President Obama has officially weighed in on Sony’s decision to pull the new film The Interview, due to threats made by a hacker group which previously exposed company documents.
“Sony’s a corporation. It suffered significant damage. There were threats against some of its employees,” he said “I am sympathetic to the concerns that they faced. Having said all that, yes, I think they made a mistake.”
“I wish they had spoken to me first,” he continued.
The President declined to discuss any possible actions, saying only that “we will respond, we will respond proportionally, and in a place and time that we choose … it’s not something that I will announce here today at this press conference.”
Obama closed with a sort of ‘slippery slope’ argument.
“We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States. Imagine what they could do if they see a documentary they don’t like or news they don’t like. Even worse, imagine if producers or distributors start engaging in self-censorship because they don’t want to offend the sensibilities of someone whose sensibilities probably need to be offended. That’s not who we are. That’s not what America’s about,” he said.
The FBI has announced that it feels the hacks were of North Korean origin, saying that its investigations have turned up “enough information to conclude that the North Korean government is responsible for these actions.”
“We are deeply concerned about the destructive nature of this attack on a private sector entity and the ordinary citizens who worked there. Further, North Korea’s attack on SPE reaffirms that cyber threats pose one of the gravest national security dangers to the United States. Though the FBI has seen a wide variety and increasing number of cyber intrusions, the destructive nature of this attack, coupled with its coercive nature, sets it apart. North Korea’s actions were intended to inflict significant harm on a U.S. business and suppress the right of American citizens to express themselves. Such acts of intimidation fall outside the bounds of acceptable state behavior,” said the FBI.