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Lawyer denies tampering in PS3 hacker case [Updated]

by Steve Watts, Mar 23, 2011 2:00pm PDT

[Update 06:10 a.m. 3/24] IGN reports that Stewart Kellar, Hotz's attorney, says the missing parts have now been delivered. "The 'integral components' SCEA is talking about are stock controller cards, not the hard drives themselves," he said. "The neutral subsequently had to explain to SCEA the form and function of the hard drive controller cards. Those controller cards have since been provided to the neutral so the point is moot."

"You can never take a vacation from a lawsuit," he continued. "Mr. Hotz has had to make himself available 24/7 for this litigation, which has been quite demanding on him. You have to remember that Mr. Hotz didn't choose to fight this battle, but now that he has been sued, he has put his heart into fighting this case that has enormous implications for consumers world-wide."

Kellar went on to deny that donation money from fans has been used for a trip to South America, calling the notion "silly." He says all donation funds are being put toward his legal defense, and any remaining funds will be donated to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

[Original Story] As the latest bit of drama in the PlayStation 3 hacker suit saga, Sony has accused hacker George Hotz (aka "GeoHot") of tampering with the hard drives he was ordered to surrender, and may now be able to build a case for jurisdiction in California. Court documents (via VGHQ) show Sony accusing Hotz of "a campaign to thwart jurisdictional discovery at every turn."

Hotz had been ordered to turn over his hard drives and appear at a California deposition, but apparently removed "integral components" from the HDDs before going to South America. Sony calls his trip "an excuse for why he will not immediately provide the components" that were removed. Hotz's counsel was open about his trip to South America.

Now Sony is arguing that his tampering has stood in the way of the California jurisdictional discovery, which may help them establish the case to be tried in the state. In addition, but the company has used his PlayStation 3 serial number to track his PlayStation Network account name, after Hotz claimed he had none. Since he had to agree to the User Agreement for his PSN account, Sony argues it gives more than enough reason to try the case in California.

Confusion over jurisdiction has been a problem for Sony from the start, since a California judge was hesitant to hear the case in her state since Hotz is from New Jersey. If Sony can establish jurisdiction in California, it can move ahead with the suit and subpoena Hotz to come back from South America -- presumably, with missing components in hand.




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