Recently unsealed court documents uncovered an FBI search warrant application requesting information on a PlayStation user from Sony. The allegedly user believed audio communication between players was secure and therefore safe for arranging drug deals.
As first reported by Joseph Cox, a warrant application filed in the Western District of Missouri details an FBI investigation into a PlayStation user identified as ‘Speedola20’ on the PlayStation Network. The owner of the account, Curtis Alexander, allegedly used the account as a platform through which he advertised significant quantities of cocaine.
An unidentified informant told the FBI that Alexander had been offering cocaine to other PlayStation users at the price of $34,000 per kilogram. “Alexander likely believes that audio communication during the course of his participation in an online game is secure,” FBI Special Agent Ben Brousil wrote in the warrant application. “As such, Alexander likely believes that he can use audio communication during game play on the PlayStation to arrange the details of a drug transaction, similar to Alexander’s use of PlayStation Messaging to conduct drug transactions.”
Some PlayStation users are discussing the games used by Alexander as part of his alleged drug trafficking operation.
The informant worked alongside the FBI during the investigation into the suspected cocaine dealer. With help from the FBI, the informant conducted a controlled purchase of cocaine from Alexander. Alexander met the informant and sold 103 grams of cocaine. The FBI witnessed the exchange. Based on the information gathered during the investigation and the messages provided by the informant, the FBI believes the court should issue a search warrant to Sony for information associated with Alexander’s account. This includes the following list:
a. The contents of all communications associated with the Account identified in Attachment A (see below), including stored or preserved copies of emails, chats, or other messages sent to and from the Account, drafts of such, and the source and destination addresses associated with each, the date and time at which each was sent, and the size and length of each;
b. All records or other information regarding the identification of the Account, to include full name, physical address, telephone numbers and other identifiers, passwords associated with the Account, Sony PlayStation security questions and answers, records of session times and duration, the date on which the Account was created, the length of service, the types of service utilized, the IP address used to register the Account, log-in IP addresses associated with session times and dates, Account status, alternative email addresses provided during registration, methods of connecting, log files, and means and sources of payment (including any credit or bank account number);
c. The types of services utilized, games played, and content consumed (movies and/or videos downloaded or viewed);
d. All records pertaining to communications between Sony and any person regarding the Account, including contacts with support services and records of actions taken;
e. Purchase and payment information, including billing address, shipping address, payment instruments, and redemption codes associated with any Sony or PlayStation services used by the Account listed in Attachment A;
f. All profile information (e.g., profile photo, user bio information, languages, likes, and information shared through a “share” button on any game system utilized by the Account listed in Attachment A);
g. All friends list information;
And attachment A:
“This warrant applies to information associated with the electronic account (“the Account”) for PlayStation user “Speedola20,” utilized by Curtis Alexander and stored at the premises maintained, controlled, or operated by Sony Interactive Entertainment…”