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Reader Comments (84)

Posted: May 4th 2011 2:07PM Agozyen said

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@Beltyra

Don't be an idiot. I never said it's okay to hack into a system for which you did not have the authority to, I said it's completely legal to do what you want with your own hardware. Period.

Having said that, can any of you 'hackers should go to jail' people explain why it's legal to jailbreak an iphone but not a PS3? Sony offered to settle with GeoHotz specifically because they didn't want this tested in court. If Apple lost that argument then it was obvious they would too. Once that happened the floodgates would open.

I am still waiting to see someone post what GeoHotz was charged with...
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Posted: May 4th 2011 11:52PM Suplyndmnd said

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@Beltyra

You are absolutely clueless. Hacking into another persons computer or distributing music is illegal. Hacking safeguards on your hardware like your phone, PS3, whatever, is not illegal. It voids all warranties but it is not illegal. Apple lost in court and it was ruled that since the person being sued in that case simply hacked his own phone, his own hardware, it wasn't illegal. He didn't steal or take anything or encroach on someone else's system. Hacking the PS3 is legal. It will always be legal because when i purchased it, it was my property and I didn't have to agree to not doing it before purchasing it. Sure, it voids all warranties, like i said before, and rightfully so but it's not illegal.
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Posted: May 5th 2011 7:58PM (Unverified) said

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@Agozyen

The federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act provides in part as follows:

1. "(a) Whoever--
1. having knowingly accessed a computer without authorization or exceeding authorized access, and by means of such conduct having obtained information that has been determined by the United States Government pursuant to an Executive order or statute to require protection against unauthorized disclosure for reasons of national defense or foreign relations, or any restricted data, as defined in paragraph y of section 11 of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, with reason to believe that such information so obtained could be used to the injury of the United States, or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully communicates, delivers, transmits, or causes to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted, or attempts to communicate, deliver, transmit or cause to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted the same to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it;
2. intentionally accesses a computer without authorization or exceeds authorized access, and thereby obtains--
1. information contained in a financial record of a financial institution, or of a card issuer as defined in section 1602(n) of title 15, or contained in a file of a consumer reporting agency on a consumer, as such terms are defined in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.);
2. information from any department or agency of the United States; or
3. information from any protected computer if the conduct involved an interstate or foreign communication;
3. intentionally, without authorization to access any nonpublic computer of a department or agency of the United States, accesses such a computer of that department or agency that is exclusively for the use of the Government of the United States or, in the case of a computer not exclusively for such use, is used by or for the Government of the United States and such conduct affects that use by or for the Government of the United States;
4. knowingly and with intent to defraud, accesses a protected computer without authorization, or exceeds authorized access, and by means of such conduct furthers the intended fraud and obtains anything of value, unless the object of the fraud and the thing obtained consists only of the use of the computer and the value of such use is not more than $5,000 in any 1-year period;
1. knowingly causes the transmission of a program, information, code, or command, and as a result of such conduct, intentionally causes damage without authorization, to a protected computer;
2. intentionally accesses a protected computer without authorization, and as a result of such conduct, recklessly causes damage; or
3. intentionally accesses a protected computer without authorization, and as a result of such conduct, causes damage;
5. knowingly and with intent to defraud traffics (as defined in section 1029) in any password or similar information through which a computer may be accessed without authorization, if--

(a)trafficking affects interstate or foreign commerce; or such computer is used by or for the Government of the United States; with intent to extort from any person, firm, association, educational institution, financial institution, government entity, or other legal entity, any money or other thing of value, transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication containing any threat to cause damage to a protected computer; shall be punished as provided in subsection (c) of this section. (b) Whoever attempts to commit an offense under subsection (a) of this section shall be punished as provided in subsection (c) of this section. (c) The punishment for an offense under subsection (a) or (b) of this section is--
1. a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than ten years, or both, in the case of an offense under subsection (a)(1) of this section which does not occur after a conviction for another offense under this section, or an attempt to commit an offense punishable under this subparagraph; and
2. a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than twenty years, or both, in the case of an offense under subsection (a)(1) of this section which occurs after a conviction for another offense under this section, or an attempt to commit an offense punishable under this subparagraph; and

(A) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than one year, or both, in the case of an offense under subsection (a)(2), (a)(3), (a)(5)(C), or (a)(6) of this section which does not occur after a conviction for another offense under this section, or an attempt to commit an offense punishable under this subparagraph; and
1. the offense was committed for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain;
2. the offense was committed in furtherance of any criminal or tortious act in violation of the Constitution or laws of the United States or of any State; or
3. the value of the information obtained exceeds $5,000;

(B) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than 5 years, or both, in the case of an offense under subsection (a)(2), if--

(C) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than ten years, or both, in the case of an offense under subsection (a)(2), (a)(3) or (a)(6) of this section which occurs after a conviction for another offense under this section, or an attempt to commit an offense punishable under this subparagraph; and

(A) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than five years, or both, in the case of an offense under subsection (a)(4), (a)(5)(A), (a)(5)(B), or (a)(7) of this section which does not occur after a conviction for another offense under this section, or an attempt to commit an offense punishable under this subparagraph; and (B) a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than ten years, or both, in the case of an offense under subsection (a)(4), (a)(5)(A), (a)(5)(B), (a)(5)(C), or (a)(7)of this section which occurs after a conviction for another offense under this section, or an attempt to commit an offense punishable under this subparagraph; and [former paragraph (4) stricken effective Oct. 11, 1996].

The United States Secret Service shall, in addition to any other agency having such authority, have the authority to investigate offenses under subsections (a)(2)(A), (a)(2)(B), (a)(3), (a)(4), (a)(5), and (a)(6) of this section. Such authority of the United States Secret Service shall be exercised in accordance with an agreement which shall be entered into by the Secretary of the Treasury and the Attorney General."

And that's just the Law in the US.
But keep drinking the kool aide Kid.
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Posted: May 6th 2011 10:01AM Agozyen said

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@(Unverified)

Did you even read that? It has nothing to do with anything that GeoHotz did. What's interesting is that you copy and pasted that from a website and that probably violates that websites copyright. Did you have authorization to copy and paste that material? No? You're a hacker.
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Posted: May 8th 2011 1:13PM (Unverified) said

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@Agozyen Actually, a) since he isn't claiming it's his it wouldn't be a violation, b) since he isn't making any money off of it, even if it WERE a violation, the damages would be nil, and, for the coup de grace c) since it's federal law there's absolutely no way the website has a copyright on it, and in fact every citizen has a right to know it, love it, post it, talk about it, etc.

But I take your point that the guy doesn't know what he's talking about and simply copy and pasted after reading three lines :)
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Posted: May 8th 2011 1:19PM (Unverified) said

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@Tempes Magus What case did he cite to?
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Posted: May 4th 2011 10:26AM aurickle said

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Sharks in the water. It was obvious that opportunistic lawyers would want to exploit the players and turn a tidy profit for themselves.

In order to win such a suit, they would have to prove criminal negligence -- something that has not yet been established despite the many assumptions by various players on this and other sites. The lawyers probably don't expect to win, however. They most likely are just out for a settlement, in effect practicing extortion.

What this sort of activity does is make it even harder for any company to publish an MMO -- or even participate in online commerce. It establishes that unless your security is bulletproof (an impossibility) or you have deep enough pockets to pay off a settlement when the inevitable breach occurs, you would probably be better served going into some other line of business.

I do agree that there should be an investigation to determine whether criminal negligence was involved here and whether that was on the part of Sony executives or by incompetent employees. But until such a determination has been made it's way too early to be talking about lawsuits or any other form of punitive action.

Posted: May 4th 2011 11:07AM real65rcncom said

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@aurickle
I'm not a lawyer, but I don't think you're right here.

Why would a plantiff have to prove 'criminal' negligence in a civil case such as this? I don't think he's saying SOE is criminal, just negligent.

You can be negligent but not commit a crime.

If I'm right, I hope you're not a lawyer. :(
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Posted: May 4th 2011 11:15AM Misterlee said

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@aurickle
Lets just be super clear about this, it's not just opportunistic lawyers, it's opportunistic AMERICAN lawyers. This kind of bullshit never happens in other countries but it's almost every week we hear about yet another lawsuit coming from some get-rich-quick 'lawyer' from the US. The legal system in the US is an absolute joke. It's about time something was done to prevent this kind of thing.
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Posted: May 4th 2011 11:19AM Lenn said

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@Misterlee They're a Canadian lawfirm. So much for being superclear.
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Posted: May 4th 2011 11:29AM (Unverified) said

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@real65rcncom They need to prove negligence of some sort in order to prove that Sony inadvertently caused damages to the plaintiff; that's how civil cases work. Another thing to consider regarding Civil cases, you don't have to prove your case 100% to win damages just anything above 50%; not like a Criminal Case where it is beyond a reasonable doubt.
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Posted: May 4th 2011 11:32AM real65rcncom said

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@Lenn
But Lenn, it's much more fun to argue about something in a thread without reading it though.

It's what makes the internets fun!
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Posted: May 4th 2011 11:36AM real65rcncom said

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@(Unverified)
The previous guy was claiming the plantiff has to prove CRIMINAL negligence, which I don't think they have to do in a civil type case such as this.

That was my only statement about that: that its not a criminal negligence suit, it's a regular class action I believe.
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Posted: May 4th 2011 11:55AM aurickle said

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@real65rcncom
No, I am not a lawyer and I've clearly misused some terms. Unfortunately, that seems to have turned the subsequent discussion into a debate about legal definitions, completely overlooking the spirit of my initial post.

The key point from my post was that this sort of thing is only going to serve to make a far more hostile environment for the entire MMO industry. This has the potential to stifle new projects, slowing the advancement of the genre.

Even existing companies are going to have to divert more budget away from development.

A real pity, given how starved players today are for something that's actually new and different.
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Posted: May 4th 2011 11:56AM Lenn said

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@real65rcncom The sad things is, Misterlee has a point. Too bad he had to zero in on American lawyers. Although the merry practice of suing anyone for anything over anything may have started there, the rest of the world's lawyers followed suit (see what I did there?) soon thereafter.
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Posted: May 4th 2011 10:33AM sohcahtoa said

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Come on guys, give Sony a break and let the investigation pan out first before we deem Sony is guilty of negligence.

Sony is not the only major company to be hacked recently for identity thief. Recently, Epsilon Marketing, an email marketing company, got their database hacked. Epsilon was working with some big names clients like Chase Bank and Verizon, and this means that clients like Chase and Verizon had all their customers' email address compromised. At first you might think, “big deal it is only email addresses,” phishing anyone? And believe me, I am a Banker, and was before that an IT support guy for my university, A LOT of people fall for phishing scam, I mean just look at all those stolen WoW accounts.

What about a year back when T-Mobile had their database hacked, and every single one of their customers had a phishing text sent to them pretending to be from Chase Bank asking for their bank accounts.

And before that Destination Hotel & Resort, an upscale 4 and 5 star hotel and resort chain, had their database compromised with customers’ CC#, address, name, and even possibility Social Security number compromised!

Before everyone is up and about with pitchforks asking for blood, understand that this is the sad state of world we are living in now. It can happen to any company and it had happened before, and it just so happens that this time it is your information that is affected and mine also. And from working in a Bank, it is sad how often i see customers' account being stolen and misused.

And trust me i hate SoE just as much as any MMO-gamers from since the 90s, but before an investigation is finish, the biggest fail i see with Sony is their damn PR.

Posted: May 4th 2011 12:40PM Saker said

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@sohcahtoa
All these companies fail to invest properly in security, why, well of course the answer is what it always is greed. They wanted to line their pockets with yet more precious holy short term profit rather then invest properly in the long term. Nothing new in laisezz-faire capitalism, short term thinking. I say good, hope they get burned good, make an example, only way these companies have any hope of learning a lesson.
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Posted: May 4th 2011 1:49PM Beltyra said

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@Saker
Do you even know how businesses work?
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Posted: May 4th 2011 4:08PM sohcahtoa said

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@Saker

I think it is proven time and time again, that any security can be hacked if the one doing really want to. And some of these hacks, or compromises, of database is not solely the companies fault. It could have been a disgruntle employee that had access to the system, and spread it after they left the said company. And I have seen greedy employees in banks who want to make a quick buck and sell personal informations to outside source, of course the said individual is now behind bars, but the bank itself was not at fault, you can only go so far with criminal background check and such.

And why wouldnt a business want to protect their customers' information better? It is all reputation! It have nothing to do with greed from corporation. It is just not cost effective for companies to skimp on security. If thats the case why do bank even bother have million-dollar vaults to protect our money? we can settle with a steel door and hope for the best. Look at money wasted on PR, lawsuit, and reimburstment Sony have to do now. And of cuz losing the faith of their customer is the worst thing of all.
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Posted: May 4th 2011 4:47PM StClair said

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@Saker:
"So your house got broken into and everything was stolen? Too bad, should've gotten stronger locks. You HAD good locks? Not good enough, I guess."
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