/ Xeni Jardin / 11 am Fri, Dec 19 2014
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  • Obama on hack: "Sony made a mistake" in killing 'The Interview'

    Obama on hack: "Sony made a mistake" in killing 'The Interview'

    Citing increased cybersecurity threats, President suggests "more rules about how the internet should operate"

    Screengrab from White House live stream of President Obama's final press conference of 2014, on December 19, 2014.

    President Obama gave his final press briefing of 2014 today, and the hack attacks on Sony Pictures, which the administration blames on North Korea, were reporters' first questions. "Sony made a mistake" by pulling the film from theaters, replied the president.

    Obama began by recapping a list of administration accomplishments: energy, the economy, completion of the auto industry bailout, American leadership around the world with regard to the Islamic state, Russian aggression in Ukraine, and leading the fight against Ebola. Energy and climate change were on his list, as was Cuba and the end of America's combat mission in Afghanistan. "Pick any metric that you want," said Obama. "America’s resurgence is real. We’re better off."

    But the main topic on everyone's minds today was the bizarre series of hacking attacks on Sony Pictures, which the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and now Obama himself have formally blamed on North Korea. The breach appears to have been motivated by "The Interview," a comedy starring James Franco and Seth Rogen about the assassination of the regime's leader, Kim Jong-Un. The hackers demanded that Sony not release it, under threat of violence. Sony complied.

    One important point in the President's remarks today: a potentially ominous nod to the need for more regulation and control over the internet. The internet now is like "the Wild West," he said, "We need more rules about how the internet should operate." Cybersecurity is an urgent issue, and the Sony hacks underscore that, said the president. But when heads of state talk about more state control over the internet, rarely does greater freedom of speech result.

    Below, our live-tweets on the portion of the press conference that addressed the Sony hacks.

    / / 70 COMMENTS

    Notable Replies

    1. How will more regulations help when the source of the attack is in another country, i.e. North Korea?

    2. Way to go, Mr. Most-Transparent-Administration-In-History President.

      In a few days we've gone from Sony and major theater chains being cowards to the POTUS calling for government control of the internet.

    3. Old says:

      Their mistake was crappy security. Withholding the movie was cowardice in the face of bullying.

    4. Im confused. You don't think corporate control (and the ensuing censorship) of the internet is a problem?

    5. Speaking for Liberal Democrats everywhere, you're right. I am desperate to control and censor the internet so the brilliant words of leaders like Louie Gohmert can't get out there. If America heard what he has to say, the people might wake up to the real plans of Our Glorious Kenyan Marxist Leader. Or they might just suffer debilitating fits of laughter.

      Wait... you're opposed to Net Neutrality, but you're in favor of it because Liberals hate it? See, it's dangerous ideas like this we Moonbats are desperate to censor. Except... what if we're just pretending to hate Net Neutrality so Real Americans will favor it, and then we can go "psyche!"

    Continue the discussion bbs.boingboing.net

    65 more replies

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