When we let the terrorists win, we all lose.
This whole affair around Sony’s “The Interview” has just made me more angry and dismayed. Besides Sony once again being hacked too easily it seems, I am disgusted that we are going to acquiesce to cyber blackmail and allow a small group of thugs censor our freedom of speech and expression. Have we become so easily in-timid-ated, that we are going to allow this? I wouldn’t. I would like to buy my ticket, get in line and go see “The Interview” today just to show that threats and intimidation will not have us give up our beliefs and rights.
First on the hack of Sony, I say shame on Sony. Yes anyone can get hacked, but the fact is in Sony’s case it is getting old already. Their security policies, processes and management have proven time and time again to be lacking. I had some firsthand knowledge of Sony’s security some years back and it was frankly pretty bad then and it looks like it hasn’t improved much since, despite being the victim (and I use that term loosely) of several high profile breaches in the past.
The next thing that I disagree with is the categorization of the alleged North Korean attackers as cyberwarriors, as a unit of 1800 or so, some new version of the “yellow horde” and of the sophistication of this attack and their ability to bring a 9/11 type of event down on every movie theater here in the US. Nuts to all of that!
First off a unit of 1800 or so is not exactly an army. A large bank will have as many cyber security people on the payroll. Let’s not even imagine what some US agencies or DoD units have. Both in number and sophistication of technology, we are not talking major leagues here.
The same could be said of their ability to launch an attack here in our country. The North Korean’s have been historically big talkers, making outrageous claims about their abilities and aims. It used to be that we were confident enough to laugh at their threats as the ranting of a madman, if not some petulant child upset with not getting their way.
They have threatened to launch nuclear strikes against us, they released a video last year with NYC in flames. They constantly threaten Armageddon every time we have a joint military exercise with South Korea. These guys make Saddam Hussein and his “Mother of All Wars” rhetoric look like a reasonable person.
They have made statements like:
“If the US imperialists threaten our sovereignty and survival… our troops will fire our nuclear-armed rockets at the White House and the Pentagon – the sources of all evil.”
Who wrote this about President Obama:
“You can also tell this by his appearance and behavior, and while it may be because he is a crossbreed, one cannot help thinking the more one sees him that he has escaped from a monkey's body,"
And had these lovely words for the leader of South Korea:
“What she did this time reminds one of a disgusting old prostitute raising even her skirt, not feeling any shame to bring a stranger into her bedroom.
It is a shame and disgrace of the Korean nation that there is such a pro-U.S. indecent philistine and vile prostitute serving the U.S. as Park Geun Hye.”
This is also the regime that in building up the image of their leaders publish things like:
Divine birth -Legend has it that a double rainbow and a glowing new star appeared in the heavens to herald the birth of Kim Jong Il, in 1942, on North Korea's cherished Baekdu Mountain. Soviet records, however, indicate he was born in the Siberian village of Vyatskoye, in 1941. The people of North Korea, many of whom are reportedly battling famine, are apparently told that Kim's birthday is celebrated throughout the world.
High achiever - Official records reportedly show that Kim learned to walk at the age of three weeks, and was talking at eight weeks. While at Kim Il Sung University, he apparently wrote 1,500 books over a period of three years, along with six full operas. According to his official biography, all of his operas are "better than any in the history of music." Then there's his sporting prowess. In 1994, Pyongyang media reported that the first time Kim picked up a golf club, he shot a 38-under par round on North Korea's only golf course, including 11 holes-in-one. Reports say each of his 17 bodyguards verified the record-breaking feat. He then decided to retire from the sport forever.
Didn't defecate - It is reported that Kim's official biography on the North Korean state web site, which has since been taken down, claimed that Kim did not defecate.
So you are going to talk to me about liability. Who wants to take the risk of showing the movie and then being sued when something happens? I understand how risk adverse we are in litigious America. But there are other ways this movie can be released which would show that you cannot intimidate us into giving up our freedom of speech.
Fred Wilson in his AVC blog today has a great idea. Rather than locking The Interview film in a vault and eating the 10’s of millions of dollars sunk into it, release it for the world to see. Put it on Bit Torrent and let vaunted North Korean cyberwarriors try to stop that. Let Netflix or some other streaming service distribute it. Show these hoodlums that they will not silence us with threats and cyber-attacks.
It is at times like this and when these things happen that we are reminded of what another American President said to the people of Berlin at a time their freedoms were being threatened:
“All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words "Ich bin ein Berliner!" Today all free men should stand up and demand that this movie be released, that we stand up for what is right, that we don’t let evil terrorists dictate to us.