Yet more drama and intrigue coming out of the Sony vs. George Hotz PS3 hacking case in the United States, with the news that Hotz (Geohot to the jailbreaking community) has actually done a bunk – effectively fleeing Sony.
The info comes by way of vghq.net who got hold of a statement that Sony filed in court, stating that they believe Hotz has fled to South America in an attempt to delay proceedings.
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.
Will Hotz return to the US to face the music? We don’t know, but we’re sure Sony won’t let this drop any time soon.
In another statement, Sony went after Geohot’s claims that he never had a PSN (PlayStation Network) account, presumably in an attempt to prove he never agreed the Terms Of Service that Sony say he violated – hence helping the Japanese outfit push for a trial in their home state of California.
On January 12, 2011, Hotz submitted a declaration to the Court (Docket No. 19-1) in which he made unequivocal statements on a number of topics. However, when it came to discussing the PSN account, Hotz equivocated, stating: “To the best of my knowledge and belief, I do not have a PlayStation Network account.” Hotz also provided interrogatory responses that he has refused to verify, stating that he has not accessed the PSN. Bricker Decl. 4.Hotz identified four PS3 Systems in his possession. Bricker Decl., 4, Exh. C. He explained that he had purchased one of these consoles new in February 2010 and provided the serial number for that console. Id. SCEA used that serial number to determine that on February 25, 2010, Hotz purchased the PS3 System at a Gamestop store just miles from his home. Law Decl., 6; Bricker Decl., 6, Exh. E. SCEA’s records show that the same PS3 System was used on March 10, 2010 to create a PSN account under the user name “blickmanic.” Law Decl., 6, Exh. A. The IP address associated with the registration is located in Glen Rock, New Jersey, where Hotz lives.
So Sony says Geohot lied about having a PSN account. Anyone shocked? Nope, didn’t think so.
The war Sony is waging against Geohot is starting to take an even bigger turn for the surreal than it already had, and the latest developments are only adding to an already confused trial. All we need now is for a trained black-ops team to go into South America and extract Geohot. Hell, Sony could even make it into a movie.
Would you put it past ‘em?
Well well well, turns out after-all that perhaps Sony aren’t entirely accurate with their information either. Geohot posted on his own ‘GeoHot Got Sued‘ blog today that his trip to South America has actually been planned for some time.
Factually, it’s true I’m in South America, on a vacation I’ve had planned and paid for since November. I mean, it is Spring break; hacking isn’t my life. Rest assured that not a dime of legal defense money would ever go toward something like this. And of course Townsend loves the idea of painting me as an international fugitive. I have been in contact with my lawyers almost every day; I would not let the case suffer. That said, I also won’t let this ridiculous lawsuit run my life either. Then the fearmongerers win.
I will be back, I hear it’s hard to come by the Xperia Play down here.
We particularly like the taunting of Sony in that last line.
The saga rumbles on.