added a variety of other measures to the network infrastructure, including an early-warning system for unusual activity patterns that could signal an attempt to compromise the network."

But Japan apparently needs more reassurance from Sony. In the interview with Dow Jones, Nobutani said Japan wants to know that Sony is doing enough to prevent another breach.

"There were similar cases in the past that were caused by other firms," Nobutani said in the interview, "and we are asking Sony whether their measures are good enough when compared to countermeasures taken in the past."

Sony did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment.