Obama says Sony wrong to cancel The Interview and vows response to North Korean cyber attack

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President Obama has said Sony Entertainment Pictures “made a mistake” by giving into the threats of North Korean hackers and taking the decision to cancel the release of the movie The Interview.

Speaking at the the annual end of year press conference at the White House, President Obama’s comments comes after the FBI officially blamed North Korean hackers for carrying out the cyber attack on Sony.

During the speech, President Obama acknowledge that “significant damage” had been caused to Sony as a result of the cyber attack, which took place last month, crippling the company’s computer network and resulting in the release of huge amounts of confidential employee and highly sensitive corporate data.

Read more on the Sony hack

However, he also said: “We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States. If somebody is able to intimidate folks out of releasing a satirical movie, imagine what they start doing when they see a documentary they don’t like, or news reports they don’t like.”

He continued: “Even worse, imagine if producers and distributors and others start engaging in self-censorship because they don’t want to offend the sensibilities of somebody whose sensibilities probably need to be offended.”

President Obama then stated the US intends to respond to North Korea in “…a place and time and manner that we choose.”

The Interview, which is said to have prompted the attack on Sony is a satirical comedy about two American journalists who have been enlisted by the CIA to assassinate Kim Jong-un.

In an interview with CNN, the chief executive of Sony Pictures, Michael Lynton, said the company had not made an error in cancelling the release of the movie and took the decision because a number of America’s leading cinema chains had refused to show the move amid security fears.

Sony has said it is considering a digital release of the movie, which is perhaps now the most eagerly awaited movie of all time has received more publicity in recent week than movie execs could ever have imagined. However, it is being reported that the cancellation of the cinematic release of the movie has so far cost Sony more than $60 million in lost revenue.

Read more: Sony cyber attack traced to Bangkok hotel

 

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4 Comments

  1. Jeffrey_Osb on

    He didn’t say that they’d do the same thing as N. Korea, just that there would be an appropriate counter response. What, you should just let nations walk on you and have no response? Now I say to you, get real.

  2. I didn’t know the US hacked into North Korea’s media center costing them millions and then threaten them to stop using their freedom of expression (does N. Korea have a freedom of expression? Oh yea, that expression you get when they torture you and your family for not crying loud enough when one of the ego maniacs die)

  3. Steve Kyte on

    If North Korea had kept quiet about this ghastly unfunny and actually offensive film then it would have quietly flopped. It’s a film aimed at pubescent boys with mostly penis jokes, along the lines of The Hangover. It IS offensive to NK’s leader whatever you think about him and Obama definitely would have banned it had it been aimed at him. In fact the makers would have been lynched. Free speech is all relative. Hacking goes on all the time we just don’t hear about most of it.