• Sony Dishes Out 'Lifetime Ban' to Known Hackers

    This week, electronics giant Sony began dishing out lifetime bans to known PlayStation 3 hackers. The "ban" in question effectively bars any and all identified PS3 hackers from using Sony's online services for the rest of their lives. Pretty harsh, indeed. But over the course of the last 72 hours, countless PS3 hackers identified by Sony have begun receiving e-mail notices from Sony, a communication promptly followed by a full and irrevocable PlayStation 3 console ban. In order to avoid the dreaded Sony blacklist, hackers are required to "immediately cease use and remove all circumvention devices and delete all unauthorized or pirated software from their PlayStation 3 systems."

    The writing, however, has been on the wall for some time. According to the official word on the PlayStation blog: "Violation of the system software license agreement for the PlayStation 3 System invalidates the consumer guarantee for that system. In addition, copying or playing pirated software is a violation of international copyright laws. Consumers using circumvention devices or running unauthorized or pirated software will have access to the PlayStation Network and access to Qriocity services through PlayStation 3 system terminated permanently."

    Naturally, many are wondering if Sony's crackdown on hackers foreshadows how Apple will deal with iOS jailbreakers in the future, particularly with regard to the forthcoming 5th generation iPhone. Although there is no concrete evidence to confirm such theories, many believe Apple's hardcore crackdown on jailbreaking and unlocking will begin in earnest this year, effectively following the lead of Sony and others who refuse to play nicely with members of our community.

    According to coverage provided this week by CNET, "a majority of commenters" to Sony's blog heralding the lifetime hacker ban "seem pleased" by Sony's decisive action. "Thanks for acknowledging this officially. Good to know Sony is not just hoping that this goes away," one poster wrote, adding "Thank You Sony! Ban these punks!" On the other hand, there were adamant defenders of the prohibited behavior. "If Sony actually took the time to know what us (the consumers) wanted, maybe they would see less piracy," a hacker-friendly poster wrote. "I mean the whole reason hackers want to hack the PSP Go is to play games that are still only available in UMD only."

    Source: CNET
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