California court upholds restraining order; Sony now allowed to inspect hacker’s PC for PS3 jailbreak files.
PlayStation 3 hacker George “Geohot” Hotz has been ordered to hand over his computer to Sony so it can examine his hard drive and retrieve information related to his hack.
Hotz was originally told to hand over his computer late last month when Sony’s motion for a temporary restraining order was granted. A California district court gave him ten days to hand over “any computers, hard drives, CD-Roms, DVDs, USB stick, and any other devices on which any circumvention devices are stored in [his] possession, custody or control”.
Stewart Kellar, Hotz’s lawyer, asked the judge to reconsider, and a hearing was called for yesterday during which Kellar said Hotz should not have to hand over his computer as Sony would be able to observe all of his client’s files irrespective of whether they pertained to the PS3 jailbreak.
Judge Susan Illston replied: “Them’s the breaks,” reports Wired, informing Kellar that it was routine to perform a full search of a computer when looking for something specific, citing child pornography cases as evidence.
“I find probable cause that your client has got these things on his computer,” she told Kellar. “I’ll make sure the order is and will be that Sony is only entitled to isolate … the information on the computer that relates to the hacking of the PlayStation .”
However the judge did back down on one aspect of the restraining order in which she had ordered Hotz to retrieve all code relating to the jailbreak, something Kellar argued was impossible given the rapid spread of PS3 hacking tools over the internet.
“It’s information,” she said. “It can’t be retrieved. It’s just not practical. What would they do, Xerox it and mail it back? This kind of got away from me and I apologise.”