University Professor Pledges Support for PS3 Cracker, Mirrors Jailbreak Files

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University Professor Pledges Support for PS3 Cracker, Mirrors Jailbreak Files

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Sony's attempts to shut down GeoHot are an attack against free speech, says the educator.

Computer science professor and free speech activist Dave Touretzky has pledged his support for George "GeoHot" Hotz in his legal battle against Sony by mirroring the files Hotz used to crack the PS3 on the servers of the Carnegie Mellon University.

Touretzky considers Sony's actions against Hotz to be an attack on free speech. He described Sony's lawsuit as "breathtakingly stupid," and said that trying to suppress free speech in the internet age was like "spitting in the wind." Touretzky has made it clear, however, that he is not formally representing the University in this matter. In an update to his original post, he said that despite his use of the "editorial 'we'" in his message of support for Hotz, he was speaking only for himself.

He said that he anticipated legal threats from Sony over his decision to host the files, both to him and to the university, but said that Sony would have about as much luck as the last corporation who leaned on him for hosting files it didn't like - namely, none at all. In the past Touretzky has hosted files that allowed for the circumvention of DVD copy protection and instructions on bomb making and other forms of violent protest, which were a crucial piece of evidence in a free speech trial. Both archives still exist, although Touretzky moved the latter set of files to a private server in order to insulate the University against any controversy.

I can't speak to the validity of the legal arguments in this matter, but Touretzky's actions highlight the biggest problem that Sony faces. It may be able to get an injunction against Hotz, but that won't remove the files from the internet, and it won't fix the security issues.

Source: Next-Gen

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So, a man named Dave Touretzky is getting involved in an argument about free speech. Somehow I doubt Sony has much appreciation for irony, but that's brilliant all the same.

On one hand, as the article says, Sony aren't going to get the files off the internet, but on the other hand his logic is incredibly moronic. This has nothing to do with free speech - it's about them attempting to protect their company, there's not much they can do, the damage is already done, but they can at least look like they're trying something...

I bet the University love this. A member of staff storing possibly Illegal software on their servers and publicly endorsing it. They're likely to take it down.

I'm sure the Escapist would be fine with hosting the files on their servers. And while you're at it could you seed the new season of "Castle".

thenumberthirteen:
I bet the University love this. A member of staff storing possibly Illegal software on their servers and publicly endorsing it. They're likely to take it down.

I'm sure the Escapist would be fine with hosting the files on their servers. And while you're at it could you seed the new season of "Castle".

Did you read the article? This isn't anything new for the guy, pretty sure he knows what he's doing.

D_987:
On one hand, as the article says, Sony aren't going to get the files off the internet, but on the other hand his logic is incredibly moronic. This has nothing to do with free speech - it's about them attempting to protect their company, there's not much they can do, the damage is already done, but they can at least look like they're trying something...

Yes. And no.

On the one hand, they're protecting their hardware. On the other.. There was a case in court not long ago, over whether a company had any say in what happened to their hardware after it left the store.

It's like buying a car and being told you can't put the pink seat covers on. Now, I'm all for banning pink (can't get a joke, ignore it), but that level of control is blasted every day by people. No-one wants their opinion to be censored, for them to get monitored, for their phone calls to be monitored, but you're happy to let a company tell you that the game you so lovingly crafted isn't allowed to run on your console because you haven't paid licensing fees?

Yes, it could allow piracy. But Nintendo used that same argument (encourages piracy) against the use of standard SD cards in the DS, thereby allowing homebrew software to be easily put on the DS. Not necessarily working, just on it.

If the professor wrote FOSS, then this can only be good publicity for him. Imagine the amount of people who will flock to this guy to hear what he has to say. It's like the U.S.A. president giving lectures on politics. Public faces are deemed to know more, so the university won't be that disgruntled. Unless of course they get sued, but even then.

:
FOSS being Free Open Source Software, a number of writers are also proponents of free speech.

The other 3/4 are elitist jerks, funnily enough. Like the site, intelligent, but still elitist about THEIR platform.

Just give up, Sony. If you don't want your next console cracked, don't put anything in it which restricts what can be done with it. Just make it a Linux PC with a gamepad and video outputs for a TV.

The reason Sony is trying to get this pulled is because the files include their own code. That makes it copyright infringement, what does free speech have to do with anything?

Cyberjester:
On the one hand, they're protecting their hardware. On the other.. There was a case in court not long ago, over whether a company had any say in what happened to their hardware after it left the store.

It makes perfect sense from a business standpoint however, if you're an investor you're not going to be pleased at these events, which choice of action is going to save the most face? Ignore the problem so people can claim "free speech", piracy will inevitably come of this regardless, or technically stop the files from being published, therefore officially stopping the issue.

Of course, we all know it's not going to stop the issue, but there's really nothing else Sony can do on the matter, and that's why the Professors comments are moronic, because he's not looking at it from a different perspective.

The Lost Big Boss:
The reason Sony is trying to get this pulled is because the files include their own code. That makes it copyright infringement, what does free speech have to do with anything?

actually allot of laws really are being broken not only code but disemination of a encryption key...etc
It would be one thing if these hackers were hacking away for their own use that falls under the fair use stuff...but they cracked all the security and then pretty much posted it online that is illegal on last check. It doesn't help the fact that certain ethical and moral ideals are pretty much contridicted when Overflow them selves in really slick looking tables and graphs admit the direct, major affect of their activities is piracy.

mindlesspuppet:

thenumberthirteen:
I bet the University love this. A member of staff storing possibly Illegal software on their servers and publicly endorsing it. They're likely to take it down.

I'm sure the Escapist would be fine with hosting the files on their servers. And while you're at it could you seed the new season of "Castle".

Did you read the article? This isn't anything new for the guy, pretty sure he knows what he's doing.

Yes I did. Things like this have happened before.

Members of University staff use the University's servers to host websites or files that are controversial. The Universities don't want to get sued, and so they shut it down.

Now if he has tenure then the University generally won't fire him because that position grants him some freedom you wouldn't get in other jobs. Nevertheless they can take the stance that while they understand the ideological position he is taking they do not officially have a stance on the issue and they ask the professor to host the material on a private server (as they have done in the past).

Now it is possible that the University will back him and let him host it, as they have seemed to do before.

That's great and all, but we already knew that they'd never be able to get rid of the information. This is all about making Geohot's life as difficult as possible as a message to other hackers. I doubt they'll succeed, but I also seriously doubt that they expect to get rid of the information.

While I would think that the lawsuit will probably fail miserably, I fail to see where freedom of speech is involved.

It's their company and their product, if you don't like the restrictions on it then don't use it.

Bored of all these people feeling they're entitled to more than they are. And it's not a free speech issue.

Delusibeta:
I fail to see where freedom of speech is involved.

Yeah, that.

With the other things the professor had hosted, I could understand the link. Not so much with this.

This whole fiasco is really bad news.
I hope this 'Hotz' guy loses, and this guy is forced to remove the files.

If the code really does belong to Sony, these people have no right taking it and I do not want to see another console ravaged by piracy.

I'm actually on sony's side on this but the same time I'm fed up of having new updates on the ps3 to stop cracks and removing features from the console that came with it when I bought it (other os), so can both sides just give it a rest please :(

I don't see sony winning this though, maybe they should just call it a day on this battle, I mean they kept their console virtually piracy free for 5 years, which is an amazing acheivement these days considering how quickly consoles usually get cracked. Prehaps for the ps4 they add a feature where the console electrocutes anyone who tries opens the console up, that would stop piracy. :D

I can't really stand this "Hotz" guy. I mean he may have hacked some stuff in the past but all he's doing now is running around acting like he did all the work of the failoverflow team.

Ajna:

Delusibeta:
I fail to see where freedom of speech is involved.

Yeah, that.

With the other things the professor had hosted, I could understand the link. Not so much with this.

Explosives instructions or violent protest pamphlets is ok but not files to let you sign your own software for the PS3?

Forgive me but I have absolutely no idea how that works.

tghm1801:
This whole fiasco is really bad news.
I hope this 'Hotz' guy loses, and this guy is forced to remove the files.

If the code really does belong to Sony, these people have no right taking it and I do not want to see another console ravaged by piracy.

Too bad, the files in question has probably been hosted in a dozen different locations by now. Certainly, if watermarked screenshots can be hosted by ten other (fairly) reputable websites after one website posts them, I would be fairly sure that the keys for hacking has been copied and rehosted many of times by now. The toothpaste is out of the bottle, all you can do now is hope that you don't make the mess worse (and Sony is, in my opinion, making the mess worse).

I'm pretty sure posting the key online falls under the category of trade secrets. That absolves the failoverwhatever team, but it puts Hotz in the line of fire.

I don't think someone is protected under free speech legislation if they decide to start posting my bank pin all over the internet. But they are likely protected if they show the world how to find out the pin for themselves. This isn't any different.

Can not say I agree with his logic, but then again, I believe almost all laws should be willfully broken, and one should do what they believe is right. More power to him if he believes this goes against free speech, and props to him for willing to break the rules to do what he thinks is right. Although, he is probably on the Titanic in this particular case.

The damage is done, the lawsuit is about revenge and showing the stockholders sony is "doing somthing".

To quote one of the best books ever

They could hang me and yank my nuts off and drag me through the streets and flay my skin and burn me with lye, but the Pressman Hotel would always be known as the hotel where the richest people in the world ate pee.

I wonder if Prof. Touretzky would be quite so understanding if this was the answer sheet for one of his final exams instead of the PS3 key.

-- Steve

I don't see how PS3 hacks count as speech. Did this guy hack it so the PS3 jumps up and gives an hour long political monologue?

"for PS3 Cracker"

Thank you, Logan. Took a couple of years, but someone with more visibility than the rest of us finally got that word right for fucking once. Fantastic.

The Artificially Prolonged:
Prehaps for the ps4 they add a feature where the console electrocutes anyone who tries opens the console up, that would stop piracy. :D

What about repair guys who have to open it up?

Between the iPhone jailbreak and the Nintendo vs Galoob, the odds are not looking good for Sony with this one.

All they had to do was not take away other OS and this team probably wouldn't have even tried to break it open.

redisforever:

The Artificially Prolonged:
Prehaps for the ps4 they add a feature where the console electrocutes anyone who tries opens the console up, that would stop piracy. :D

What about repair guys who have to open it up?

It wouldn't work in the first place. Only idiots would take their consoles apart when they're still plugged in. Wait that's not it...

They'll make it to the point where they can't be repaired. That way if anything goes wrong internally, you have to get a new system.

Well then. I suppose I should go get any and all of the journals, papers, and lectures this professor has written. Then I should change them as I see fit, and distribute them to the public. Yay for free speech!

Cyberjester:

Ajna:

Delusibeta:
I fail to see where freedom of speech is involved.

Yeah, that.

With the other things the professor had hosted, I could understand the link. Not so much with this.

Explosives instructions or violent protest pamphlets is ok but not files to let you sign your own software for the PS3?

Forgive me but I have absolutely no idea how that works.

I meant that I could understand the link to freedom of speech. Not hosting a link being right or wrong.

Sorry for the confusion.

redisforever:

The Artificially Prolonged:
Prehaps for the ps4 they add a feature where the console electrocutes anyone who tries opens the console up, that would stop piracy. :D

What about repair guys who have to open it up?

They will be remembered with honour for their sacrifice.

Keith K:
I'm pretty sure posting the key online falls under the category of trade secrets. That absolves the failoverwhatever team, but it puts Hotz in the line of fire.

I don't think someone is protected under free speech legislation if they decide to start posting my bank pin all over the internet. But they are likely protected if they show the world how to find out the pin for themselves. This isn't any different.

Trade secrets is only a crime when those under contract give information away.

Anton P. Nym:
I wonder if Prof. Touretzky would be quite so understanding if this was the answer sheet for one of his final exams instead of the PS3 key.

-- Steve

Ha! True that!

This is not about free-speech. From what I understand, this is about how a group of hackers broke Sony's security and then jeopardized their security even further by posting security keys and whatnot online for anyone to use. That's not free speech, that's breaking and entering and showing everyone else how to do it.

If I was Sony I'd sue the shit out of this guy, and his university. They may or may not have a chance of winning, but these things can drag on for a long time and I'm betting that the university will blink before Sony's lawyers do.

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