Thursday, March 24, 2011

SCEA filing says hacker geohot has fled to South America

Renowned jailbreaker George Hotz, AKA geohot, has fled to South America, according to court documents filed by SCEA in the matter. Hotz is well known for jailbreaking the iPhone, but his issues with Sony Computer Entertainment America stem from jailbreaking the PS3.

Not only is Hotz in South America, according to the filing, although he has handed over the hard drives which a California court ordered him to, in order to have data collected from them, he removed "integral components" from them prior to delivering them to a third party analysis agency.  The documents were filed on March 18, and say, in part:
Though the evidence establishing personal jurisdiction is already overwhelming, SCEA has little doubt that there is much more. However, over the last several weeks Hotz has engaged in a campaign to thwart jurisdictional discovery at every turn – regardless of whether the Court has ordered such discovery or not. Most seriously, after Magistrate Judge Spero ordered an inspection of Hotz’s devices and ordered Hotz to appear at a deposition in California, SCEA learned that Hotz had deliberately removed integral components of his impounded hard drives prior to delivering them to a third party neutral and that Hotz is now in South America, an excuse for why he will not immediately provide the components of his hard drives as requested by the neutral. Hotz’s attempts to dodge this Court’s authority raise very serious questions.
In addition, Sony discovered that Hotz has a PSN account. The reason that is important is that in doing so, he had to click through the EULA, which means that, according to Sony, he has made himself subject to personal jurisdiction in California.

Here's what the PDF says about that part of the case:
The PSN User Agreement also requires that users “submit to personal jurisdiction in California and further agree that any dispute arising from or relating to this Agreement shall be brought in a court within San Mateo County, California.” Id. The user cannot complete registration using a personal computer or a PS3 System unless he or she accepts the PSN User Agreement. Id.

Contrary to Hotz’s declaration under oath, jurisdictional discovery has revealed that Hotz did register for a PSN account. [...] As discussed above, to create his PSN account, Hotz was required to first agree to the terms of the PSN User Agreement and thus he is clearly subject to personal jurisdiction in California.
Interestingly, SCEA first discovered that Hotz was in South America when it spoke to his attorney about the hard drives. It was then SCEA was told that Hotz was "in South America."

Update: Geohot has cleared things up. He was on a vacation that had been planned since November. He added that "it is spring break," after all.



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