President Barack Obama has declared that the massive Sony hack, which was allegedly carried out by North Korea, is not ‘an act of war.’ Instead, he called it ‘an act of cyber vandalism’ that will not go unpunished.
Speaking to CNN’s Candy Crowley in an interview which aired on Sunday, Obama said, ‘No, I don’t think it was an act of war. I think it was an act of cyber vandalism that was very costly, very expensive. We take it very seriously. We will respond proportionately.’
During the annual White House press conference last week, Obama had called Sony’s decision to pull The Interview as the hackers demanded a ‘mistake’. He maintained this stance in the interview, saying, ‘I was pretty sympathetic to the fact that they have business considerations that they got to make. Had they talked to me directly about this decision, I might have called the movie theater chains and distributors and asked them what the story was.’
‘If we set a precedent in which a dictator in another country can disrupt through cyber, a company’s distribution chain or its products, and as a consequence we start censoring ourselves, that’s a problem,’ he added.
Meanwhile, David Boies, a lawyer representing Sony Pictures Entertainment, has said that the Interview will still be released. ‘How it’s going to be distributed, I don’t think anybody knows quite yet,’ he said on NBC’s Meet the Press. ‘I think we’ve got to recognize that this is not a Sony security problem. This is a national security problem.’