Jan 5, 2015
When cyberattacks against Sony turned into anonymous threats against screenings of the movie, The Interview, the FBI declared that North Korea was responsible for the attacks and the threats. The movie depicts, as a so-called “comedy,” the assassination of Kim Jong Un, the leader of North Korea.
No matter that the threats seemed crazy – many theater chains decided not to carry the movie, and Sony canceled its opening.
President Obama declared that this was a serious attack against freedom of speech, and that the U.S. would respond. The next day, North Korea’s internet access was shut down from the outside. The U.S. has gone on to impose economic sanctions against North Korea.
Cybersecurity experts, across the board, are convinced that it’s far more likely that disgruntled ex-employees at Sony were responsible for the hacking attacks and the leaks. They say that the means of attack depended on inside knowledge of Sony’s system. The hacking and the leaks of emails and other information started a full month before the threats against The Interview screenings. The only “evidence” linking North Korea to the attacks – is the fact that the North Korean government was outraged by the movie and called it an “act of war.”
And who could blame it, really? Imagine if North Korea had made a movie about the assassination of a sitting U.S. president. How would the U.S. respond? A lot more harshly than a strongly worded denunciation! The U.S. certainly would not say North Korea has a free speech right to say what it wants in movies!
And now the U.S. has latched onto this improbable scenario to ramp up its continued attacks against North Korea.
And Sony? Sony got a lot of free publicity. It even went on to release the movie in 300 theaters (without incident), and as an online streaming rental. It was the biggest online rental of the holiday weekend, with many probably watching out of sheer curiosity – and others to “make a stand about freedom of speech.”
Anybody who watched the movie for that reason, though, are being used by Sony and the U.S. government.