Judge Denies Sony's Expedited Discovery Request, Squashing Subpoena Hopes Until March

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Sony's legal drama with PlayStation 3 hacker George Hotz (aka "GeoHot") continues. PSX-Scene reports that District Court Judge Susan Illston has denied the company's request for expedited discovery.

Sony had planned to use the court action to send subpoenas to companies like Google and Twitter, in hopes of learning the identities of various other hackers. These other hackers would be added to the Sony suit along with Hotz, but now the company will have to wait for the formal hearing on March 11. That hearing could still grant Sony the ability to issue subpoenas.

Illston also granted a hearing today in regards to Hotz's Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), which had previously been granted without a hearing. According to court documents, if a hearing wasn't held by today, Hotz would be "forced to surrender his storage devices to Plaintiff SCEA, and will continue to be restrained without a hearing or consideration of the substance of the TRO order."

Illston may still rule that Hotz has to surrender his storage devices, and the results of that hearing are expected later today.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    February 10, 2011 3:03 PM

    The judge ruled that Sony gets to perform discovery on George Hotz's storage devices: http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/02/playstation3-hacker-files/

    In the Thursday hearing, Hotz’ attorney, Stewart Kellar, objected to the judge’s bench order, saying Sony would be able to “observe” the contents of all his client’s files.

    “That’s the breaks,” Illston said.
    ...
    Illston informed Kellar that it was routine for the entire contents of computers to be searched in a bid to isolate what is being sought, like in child pornography prosecutions.

    “Your honor, we’re certainly not dealing with child pornography in this issue,” Kellar replied.

    Moments later, the judge responded:

    “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.”

    • reply
      February 10, 2011 4:48 PM

      Thanks for the update.

    • reply
      February 10, 2011 7:09 PM

      ok, can someone tell me if this is something I should be concerning myself with being that I am a PS3 gamer (in addition to a 360 gamer)? I mean, could this effect what I get in the future or the health of my console?