Hackers bully Sony over SOPA stance

Hackers bully Sony over SOPA stance

By Rob Crossley

January 3rd 2012 at 3:02PM

Anonymous group 'targets personal data of company executives'

The online hacker network collectively known as Anonymous has threatened Sony executives for the company’s partial support of a controversial piracy bill in the US.

It is believed the group wants to publish personal details of Sony executives, though initially the plan was to “destroy” the PlayStation Network.

Sony previously claimed that Anonymous activists were suspects in the PlayStation Network hack; last year’s infamous data breach that affected some 77 million customer accounts and left Sony’s game network offline for six business weeks.

“It has come to the attention of Anonymous that Sony has chosen to stand by the Stop Online Piracy Act,” the hackers said in a video message posted on YouTube.

“This act will halt online businesses and restrict access to many sites for many users. Supporting SOPA is like trying to throw an entire company from off a bridge," the group continued.

"Your support to the act is a signed death warrant to Sony company and associates. Therefore, yet again, we have decided to destroy your network. We will dismantle your phantom from the internet. Prepare to be extinguished,” it continued.

It has emerged that Anonymous is now targeting Sony executives instead of the PlayStation Network itself.

Sony has come under fire for its partial support of the Stop Online Piracy Act, a bill that has proven deeply divisive among Americans and entertainment firms.

PlayStation recenltly withdrew its support for SOPA, yet Sony's other music and film divisions support the bill.

The SOPA bill wants to give rights holders the power to delete various websites if they are suspected to be providing access to illicit downloads and streams of copyright material.

But the ambiguity regarding what constitutes an offending website, coupled with the unparalleled authority that private companies would have in shutting them down, has led to many opponents of the bill.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt said the bill would allow lawful censorship of the open internet.

“The solutions are draconian. There’s a bill that would require ISPs to remove URLs from the Web, which is also known as censorship last time I checked,” he recently said during an appearance at MIT.

Along with Google, companies in opposition of SOPA include Twitter, the Wikimedia Foundation, Facebook, AOL, LinkedIn and eBay.

Games companies such as Nintendo and EA had initially supported SOPA, though no longer appear on the bill’s supporters list.