updated 08:15 pm EDT, Mon May 2, 2011
Company cites "ongoing investigation"
Sony is reportedly attempting to avoid testifying before Congress later this week, after the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade asked the company to answer questions regarding its failure to protect the PlayStation Network from hackers. The memo distributed to subcommittee members suggests the hearing is designed to explore "risks related to data breaches" and data security practices utilized by the industry.
Sony is said to have notified Representative Mary Bono Mack, the chairwoman of the subcommittee, that it will not testify at the hearing. The company blamed an "ongoing investigation" with law enforcement as a primary reason for leaving the demands unfulfilled, according to a New York Times report.
The situation first became apparent when the PlayStation Network was taken offline, before the company acknowledged a data breach that may have compromised personal data from PSN subscribers. Rumors suggest the hackers were attempting to steal credit card numbers, however Sony claims it has no evidence that such data was stolen.
Aside from the vague questions that focus on the entire industry, the subcommittee also asked Sony to explain a number of details specific to the PSN hack. The subcommittee is attempting to determine when the company first became aware of the problem, if it would provide credit monitoring services to affected individuals, and why the customer notifications appeared to be delayed.
"While we understand the company is going through a tough time with this, there are certain questions that need answering," said Ken Johnson, an adviser to Representative Mack.
The subcommittee has changed its deadline from May 6 to May 3. Johnson suggests Sony may answer many of the questions by the end of the business day tomorrow, despite the refusal to formally testify.