Well, if you're lucky, your game-savvy defense attorney could introduce your PS3 and your PlayStation Network account as evidence to prove that you were, in fact, at home lassoing outlaws that night instead of out causing mayhem. At least, so argues a security expert who's hoping to educate investigators about how the photos, videos and online usage logs on a game console could help make or break a case.
Security consultant Brandon Nesbit of Trustwave tells eWeek's Security Watch (by way of Kotaku) that gaming activity logs on PCs and consoles like the PS3, the Xbox 360 or the Wii could be used to help prove that yes, you were the one trying to slam that World of Warcraft server -- or, by the same token, that when the crime you've been accused of was happening, you were far away in your living room, playing Halo 3 or Team Fortress 2 over Xbox Live.
The fact that the files on your gaming console or your online multiplayer activity could be used in your defense -- or against you, for that matter -- might be obvious to even the most casual gamer, but Nesbit (who plans on making his case at the Defcon security conference in Las Vegas this week) contends in the eWeek story that "in my experience at least, a forensics investigator will gloss over this type of evidence."
Interesting, but here's a little cross-examination for you: Isn't it true that while your PS3 or Xbox 360 can prove that someone was playing Modern Warfare 2 at 3:35 on the morning of July 26, it can't prove that you personally were the gamer in front of the console? In other words, just because your Xbox Live account was logged in and active at a given time doesn't necessarily mean that you were the one playing, right? (Of course, the Xbox 360's upcoming Kinect motion-control camera or Sony's PlayStation Eye could do an even better job at placing you in your den, or at the scene of the digital crime.)
Yes, very true, but as Nesbit points out to eWeek, online gaming usage logs are "just a small piece of a very large pie," and as we all know thanks to "Law & Order," defendants in criminal cases aren't required to prove their innocence; all they have to do is show reasonable doubt. Your Xbox Live usage logs might not definitively prove you didn't do it, but they could be important pieces in a larger puzzle, provided that the justice system know how to use them.
What do you think? Would you be happy to see your PS3 or Xbox 360 be marked as Exhibit A in your defense? Or would you dread the possibility that your trusty game console might be used against you in a court of law?
- Yahoo News