Source: Composite by G_marius based on a mark lorch's image
Sony's latest comedy, The Interview, in which two Americans take part in an assassination attempt against Kim Jong-Un, was met with complaints and threats by North Korea, culminating in a cyber attack against Sony by a group of hackers named "Guardians of Peace". The attack, along with threats against cinemas that had scheduled to show the Interview, finally resulted in the cancellation of the film's release by Sony. This cancelation was criticized as an act of cowardice but it seems that Sony is not the only company afraid fo North Korea and cyber attacks. Paramount also cancelled the screening of another comedy mocking the North Korean regime, Team America. Some companies are affraid of the great harm coordinated cyber attacks can cause to their IT systems and of the internal private information that can be stolen and leaked to the press by these hackers.
Companies yielding to blackmail from hackers or foreign countries contribute to incentivize these practices and thus undermine freedom of expression. The seriousnes of the event has made President Obama intervene saying that "We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States". However, it is not clear to what extent the US government is capable to protect companies from coordinated cyber attacks and help companies covering the costs derived. Moreover, Sony rejects the accusations of cowardice and claims: “It is still our hope that anyone who wants to see this movie will get the opportunity to do so". Could Sony be transforming this crisis in a formidable campaing of promotion for the movie?
What do you think, is yielding to blackmail and cancelling The Interview an act of cowardice from Sony? A logical business reaction to protect the interests of the company? Or even part of a marketing an promotion campaign to give more visibility to the movie by playing the victim card?
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Was yielding to blackmail and cancelling The Interview an act of cowardice from Sony?
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