President Obama has criticized Sony for pulling The Interview following the hack blamed on North Korea, saying that while he is “sympathetic” to its losses, he nonetheless believes “they made a mistake.” Describing cyber-security as an “urgent issue,” Obama drew parallels between the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack and other, perhaps more traditional types of terrorism, including the Boston Marathon bombing. However, while Obama confirmed that some sort of response by the US was in order, he declined to give any specific details as to what that might be.
“Sony is a corporation, it suffered significant damage, there were threats against its employees,” the President observed when asked by reporters whether he believed the company had made a misstep with how it handled the decision to yank The Interview. “I am sympathetic to the concerns they faced. Having said all that, yes, I think they made a mistake.”
“I wish they’d spoken to me first,” Obama continued. “I would’ve told them, do not get into a pattern in which you’re intimidated by these kinds of criminal attacks.”
Treating the Sony hack as another type of terrorism, Obama questioned whether being resolute or being compliant was the right way to handle an intrusion.
“We can’t start changing out patterns of behavior just as we don’t stop going to a football game because there’s the possibility of a terrorist attack. Just as Boston didn’t stop its marathon this year, because there was the possibility of someone causing harm” President Obama
Asked whether he planned some sort of symbolic defiance to the hack, such as watching The Interview in a private screening, Obama joked that he had “a long list” of movies still to watch, and that as a matter of habit “I never release my full movie list.”
“It says something interesting about North Korea in that they decided to mount an all-out assault on a movie studio because of a satirical film starring Seth Rogan and James Franco,” Obama observed. “I love Seth, and I love James, but the notion that they were seen as some sort of a threat to them says a lot about that regime.”
With the FBI promising “costs and consequences” as a result, questions unsurprisingly rose about what, exactly, the US might do in retaliation. Obama, though, declined to comment on any specifics.
“We will respond proportionally, and we will respond in a place and time and a manner that we choose,” he promised.
Answering a later query, however, Obama insisted that there was no evidence that North Korea might be working with another country counter to America’s interests, specifically China. “We’ve got no indication that North Korea was acting in conjunction with another country,” the President said.