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By 4 April 2011 | Categories: news

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Hacker group Anonymous, who has in recent exploits helped define the new term “hacktivist”, has issued a challenge to Sony over its “wholly unforgivable” legal battle against PlayStation 3 hackers George 'Geohot' Hotz and Graf Chokolo.

The group, which originated on the 4chan message boards but has since gone on to champion several causes, including that of internet freedom, was also heavily involved in last year's WikiLeaks scandal. During the incident, members of the group launched attacks on several prominent companies, including Visa and MasterCard. 

The group's latest cause was announced via a release on its website reading: “Congratulations, Sony... You are now receiving the attention of Anonymous. Your recent legal actions against fellow internet citizens, GeoHot and Graf_Chokolo have been deemed an unforgivable offense against free speech and internet freedom...”

"You have abused the judicial system in an attempt to censor information about how your products work. You have victimised your own customers merely for possessing and sharing information, and continue to target those who seek this information. In doing so you have violated the privacy of thousands of innocent people who only sought the free distribution of information.”

The post continues to attack Sony for suppressing information due to “corporate greed”, and also attacks the company over its views on copyright before issuing a challenge towards the company, not completely bereft of humour.

“In light of this assault on both rights and free expression, Anonymous, the notoriously handsome rulers of the internet, would like to inform you that you have only been 'renting' your web domains. Having trodden upon Anonymous' rights, you must now be trodden on.”

No actions have thus far been reported, but you can be sure that Sony will be on the lookout for attacks against any of its websites, and most importantly, the PlayStation Network itself.

The escalation comes after months of steadily rising tensions between Sony and the hacker parties involved, with the company’s step up in legal pressure resulting in what may become one of the biggest battles (fought equally in the courtrooms and from behind monitors) in the short history of the internet.

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