Anonymous's Winking Denial of the Playstation Blackout

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Sony has been pretty quiet about what caused the Playstation Network blackout that has lasted about 24 hours, but it has said the outage could last another full day. Gamers are not quiet. They want their interactive game environments, especially with the long weekend ahead in which to enjoy them. A BBC report on the problem mentioned, as a brief aside, that Anonymous might have something to do with the outage.

But the BBC didn't say why the loose-knit group of hackers might want to disable the network that many of them, presumably, like to use. The details of the reasoning, and even whether or not the outage is the group's work, are a bit hard to discern, but here's what we know:

First, Anonymous has officially denied any involvement in the current blackout. "For once, we didn't do it," a statement on the group's site reads. "A more likely explanation is that Sony is taking advantage of Anonymous' previous ill-will towards the company to distract users from the fact that the outage is actually an internal problem with the company's servers."

But as Escapist points out, that doesn't jibe with what's on the group's Facebook page. The first comment after the blackout started reads, "There are things that go beyond your personal pleasure ... you may not be able to enjoy things because of our actions but it is for a greater cause." And other, later posts include lines like "Take a break from online gaming for a while," and "maybe it's time you put your mind to productive use."

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As for the question of why Anonymous would want to sabotage the network: It could be fallout from the time Sony sued somebody for making it easier to sabotage that very same network. On April 4, Destructoid reported that Sony and George "GeoHot" Hotz (the guy who first unlocked the iPhone) had settled out of court after Sony sued Hotz for hacking into the Playstation Network in early 2010. In retaliation, Anonymous reportedly promised "the biggest attack you have ever witnessed, Anonymous style," against Sony. That was to take place April 16, and was apparently a bust. Despite Anonymous's official protestations, it could be that the current blackout is an effect of the group finally getting some traction with "Operation Sony."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.