Sony’s request to subpoena the web host of a hacker called GeoHot and also Google, Twitter and YouTube has been granted by federal Magistrate Joseph Spero in order to get information about anyone who comments, accesses or views any information which relates to the Sony hack. The proceedings are being called irresponsible in Sony and the judge’s part as it certainly is a quite large scale violation of privacy. Sony’s explanation for this plea is that the company needs the information to prove that the case should be tried in the San Francisco federal court which is close to the headquarters of the company.
According to Sony, subpoenas are constructed very narrowly to aid discovery by the jurisdiction, however the subpoena that the company demanded for Blue Host, the host for GeoHot, demand everything from IP address logs, account access records, account information and application or registration forms to any other information regarding the details of the people who may have accessed any part of that website. This will effectively make any person to have accessed that site subject to being involved in the case. And this is not all, as YouTube and Google too are a part of the subpoena, anyone who has as much as seen a video of the GeoHot hack for the PS3 on YouTube will also be exposed.
There has been a response from the EFF who sent a letter to the magistrate, saying that the subpoena will need information about hundreds or thousands of no-parties and their involvement in the case at most part will be non-existent. Sony’s response to this is simple; they believe that everything is proper and that the non-parties in question will all have the legal right to contest non-involvement in the case.