Playstation 3: It only does search and seizure
A 21 year old man named George Hotz, who also is known by his alias GeoHot and is famous for jailbreaking the Iphone, has recently caused controversy in the world of video gaming, the gaming industry and the whole world dependent on social media. Earlier this year, he hacked the Sony's PlayStation 3 and released the master keycode to the public. This master key lets anyone install third party files and operating systems on their PS3 and it will accept them as legitimate files (for example: pirated games that wouldn't be accepted without the code). Sony is freaking out because this means people can now illegally play pirated games and there is nothing they can do about it. The discussion of whether or not a pirated game equals a lost sale is another debate and I won't go into that now.
Edit on February 12th at 10:11 PM: Geohot literally just posted this video moments ago on youtube as a protest to Sony. I found it through the twitter hashtag search of #Geohot: This is an example of how viral social media really is (please note that there is some swearing in the video).
This video pretty much sums up the themes of the whole situation in seconds. The rights of the public being overshadowed by a higher power; corporations who are trying to take away our freedom (to benefit their profit). "I'm a personification of freedom for all."
Below is the master code that the fictional character Kevin Butler for Sony marketing (the funny man from the first video) was tricked into retweeting, which he thought was a battleship sequence. It was deleted from Twitter as soon as the mistake was realized. Edit: Note that GeoHot didn't post this tweet. This random tweeter named Exiva says afterwards that he doesn't even own a Playstation 3.
I would expect that Sony would be disappointed with the whole situation. The PlayStation 3 was the only gaming platform that wasn't hacked. They have the right to take some action for what has happened. However, Sony have taken things WAY too far. Since the key was released, Sony has issued a warrant request to search GeoHot's computer. Then they asked Federal Courts to search the IP's of everyone who looked up the code on google or watched a youtube video describing the hack. They also hoped to search private Google searches, Twitter accounts, and Youtube viewing histories. Sony has gone over the top, making it seem like they are Big Brother in 1984.
Sony actually had the nerve to ask if they could spy on the American public. This is one of the risks of social media like Google and Youtube. We have our IP's that will link us to anything we browse on the internet. Just think...What if the Feds granted Sony their search warrant? Imagine all that power a single corporation would have. Thankfully their request for IP searching was denied by the courts, however the courts did issue a warrant for Sony to search GeoHot's computer. Sony now has some of the power that Federal law enforcement has. How terrifying is that?
This is so recent that Sony hasn't even has the chance to search his computers yet. If Sony wins this battle, how far will social media be taken to be used against us? Will corporations have control of the internet and all of our private information on it? When will mega corporations like Sony actually be allowed to search our computers? Has it already happened behind our backs?
Sony and Hotz settled out of court in April, ending the legal situation between the two. GeoHot donated the remaining money to charity, which was $10,000 and thanked his supporters for their devotion. Sony won in the short run, but what will people think of them after this? I hope people will realize what kind of corporation they are, what they care about. Perhaps they have lost in the long run, because people will think less of them now. Perhaps they have won in the long run, because now they have showed everyone who is really in control of the internet. We shall see in the coming months and years.
By the way, The Playstation Network has been down for about 5 days now due to hackers.