The Sony Pictures Hack and Stolen Property

The Movie, The Interview

Seth Rogen and James Franco are in the movie, The Interview, from Sony pictures. It is a comedy of two out of five stars in rating. It is about two men recruited by the CIA to assassinate the leader of North Korea during a visit. In July, North Korea warned Sony that if released, it is like a "world war" and an "terrorist act". The West and Sony laughed at the nonsense from the regime.

Now, Sony Pictures has been seriously hacked by the "Guardians of Peace", and traced back to North Korea. The hack was probably done by its cyber warfare unit as a show of force and capability, which has shocked American industry. No longer are just US government computer facilities are targeted, but private companies. The hack stole hundreds of documents from the L.A. based movie company revealing many embarrassing emails, salaries, racial composition, personal addresses and accounts.

The dilemma is how does or should the media report on the contents of the stolen documents and are they newsworthy? By the media reporting on them as news, this is actually helping North Korea achieve what they want- to terrorize and threaten (which they have promised to do when The Interview is released) by releasing more detailed stolen documents. Does reporting on the contents of the private stolen documents violate the rights of Sony? After all, the documents are stolen and on the Internet, just as the five unreleased movies that also were hacked and made available . Ironically, the movie that caused the "hack" was not hacked!

Worse, now all private companies have been put on noticed what North Korea can do when it does not like something from remote locations. If NK can do this, there must be other governments or entities who can. If Sony decides not to release the film, it would be a terrible precedent and invite others to do it. Say, a negative portrayal of Islam or Muslims or other, and Iran with its cyber army hacks the company and does the same or worse. The fear inside Sony and others has now forced them to take draconian measures before it happens again. Freedom of Speech within the company culture now is more a "big brother" role, where everyone is now afraid to say anything using a computer.

What Wikileaks did to the U.S. Government, the Guardians of Peace have done to private industry. Some say it is the cyber 9-11.


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