Sony Action Against Hacker Exposes Those Who Visited His Site

Caught in the blast of Sony's lawsuit against the man who jailbroke the PlayStation 3 is anyone who may have visited his website, under a court order that set off privacy advocates and further angered hackers.

A federal magistrate in San Francisco ruled Sony may subpoena the IP addresses of everyone who visited George Hotz's personal Web site in the past 26 months. Those who did so and live in Northern California may be especially concerned, as Sony sought the subpoena on grounds to prove that the case belongs in federal court for that jurisdiction, and not in New Jersey, where Hotz (pictured) lives.

The subpoena covers geohot.com and the YouTube account names of anyone who accessed a private video about the jailbreak on Hotz's YouTube account. Additional subpoenas supply Sony with Tweets published by Hotz and information about his account on the Web site PSX-Scene.

Sony said it needed this information to assess "how rampant the access to and use of these circumvention devices has been in California in order to rebut Mr. Hotz's suggestion that his illicit conduct was not aimed at the forum state."

The Electronic Frontier Foundation called Sony's subpoena request "overly broad," and a violation of Hotz's freedom of speech, but to no avail. Sony's request to the magistrate said Hotz himself had agreed not to oppose the subpoenas in exchange for Sony narrowing their scope.

Sony wins subpoenas revealing visitors to PS3 jailbreaker site [The Register]