legality of hacking sony's firmware (speculation)
just wanted to put a 1+1 = ? here.
so it is perfectly legal to study, reverse engineer and document any software program that is malware.
also any malware program is considered illegal, and is not protected by any copyright law.
so... what is a malware ?
These statutes specifically reference any set of computer instructions (commonly known as "viruses" or "contaminants") that are designed to modify, damage, destroy, record, or transmit information within a computer system or network without the permission of the owner. Generally, they are designed to infect other computer programs or computer data, consume resources, modify, destroy, record or transmit data, and disrupt normal operation of a computer system.
additionally , since the trial is in california, let's take a look at the law
CA Codes (pen:484-502.9)
"Computer system" means a device or collection of devices,
including support devices and excluding calculators that are not
programmable and capable of being used in conjunction with external
files, one or more of which contain computer programs, electronic
instructions, input data, and output data, that performs functions
including, but not limited to, logic, arithmetic, data storage and
retrieval, communication, and control.
this makes a ps3 a "computer system"
Except as provided in subdivision (h), any person who commits
any of the following acts is guilty of a public offense:
(1) Knowingly accesses and without permission alters, damages,
deletes, destroys, or otherwise uses any data, computer, computer
system, or computer network in order to either (A) devise or execute
any scheme or artifice to defraud, deceive, or extort, or (B)
wrongfully control or obtain money, property, or data.
(2) Knowingly accesses and without permission takes, copies, or
makes use of any data from a computer, computer system, or computer network, or takes or copies any supporting documentation, whether
existing or residing internal or external to a computer, computer
system, or computer network.
so with me specifically declining the TOS of the PSN , sony is committing a public offense by monitoring, collecting and transmitting ANY data from my console.
(edited to add that this makes ANY information collected this way illegal and inadmissible in court)