Obama calls Sony hack 'an act of cyber vandalism'

It's good to know that our country's security is in the very best of hands.

In a CNN interview, the president said he doesn't consider the Sony hack "an act of war," but rather an act of "cybervandalism":

But he stuck by his criticism of Sony's decision to cancel its plans to release the movie "The Interview," which includes a cartoonish depiction of the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, after the country threatened attacks against theaters that showed it.

Obama said in a Friday news conference that Sony made "a mistake," and that he wished the company had called him first. That led Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton to tell CNN that Obama and the public "are mistaken as to what actually happened." He blamed movie theater companies that opted not to show the film, saying they forced Sony's hand.

Related: Sony exec fires back at Obama

Investigators: Hackers stole Sony passwords

Obama shot back, 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."

The President told Crowley that his problem wasn't with Sony specifically, but with the precedent the company's decision set.

The FBI on Friday pinned blame on North Korea for a hack into Sony's computer systems. Obama said both foreign governments and hackers outside government present cyberthreats that are part of the modern business landscape.

"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," Obama said.

"And it's a problem not just for the entertainment industry, it's a problem for the news industry," he said. "CNN has done critical stories about North Korea. What happens if in fact there is a breach in CNN's cyberspace? Are we going to suddenly say, are we not going to report on North Korea?

"So the key here is not to suggest that Sony was a bad actor. It's making a broader point that all of us have to adapt to the possibility of cyberattacks, we have to do a lot more to guard against them."

I don't recall the president being so concerned about censorship when the threw the maker of an anti-Islam film in jail, arresting him in the middle of the night like any good tyrant would.

Besides that, if North Korea had blown up Sony headquarters, I don't suppose that would have been an act of war either. The Sony hack itself may have been vandalism, but threatening the lives of Americans who might want to take in a movie is, indeed, an act of war. And does anyone think that if Sony execs had been able to get through to Obama that he would have lifted a finger to help them?

Obama is apparently beginning to believe his own bluster.

 

It's good to know that our country's security is in the very best of hands.

In a CNN interview, the president said he doesn't consider the Sony hack "an act of war," but rather an act of "cybervandalism":

But he stuck by his criticism of Sony's decision to cancel its plans to release the movie "The Interview," which includes a cartoonish depiction of the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, after the country threatened attacks against theaters that showed it.

Obama said in a Friday news conference that Sony made "a mistake," and that he wished the company had called him first. That led Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton to tell CNN that Obama and the public "are mistaken as to what actually happened." He blamed movie theater companies that opted not to show the film, saying they forced Sony's hand.

Related: Sony exec fires back at Obama

Investigators: Hackers stole Sony passwords

Obama shot back, 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."

The President told Crowley that his problem wasn't with Sony specifically, but with the precedent the company's decision set.

The FBI on Friday pinned blame on North Korea for a hack into Sony's computer systems. Obama said both foreign governments and hackers outside government present cyberthreats that are part of the modern business landscape.

"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," Obama said.

"And it's a problem not just for the entertainment industry, it's a problem for the news industry," he said. "CNN has done critical stories about North Korea. What happens if in fact there is a breach in CNN's cyberspace? Are we going to suddenly say, are we not going to report on North Korea?

"So the key here is not to suggest that Sony was a bad actor. It's making a broader point that all of us have to adapt to the possibility of cyberattacks, we have to do a lot more to guard against them."

I don't recall the president being so concerned about censorship when the threw the maker of an anti-Islam film in jail, arresting him in the middle of the night like any good tyrant would.

Besides that, if North Korea had blown up Sony headquarters, I don't suppose that would have been an act of war either. The Sony hack itself may have been vandalism, but threatening the lives of Americans who might want to take in a movie is, indeed, an act of war. And does anyone think that if Sony execs had been able to get through to Obama that he would have lifted a finger to help them?

Obama is apparently beginning to believe his own bluster.