UPDATE: PS3 Hacker GeoHot Claims He's on Vacation

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UPDATE: PS3 Hacker GeoHot Claims He's on Vacation

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George Hotz, the hacker who posted the PS3 root key this year, tampered with evidence before running to South America.

UPDATE: George Hotz, via his blog, explained that he is indeed in South America, but just on vacation. He planned the trip back in November, way before he was ever sued by Sony (or allegedly posted the PS3 root key) and I respect that he has decided to take some personal time while he still could. Hotz made sure to state that none of the funds he raised to defend himself were used to travel.

"Factually, it's true I'm in South America," he said. "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."

Hotz also hasn't abandoned the case. "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."

He didn't address the specific claims of tampering with evidence, but I'm sure that is probably best left to his lawyers. So to be clear, George Hotz did not "flee" the country, and he's still committed to fighting Sony in court.

Thanks to Harshil Goel for the tip.

Original post: The plot thickens. George Hotz aka GeoHot first came to internet prominence by "jailbreaking" the iPhone and PS3 and posting the software necessary to unlock the capabilities of each device without the restrictions set by Apple or Sony. This January, GeoHot might have crossed a line by publishing online the root key that allowed complete control over the PS3 hardware, posing huge security risks for Sony. Never a company to take such issues lightly, Sony has brought the full force of its legal team against Hotz. And even though GeoHot was able to raise enough legal funds to fight back, Sony today filed a motion saying that the hacker has not cooperated with court orders to hand over the hard drive of his PC and that he lied about having a PSN account. Sony claims that Hotz has now left his home in New Jersey and traveled to South America in order to escape further legal action.

"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," the motion read.

In the understatement of the year, the opposition stated: "Hotz's attempts to dodge this Court's authority raise very serious questions."

Beyond just running off to tropical locales, Sony has proof that Hotz created a PlayStation Network account and therefore agreed to the PSN User Agreement. "Hotz identified four PS3 Systems in his possession," the motion said. "He explained that he had purchased one of these consoles new in February 2010 and provided the serial number for that console. 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. CEA's records show that the same PS3 System was used on March 10, 2010 to create a PSN account under the user name 'blickmanic.' The IP address associated with the registration is located in Glen Rock, New Jersey, where Hotz lives."

Sony's opposes the motion made by Hotz's lawyers to dismiss the case "for lack of personal jurisdiction and improper venue." The judge has yet to rule on the motion, but I have to admit that it doesn't look very good for GeoHot.

Source: Court Document via VGHQ

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Hahaha, told you he would just flame the HD and run. Yes you can recover data from an HD, but if you no how, you can completely destroy any data on one, beyond recovery. Just that the average computer user doesn't know.

Anyway, dumb move. Ah well.

Fleeing the country never looks good, especially when you are likely using the money that was donated to you for your legal defense. Then again, so does violating a judicial order

God damn, what an idiot.

It was the one armed man. He did it.

Not to worry. Sony's hitmen are going to follow.

So this guy isn't too bright, lol.

LOL, HAI GUIZE! I needz moneis to defeat the evil $ony legal team, HALP PLOX?

LOL, JK, brb South America!

this is why I think he got his "legal team donations".

haha he's done
score 1 for proper society.

Hilariously epic.
Amazing how many people tried to argue his innocence and yet he lied and tampered with evidence, and has fled to South America. Go Sony go.

Okay people you can no longer support GeoHot now that he's pulled this shit. Seriously, tampering with evidence then running away doesn't put you in the best of light.

That was a dumb move.

Anyone would need a vacation after that much heat.

the motion said. "He explained that he had purchased one of these consoles new in February 2010 and provided the serial number for that console. 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. CEA's records show that the same PS3 System was used on March 10, 2010 to create a PSN account under the user name 'blickmanic.' The IP address associated with the registration is located in Glen Rock, New Jersey, where Hotz lives."

That's some CIA shit right there.

Selvec:
Hahaha, told you he would just flame the HD and run. Yes you can recover data from an HD, but if you no how, you can completely destroy any data on one, beyond recovery. Just that the average computer user doesn't know.

Anyway, dumb move. Ah well.

Throw it in a microwave and run the hell away?

So my suspicions were right, and the guy is, in fact, a giant douche.

$5 says he used that "donation money" to fund this little trip. Which, by the way, is another felony.

Freaking dumbass. I was hoping that this case would lead to EULA's getting altered to be more consumer friendly. Now I doubt that'll happen.

Again, dude's a dumbass, and a dick.

Update edit: Oh, well thats good to hear. Although I wonder if he cleared it with everyone first before leaving. Or at least told the legal people about it.

So yeah, forget what I said earlier. I thought he had run away. He had not. Not sure why I was so quick to believe Sony of all people. Makes me feel stupid.

But what about that "tampering with evidence" charge?

Sony is gonna look REALLY SILLY when it just turns out he went to go visit his South American family :P

jeez, people, it was a joke. clearly illustrated by the ":P" thrown in the mix!

Well this just gives Sony more ammo

So Geohot continues to be a muppet. Did anyone seriously expect him to win this court case before he fled?

The more interesting story is the length Sonys legal team went to prove he owns a ps3.

Edit - That should have read agreed to the PS3 EULA rather than owning a PS3. Lesson learned on proofreading and posting whilst on the train.

Frank_Sinatra_:
Okay people you can no longer support GeoHot now that he's pulled this shit. Seriously, tampering with evidence then running away doesn't put you in the best of light.

Nopt to mention that he pleaded people for donations for his defense.He asked people to give him their hard earned cash in order to fight SONY, and people actually thought he would, then he just pulled this.

I was never one to take sides in this debate, but if for no other reason, he's a dick for stealing those people's money and misleading them

Nice job blowing any shred of creditability you had, jackass. (For the record, that was aimed at GeoHot)

"Screw you guys...I'm going hoome. *finger point*"

So, on top of the crimes he committed against Sony, he has now tampered with evidence, disobeyed a court order, and committed fraud? Nice. I hope he gets thrown in jail for a while and then joins that small list of crackers who are banned from using computers ever again.

Irridium:

Freaking dumbass. I was hoping that this case would lead to EULA's getting altered to be more consumer friendly. Now I doubt that'll happen.

Yeah same here, now this little incident will set back that argument for a couple of years.

Selvec:
Hahaha, told you he would just flame the HD and run. Yes you can recover data from an HD, but if you no how, you can completely destroy any data on one, beyond recovery. Just that the average computer user doesn't know.

Anyway, dumb move. Ah well.

Take a sledge hammer to the drive until it's completely crushed, then proceed to microwave it on high for 5 minutes.
Place into pan with water and 2 tablespoons of salt, stir until water has evaporated.

Done. You now have ready made HDDs that will never provide anyone with data ever again.

So.. his PSN ID was revealed

Watch the mail roll in O.o

Raiyan 1.0:
Not to worry. Sony's hitmen are going to follow.

You know, that's the first thing that came to mind for me as well. So much for his innocence, bolting like that with all money people gave him doesn't help either.

So Geohot made a Geohop when they put him on the Geospot

uppitycracker:
Sony is gonna look REALLY SILLY when it just turns out he went to go visit his South American family :P

Who do you think he got all those PS3s for?

I thought the Escapist would support the rights of gamers.
Yeah he fled, but that's not the point. Sony is still in the wrong.

"Sony has proof that Hotz created a PlayStation Network account and therefore agreed to the PSN User Agreement"
So what? The PSN UA is BS!

uppitycracker:
Sony is gonna look REALLY SILLY when it just turns out he went to go visit his South American family :P

Are you allowed to leave the country unexpectedly while under litigation like this?

Irridium:
So my suspicions were right, and the guy is, in fact, a giant douche.

$5 says he used that "donation money" to fund this little trip. Which, by the way, is another felony.

Freaking dumbass. I was hoping that this case would lead to EULA's getting altered to be more consumer friendly. Now I doubt that'll happen.

Again, dude's a dumbass, and a dick.

Seriously. Even if SONY won, I was hoping someone would turn around and say "Alright guys, now tone it the fuck down and play nice from now on" make some bloody progress in the industry.

Well that's game over for any of us who supported him. Obviously he didn't have as much confidence in winning the case as he said he did.

I guess that's that then; another champion for consumer rights just turns out to be not only a coward but a lying coward at that. The thing that pisses me off the most is that this only justifies Sony's case which, until now, seemed to have no merit other than Sony being mad it got burned by the kind of people that run Linux on the PS3.

Well, that's my support gone. What a prick.

Yes, he did something stupid. However Sony taking away the right to use the PS3 however you want (like the military using them as cheap supercomputers) is just sad. Throughout this case I have lost all respect I had for Sony, and GeoHotz running made me lose almost all respect for him.

SilentSh0tz:
So this guy isn't too bright, lol.

Not sure about that, he did hack the PS3 after all.

Truly he is a role model for all humanity! :D

KeyMaster45:
Well that's game over for any of us who supported him. Obviously he didn't have as much confidence in winning the case as he said he did.

I guess that's that then; another champion for consumer rights just turns out to be not only a coward but a lying coward at that. The thing that pisses me off the most is that this only justifies Sony's case which, until now, seemed to have no merit other than Sony being mad it got burned by the kind of people that run Linux on the PS3.

The thing is it really is just Sony being mad, and GeoHot just overshadowed that fact.

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