PlayStation 3 hacker George Hotz has been ordered by U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston to let Sony inspect his hard drive. In her first pass, Illston said that Hotz needed to retrieve information "that relates to the hacking of the PlayStation." She later apologized to the attorneys and said that asking Hotz to do that was unreasonable.
"It’s information. It can’t be retrieved. It’s just not practical," Illston said. "What would they do, Xerox it and mail it back?"
Illston changed her mind because, she said, she "was not clearly aware of the details in her earlier order."
"This kind of got away from me and I apologize for that," she added.
Hotz’ attorney Stewart Kellar complained about the hard drive, noting that Sony would be able to observe the entire contents of the computer.
At first, the judge said “That’s the breaks," but later clarified that Sony’s search would be limited:
"Here, I find probable cause that your client has got these things on his computer," she said. "It’s a problem when more than one thing is kept on the computer. 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."
The judge ordered Sony’s attorney and Kellar to work out the time and place where Hotz would allow Sony to sift through his computer and ordered him not to delete or modify any files connected to the jailbreak.
One thing that was not addressed in the Wired report was the whole jurisdiction issue. One would have to assume that the court believes it has jurisdiction over the case because it is ordering Hotz to turn over his hard drive.
We’ll have more on this story as it develops.