Sony Hack is Big News!
Did Sony give in to terrorism, or was in the theatre owners?
Forbes – By: Dorothy Pomerantz – “Back before the Sony hack put Hollywood at the center of what is increasingly turning out to be an international provocation, Seth Rogen spoke to Rolling Stone about his new movie, The Interview. He said: ‘At best, the movie will cause a country to be free. At worst, it will cause a nuclear war.’
Rogen was, of course, joking. The satire, about a bumbling TV host and his producer sent by the CIA to kill Kim Jong-Un, seemed subversive but not like a political bombshell.
Cut to one month later and Rogen’s words suddenly seem eerily prophetic. Today the FBI announced that it believes North Korea is behind the attack. An analysis of the malware used in the attack shows similarities to other attacks known to have been perpetrated by North Korea. In a statement the FBI says there were similar lines of code, encryption algorithms and data deletion methods.
This takes the attack to a whole new level. From the FBI’s statement:
Working together, the FBI will identify, pursue, and impose costs and consequences on individuals, groups, or nation states who use cyber means to threaten the United States or U.S. interests.
Although the White House has said any reaction to the attack will be measured, it now seems likely that the U.S. will have to respond in some way. The attack has set a dangerous precedent of a regime suppressing free speech in another country.
Earlier this week Sony decided not to release The Interview in theaters at all after Guardians of Peace, the terrorist group behind the hack, threatened a 9/11-like attack on any movie theater showing the film. Many have called for the studio to release the film on VOD or for free on the Internet to at least make a statement about free speech but the hackers have sent threats to Sony executives warning them that the movie can never see the light of day. According to an article on CNN, the hackers warned Sony that they still have ‘private and sensitive data’ that they wont leak unless Sony makes ‘additional trouble.’
The rest of the film industry has so far failed to rally behind Sony. (Although the MPAA finally released a statement today.) In an interview with Deadline Hollywood actor George Clooney revealed that he tried to circulate a petition among high-level executives stating that they stood with Sony against the hackers but he couldn’t get anyone to sign it.
It was a large number of people. It was sent to basically the heads of every place. They told [agent] Bryan Lourd, ‘I can’t sign this.’ What? How can you not sign this? I’m not going to name anyone, that’s not what I’m here to do, but nobody signed the letter.
The attack against free speech is sure to cause long term damage in Hollywood where people are incredibly hesitant to take any kind of risk. A thriller set in North Korea, starring Steve Carell, has already been scrapped. Plans to show the 2004 movie Team America, which also features satire against North Korea, were pulled when Paramount said theaters couldn’t show the film. And while plenty of writers are pulling any hacker ideas our of storage right now, they’re also shelving anything that might have the slightest whiff of controversy.”