Infamous PS3 Hacker Geohot Has Apparently Fled The Country (UPDATED)

UPDATE:

IGN is reporting that Geohot’s attorney has responded to Sony, and the allegations that he failed to comply with court orders, and it’s pretty unambiguous:

“The ‘integral components’ SCEA is talking about are stock controller cards, not the hard drives themselves,” Kellar told IGN in an e-mail. “The neutral subsequently had to explain to SCEA the form and function of hard drive controller cards. Those controller cards have since been provided to the neutral so the point is moot.”

It’s worth noting that initially, Sony’s filing was the only source of information indicating Geohot was in South America. As IGN was able to confirm, he is, but his attorneys have pointed out that he’s not fleeing, he’s vacationing on his own dime. As they’re insisting he’s been in full compliance with court orders, and as he hasn’t actually been ordered not to leave the country, looks like, at least for now, Sony is in fact hyperventilating.

By which I mean they’re freaking the hell out the way microsoft did, throwing everything in the book including the book at the case in hopes that something, anything, will stick and establish the precedent that the things we purchase aren’t being sold, merely rented to us. Case in point, the fact that their case hinges, in part, on the idea that breaking the root key constitues a violation of the PSN user agreement. Among their many hi-jinks, they’re trying to prove that Geohot is a PSN member and thus subject to the jurisdiction of California courts. Which means… well, who the hell knows?

Obviously, obviously, violating the PSN member agreement would justify being banned from downloading Ratchet and Clank: Quest For Booty. But the PSN member agreement isn’t the goddamned constitution of the United States of America. It isn’t as though I agree to adhere to the terms of membership when I’m driving my car, making a phone call, or voting. More to the point: If we’re only renting their damned console, then they ought to make that arrangement a little more explicit. I’m pretty sure I purchased mine outright, and last I checked, $400.00+ is a pretty hefty sum to rent something that isn’t powered by gasoline.

If I were a betting man, I’d lay down $100 that this case ends like Microsoft’s attempt to sue Matthew Crippen out of existence. Of course, I’m familiar enough with the awesome and completely uncorrupt nature of the American court system, which is why I’m wisely going to use my $100 to purchase rent a used PSP instead.

This story is guaranteed to get more interesting, and we’ll keep you posted.

Original Post

Brace yourself people: The battle between Sony and the hacker/s who completely de-pantsed them has now followed in the footsteps of confederados, nazi scientists and the people who live their lives one quarter mile at a time.

This battle has obviously been a pretty big deal. Forget the larger implications, Sony was made to look the fool in front of the whole world. So it’s understandable that they have no sense of humor about it about this and have totally freaked out on anyone associated with the hack, particularly arch nemesis Geohot, the hacker who unlocked their Root Key in the first place. We’ve already seen ongoing court proceedings leaning decidedly against Geohot, but things just took a turn for the Godwinesque implicating 70s Pop Music.

According to recent legal documents filed by Sony:

“After Magistrate Judge Spero ordered an inspection of Hotz’s devices and ordered Hotz to appear at a deposition in California, SCEA learned that Hotz had deliberately removed integral components of his impounded hard drives prior to delivering them to a third party neutral and that Hotz is now in South America, an excuse for why he will not immediately provide the components of his hard drives as requested by the neutral.”

So, Geohot, it seems, has rode like the wind, to be free again. Wow, I say. But this has… unfortunate implications. As VG247 points out in their coverage of the same, he’s already had his legal ass handed to him many times over. The courts have given Sony access to his PS3, paypal information, even the IP addresses of people who’ve visted his account. Fleeing the country might not be indication that he’s guilty of any crime, but if try, it’s definitely making him look suspiciously evasive of the law.

This might be a bad idea, particularly in a country like the United States where privileges and protections granted to corporate entities are beginning to take on the appearance of holy writ. Naturally I personally don’t believe Geohot is guilty of any crime; the idea we don’t own the devices we purchase is moral, legal and economic nonsense. But failing to turn over mandated information, then leaving for parts unknown is, at very least, going to piss off the presiding judge. Anyone who thinks that some court decisions haven’t come down to his lordship’s fee fees hasn’t lived in America for very long.

Here’s hoping that this is just Sony hyperventilating, and that whatever has actually occurred (still no confirmation from any source other than this that he’s in South America), the case moves forward. Until we know more, at the very least, all of you who smugly insisted I was being absurd for suggesting that Sony would aggressively go after the people who hacked PS3 are paying attention. There’s no such thing as a major company that doesn’t care about threats to their percieved rights.

We’ll keep our hopes up that right now, Geohot partying with Brian and Dom, and leave you with the song he was almost certainly listening to when he left.

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