The DMCA forbids devices that circumvent copyright or other protections, and the idea behind it is similar to the laws preventing you from modifying, say, your bumper height beyond a certain level, or building a house without the proper permits. But the cases clearly are not analogous, as has been pointed out thousands of times over the last few years. Being able to do what you like with your own property is somewhere between a right and a privilege, but at the very least if it is done in private and no ill effect can be shown to result, you should be free to hack. It’s not legal yet, but neither is crossing the street against the light.
Whether Sony or the Magistrate is more at fault here, I don’t know. It’s clear that this request by Sony is either lazy or malicious: they could have made it more specific, bu didn’t bother. But the Magistrate should have, as the EFF points out, demanded that Sony meet higher standards for discovery limitations. Is anyone else worried that our judges and legislators are unable to comprehend the issues they are forced to judge and legislate? Magistrate Spero for one clearly does not understand the scope or gravity of the request he just granted.
Meanwhile, of course, the master signing key for the PS3 is widely available to anyone who looks. What Sony thinks it will accomplish by suing GeoHot and anyone else who posts the key (including their own Kevin Butler, I expect) is beyond me. Hacks are like the hydra, and while Sony is suing the head it has already cut off, two more, or two thousand, will grow in its place.