Sony has won the right to acquire the IP addresses of "anyone" that visited PlayStation 3 hacker George "Geohot" Hotz’s website from January 2009 to the present, according to a Wired report. Late last week, federal magistrate Joseph Spero gave Sony the green light to subpoena Hotz’s web provider Bluehost to obtain IP addresses. The magistrate also gave Sony the nod to subpoena YouTube, Twitter, and Google for similar data.
Bluehost is the host for Hotz’s geohot.com site. The subpoena requires the company release to Sony "documents reproducing all server logs, IP address logs, account information, account access records and application or registration forms" tied to Hotz’s hosting activities. The Bluehost subpoena also requires that "any other identifying information corresponding to persons or computers who have accessed or downloaded files hosted using your service and associated [with the www.geohot.com website], including the “geohot.com/jailbreak.zip file.”
Sony told the magistrate that it needed all of this data to prove the "defendant’s distribution" of the hack and that data from other sources would prove that the California court is the right venue for the case to be heard.
Sony contends that Hotz violated provisions of the DMCA by distributing "circumvention devices" designed to crack copy-protection schemes on the PS3.
"I think the these subpoenas, the information they seek, is inappropriate," said Corynne McSherry, a staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. In a letter to Magistrate Spero, she called the subpoenas "overly broad."
A hearing to determine where Hotz should be tried – San Francisco or New Jersey – is set for next month in San Francisco federal court.