I know we've concentratedquite a bitof our efforts on the Sony hack and the fallout from it this week, but that's only because what we're all seeing here is really pretty unprecedented. If you thought everything that had happened up to this point was enough to make your blood boil, there's this: the hackers are now gloating over their victory.
According to CNN, whoever hacked Sony -- and turned most of Hollywood's spine to jelly -- sent a message directly to the company in the wake of its decision to do the cyberterrorists' bidding and pull The Interview from its scheduled Christmas release. The message reportedly read, "It's very wise that you have made a decision to cancel the release of 'The Interview.' We ensure the security of your data unless you make additional trouble." In short, you're safe for now because you did what we wanted but if you do something we don't want, we'll make you pay. Nice studio you got there -- be a shame if something happened to it. The hackers are now running a protection racket and it could be why Sony has no plans to ever release The Interview in any format at any time.
As for who the hackers are, the FBI has now officially named North Korea as the main player in the plot. "As a result of our investigation, and in close collaboration with other U.S. government departments and agencies," the Bureau says, "the FBI now has enough information to conclude that the North Korean government is responsible for these actions." U.S. intel reportedly believes North Korea had help from an outlet in China, but isn't sure whether it was in the form of personnel or simply servers.
The White House yesterday said that it was planning a "proportional response" to the attack, but acknowledged that provocation may have been part of the plan all along so that needs to be kept in mind.
As for who personally is behind the hack -- we may never know.
Update: President Obama just spoke about situation. His comments were pointed.
“Sony’s a corporation, it suffered significant damage, there were threats against its employees. I am sympathetic to the concerns that they face... I think they made a mistake (in not releasing The Interview)...
We cannot have a society where some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States. Because if somebody’s going to intimidate them for releasing a satirical movie, imagine what’s going to happen when there’s a documentary they don’t like.
Even worse, if producers and distributors start engaging in self-censorship because they don’t want to offend the sensibilities of somebody who frankly probably needs their sensibilities offended.
That’s not who we are. That’s not who Americans are.
Again, I’m sympathetic to Sony -- but I wish they had spoken to me first...
All of us need to anticipate that occasionally there are going to be breaches like this... but we can’t start changing our patterns of behavior anymore than we would stop going to a football game because there might be a terrorist attack. Any more than Boston didn’t run its marathon this year.”
The President of the United States just chastised Sony for backing down. As I said a couple of days ago, what started out as a silly stoner comedy from Rogen and Franco has now been elevated to an act of supreme subversion and necessary patriotic defiance.
Update 2: According to CNN, Sony CEO Michael Lynton has said that his company has "every desire" to release The Interview.
"We have not caved, we have not given in, and we have not backed down. We have every desire for the public to see this movie."