The Interview released
Sony Pictures has had a tough few weeks. But the company, which has suffered setback after setback following a hacking incident earlier in the month, has now reversed its decision to pull the movie, The Interview.
Sony announced it would not release The Interview after death threats towards movie-goers prompted big name cinemas like Regal and AMC Entertainment to cancel screenings of the film. The move sparked an outcry of patriotism, most notably from President Obama, extolling one of the founding American principles: the right to free speech.
The motion picture was released via unconventional channels. Several hundred independent cinemas across the U.S. came forward offering to show the film, according to the BBC, and the screenings began on Christmas day.
The film is also being released online, through a dedicated website, seetheinterview.com, which offers a 48 hour rental for $5.99. Sony has also secured deals with digital distributors Google and Microsoft, the former of which will offer services via YouTube and the latter through its XBox platform.
Sony threatens to sue Twitter
Sony made strides to rebuilding its reputation in the aftermath of the hacking scandal by releasing The Interview, but the company is still dealing with the fallout. In Sony’s latest attempt at damage control, the company has threatened to sue Twitter unless the social network deletes tweets disseminating personal information stolen in the hacks.
In particular, a user by the name of Val Broeksmit, has been called out for tweeting screenshots of Sony emails as @BikiniRobotArmy, according to the BBC.
The film company’s lawyer, David Boies, sent a letter to Twitter dictating Sony’s demands – the letter, acquired by U.S. website Motherboard, asserts that “if Twitter does not comply with this request, and the Stolen Information continues to be disseminated by Twitter in any manner, SPE will have no choice but to hold Twitter responsible for any damage or loss arising from such use or dissemination by Twitter.”
The issue casts into light an ongoing question for the social media giant – how will it police the content in the 500 million tweets that go out per day? The line between allowing freedom of expression and censoring content is a fine one that Twitter must navigate.
Sony has similarly warned journalistic publications like the New York Times and Hollywood Reporter to stop reporting on hacked information, or else face legal action.
Some sensitive material that was stolen and disseminated includes the script for Sony’s new James Bond movie, details on the company’s corporate finance, and private emails sent between producers and Hollywood actors.
It’s no wonder that Sony is willing to test the legal waters to stop the spread of this information.
North Korea’s rolling Internet outages
Earlier this week, the Internet in North Korea went completely dark. Though analysts from South Korea and the U.S. say that access to the net has been restored, the country still struggles to remain consistently online.
The sporadic outages have led to many fingers pointed, though Chinese officials say that they had no hand in the incident while the U.S. has not commented. Following a U.S. promise to “launch a proportionate response” against North Korea after the hacking of Sony Pictures, many have pitted the U.S. to have a hand in the outages.
While North Korea is technologically advanced with smartphones and other devices, the government in Pyongyang severely restricts its citizens access to the web. The only readily accessible sites consist of those that disseminate the government’s ideals and a cookery website, according to the BBC.
With a strictly censored government intranet, it seems unlikely that the rolling losses of internet will be having much of an effect on the citizens of possibly the most offline country in the world. But if it is indeed an aggressive act by the U.S. or other nation, some fear a Pyongyang retaliation.