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EFF accuses Sony of 'abusing' Computer Fraud act

Rights group claims PS3 firm is "sending a dangerous message" in hacking case

Online rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation has spoken its mind on the ongoing Sony vs George Hotz case.

The EFF contests Sony's pursuit of legal action against the hackers responsible for undoing PlayStation 3 security measures earlier this month.

In an open letter, the group claimed that it had often warned that "the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act can be used to chill speech, particularly security research, because legitimate researchers will be afraid to publish their results lest they be accused of circumventing a technological protection measure.

"We've also been concerned that the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act could be abused to try to make alleged contract violations into crimes.

"We've never been sorrier to be right. These two things are precisely what's happening in Sony v. Hotz."

The group felt that the real purpose of the case was "to send a message to security researchers around the world: publish the details of our security flaws and we'll come after you with both barrels blazing.

"Sony is actually saying that it's a crime for users to access their own computers in a way that Sony doesn't like."

The case meant that "Sony is sending another dangerous message: that it has rights in the computer it sells you even after you buy it, and therefore can decide whether your tinkering with that computer is legal or not. We disagree. Once you buy a computer, it's yours."

The lawsuit is currently delayed, pending its judge's decision on which US state it should be held in.

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Alec Meer avatar
Alec Meer: A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.
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