It seems yet another dictator is attempting to put a stop to American’s right to free expression.
Administration officials have confirmed that North Korea was behind the cyber-attacks on Sony Corporation in November. The hackers stole and leaked information such as internal correspondence, emails, film budgets and salaries and even employee Social Security numbers.
The New York Times reported:
Senior administration officials, who would not speak on the record about the intelligence findings, said the White House was still debating whether to publicly accuse North Korea of what amounts to be a cyberterrorism campaign…Officials said it was not clear how the White House would decide to respond to North Korea. Some within the Obama administration argue that the government of Mr. Kim must be directly confronted, but that raises the question of what consequences the administration would threaten – or how much of its evidence it could make public without revealing details of how the United States was able to penetrate North Korean computer networks to trace the source of the hacking.”
The attack comes as no surprise to some who took the June warning seriously that release of The Interview would be considered “an act of war.” Many ignored the warning back then but bowed to pressure from an unknown group that call themselves the “Guardians of Peace.” The “Guardians” threatened 9/11 style attacks on any theater that showed the movie, and for the sake of American lives, most major theaters pulled the showings. The message also said to those who lived around a movie theater,
“we recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. (If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.)”
Officials were at first confused by the cyber-attack, which instead of selling pulled information on the black market, chose to post it all online.
North Korean representatives have denied any ties to the cyber-attacks, though they did call it a “righteous deed.”
Sony released a statement yesterday regarding the pulling of the film.
“Those who attacked us stole our intellectual property, private emails, and sensitive and proprietary material, and sought to destroy our spirit and our morale – all apparently to thwart the release of a movie they did not like. We are deeply saddened at this brazen effort to suppress the distribution of a movie, and in the process do damage to our company, our employees, and the American public. We stand by our filmmakers and their right to free expression and are extremely disappointed by the outcome.”
One such leak concerning Alex Trebek, host of Jeopardy! is getting quite a bit of attention.
We all had to learn at an early age that sometimes you win and sometimes you lose and that’s just life. However, emails between the 74 year old TV host and producers detail the almost-resignation of Trebek stemming from an 11 year old’s temper tantrum.
It all started on Day 3 of Kids’ Week. One of the contestants ended up $1,400 in the red and Trebek told her that “because you’re in the negative situation, it means you won’t be around for Final Jeopardy, but you’ll automatically pick up $1000 for a third place finish.” The girl reportedly ran off the stage in tears. Producers planned to run the show as-is since standard protocol was followed. That is, until they received a note from the girl’s mother stating she felt Trebek didn’t do enough to make her daughter “feel better.”
Hacked emails from producers say they asked him to re-tape the show
“to appease an upset mother…although Alex’s intentions were good.”
Trebek disagreed, saying he had adhered to protocol of a contestant in the red and that
“if you think I should retape the opening, I will…But I want to say that for 30 years I’ve defended our show against attacks inside and out. But it doesn’t seem to operate both ways. When I’m vilified, corporate (and certainly legal) always seem to say ‘don’t say anything and it’ll blow over,’ and I’m not feeling support from the producers, and that disappoints the sh** out of me…If I’m making mistakes and saying things you don’t like, maybe it’s time for me to move on. It’s not a threat, but I want to let you know how I’m feeling.”
This wasn’t the only contentious information released by hackers. They also released compensation information showing gender discrimination by the company in the movie “American Hustle.” According to leaked reports, female stars Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence were each offered 7% profits. Meanwhile, the male stars like Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper were offered 9% profits.
It appears the hackers used freedom of expression to fight freedom of expression. They certainly got their way.
Here’s a trailer of the movie that got North Korea so upset.