Japan won't allow Sony to turn PSN back on until it's assured it's safe

Sony may be busy flipping the PlayStation Network switch back to the "on" position around the globe, but one locale where it won't be doing so just yet is its homeland of Japan. The Dow Jones newshounds report that the Japanese government refuses to allow Sony to reactivate its ailing network until satisfaction is reached on a couple of outstanding issues. The first is that the company's promised counter-hacking measures announced on May 1st have not yet been fully enacted -- though details of what has or hasn't been done yet are understandably unavailable -- and the second is that Japan wants to see further preventive measures taken to ensure users' credit card numbers and other private data won't be exposed through their use of Sony's online services again. These sound like rational demands to us, and Sony is already in talks with the authorities to make sure it lives up to their expectations.

Show full PR text

Japan Restart of Sony Online Games Services Not Yet Approved

By Takashi Mochizuki

Published May 15, 2011

| Dow Jones Newswires

TOKYO -(Dow Jones)- Sony Corp. (SNE, 6758.TO) will not be allowed to restart its halted online game services in Japan until it provides further information on what measures it has taken since an earlier hacking incident, a Japanese regulatory official said Sunday.

"We met with Sony on May 6 and 13, and basically we want two things from them," Kazushige Nobutani, director of the Media and Content Industry department at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, told Dow Jones Newswires.

He listed two areas where it requires further explanation before approval will be given following the incidents regarding its PlayStation Network and Sony Online Entertainment videogame services.

"The first is preventative measures. As of May 13, Sony was incomplete in exercising measures that they said they will do on the May 1 press conference," he said, adding that he could not provide details on the outstanding issues for security reasons.

The second was in how Sony hoped to regain consumer confidence over personal data such as credit card information.

"There were similar cases in the past that were caused by other firms, and we are asking Sony whether their measures are good enough when compared to countermeasures taken in the past," he said.

Sony began a limited and phased restoration of the services Saturday, bringing the company a step closer to normalcy following an attack on its systems that compromised personal information for more than 100 million user accounts last month. It said that it would begin bringing its PlayStation Network back online in the Americas, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the Middle East.

"We are still in talks with various authorities (in Japan and Asia)," Sony spokeswoman Kumie Tanaka said." By receiving advice from the industry ministry, we would like to have the service in Japan ready."