Judge OKs subpoenas for PS3 hacker's accounts

Federal magistrate says Sony can subpoena ISP of hacker who released PS3 jailbreak, as well as order Twitter, Google, YouTube to hand over relevant info.

Elinor Mills Former Staff Writer
Elinor Mills covers Internet security and privacy. She joined CNET News in 2005 after working as a foreign correspondent for Reuters in Portugal and writing for The Industry Standard, the IDG News Service and the Associated Press.
Elinor Mills

A federal magistrate ruled this week that Sony can subpoena the ISP of a hacker who has released a PlayStation 3 jailbreak, as well as order Twitter, Google, and YouTube to hand over information from his accounts on those sites.

Sony is suing George Hotz, alleging that he violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Computer Fraud Abuse Act for distributing on his Web site his tools for jailbreaking the PS3, which enable PS3 owners to run home brew and pirated applications on their console. The DMCA prohibits the trafficking of devices designed to circumvent copy protection technologies.

The decision by Magistrate Joseph Spero in the Northern District of California grants Sony the right to ask Hotz' Web provider, Bluehost, for the IP addresses of visitors to Hotz' geohot.com site since January 2009, as well as server logs and other information related to the account, and information on computers that accessed or downloaded files from it, Wired reported.

According to court documents, Sony also wants Hotz' tweets that relate to his hacking of the PS3, as well as information on people who posted comments to his blog on Blogspot and on people who had access to a video he uploaded to YouTube demonstrating his jailbreak tools.

Sony was granted a restraining order in the case last month.