Australia and US Congress question Sony over PlayStation Network

Tuesday, 3 May 2011 17:29 GMT By Jessica Citizen

Sony’s not just in trouble with consumers – the United States Congress has started asking questions. Representative Mary Bono Mack (R-CA), from the Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade has sent a letter, requesting a reply by May 6, 2011. However, Sony has commented that it will not be sitting in on Congressional Hearings pertaining to the matter, at least for the time being. Meanwhile, Australian leaders have also noted concerns on the matter.

Congress sends a letter

The Congress subcommittee has addressed the letter directly to Sony Executive Deputy President Kazuo Hirai, and asked a number of questions – including whether or not Sony has any idea of the attacker’s identity. It also queries exactly when the intrusion occurred, and when Sony decided to bring in law enforcement officials – all questions that the company has been keeping quiet until now.

Sony has also been explicity questioned about the “specific nature” of the stolen data, including – once and for all – whether or not credit card details have been lifted.

The firm has declined, however, to sit in on a Congressional hearing regarding the threat of data theft to American PSN users, but will comply with Congress by answering any questions pertaining to the matter. The reason for this, is “because their internal investigation is still ongoing,” an official in Congresswoman Mary Bono Mack’s office told Kotaku.

“Sony is cooperating with the request for answers to the Committee’s questions, and in fact will be providing our responses in advance of the deadline,” said SCEA’s Patrick Seybold in response. “We informed the committee that we could not appear as early as this Wednesday because of our ongoing intensive investigation and management of this criminal cyberattack.”

Sony is already facing a class-action suit over the breach, and this morning brought more drama with the news that Sony Online Entertainment services had also been affected.

The Congressional letter sent to the firm is posted in full over on the New York Times website.

Australia to draft a new law

In the wake of the PSN hack which compromised consumer privacy, the Australian federal government has announced its plan to form a law which requires companies to disclose any privacy breaches.

According to Australian newspaper WA Today, the PSN hack resulted in 1,560,791 accounts in the country made vulnerable with 280,000 credit card details compromised.

The Australian government like the US Congress, is questioning Sony regarding both its actions and security, with Brendan O’Connor, Minister for Justice; Minister for Home Affairs; Minister for Privacy and Freedom of Information commenting that he is, “very concerned” over the compromised information.

“Sony isn’t alone,” he said. “We’ve seen serious privacy-related incidents in recent months involving other large companies. All companies that collect customers’ personal information must ensure that the information is safe and secure from misuse.”

There’s no word when the law being considered will come before the proper channels or when it may go into effect.

Thanks, Industry Gamers, GI.biz.

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