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Hackers invoke 9/11 in Threat over The Interview

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by rocketsjudoka, Dec 17, 2014.

  1. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    As if releasing all of Sony's dirty laundry wasn't enough. The New York Premiere has been cancelled and several theaters are considering canceling the movie.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/17/b...at-against-opening-of-the-interview.html?_r=0

    Quandary for Sony in Terror Threats Over ‘The Interview’

    LOS ANGELES — Sony Pictures Entertainment, the F.B.I., theater owners and competing film studios scrambled on Tuesday to deal with a threat of terrorism against movie theaters that show Sony’s “The Interview,” a raunchy comedy about the assassination of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un.

    The threat was made in rambling emails sent to various news outlets Tuesday morning. A version posted by The Hollywood Reporter said, in part: “Remember the 11th of September 2001. We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. (If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.)”

    The email specifically aimed its threat at “the very times and places” at which “The Interview” is to be first shown. The film is set for release on Christmas Day.

    On Tuesday night, Landmark’s Sunshine Cinema said it had canceled the film’s New York premiere scheduled for this week; its Los Angeles premiere was held Dec. 11 without incident.

    That email warning turned a continuing attack on Sony by hackers from a matter of theft to one of terrorism. A spokeswoman for the F.B.I. said it “is aware of the threat and is continuing to investigate the attack on Sony.”

    Late Tuesday, a person with knowledge of Sony’s dealings said that the theater chain Carmike Cinemas had canceled its showings of the movie. Carmike could not be reached for comment.

    A Homeland Security official said the department was analyzing the threat but as yet had found no clear indication of an active plot against theaters. Sony had no comment.

    Tuesday’s development posed an ugly dilemma for Sony and exhibitors: whether to pull “The Interview,” caving to hackers who have wreaked havoc with Sony’s digital systems for weeks in an attempt to block the release, or to forge ahead, risking possible violence and potential legal liability. In an already-fragile industry, studio executives privately voiced concern that any theater violence could swing the market further toward home viewing.

    Several people briefed on Sony’s internal discussions on Tuesday said the studio was not withdrawing the film but had told theater owners that it would not object if they canceled or avoided booking “The Interview.” Those people spoke on condition of anonymity. Theater owners have been particularly pressed by the operators of malls and stores within them to avoid the film, two of those people said.

    An executive for one of the theater chains, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, called the invocation of the 9/11 terror attacks by hackers “a game changer.” The executive last week dismissed the notion that theater owners might shy away from “The Interview” over earlier, more general threats by North Korean officials and pressure from the hackers, who have called themselves the Guardians of Peace. Nobody yet knows the hackers’ true identity.

    Representatives of AMC Entertainment, Regal Entertainment and Cinemark, North America’s three largest theater chains, did not respond to queries. A spokesman for the National Association of Theater Owners, which represents exhibitors, declined to comment.

    Pressure to pull the “The Interview,” which stars Seth Rogen and James Franco and is directed by Mr. Rogen and Evan Goldberg, has centered on its depiction of Mr. Kim’s assassination. To depict the killing of a sitting world leader, comically or otherwise, is virtually without precedent in major studio movies, film historians say. Mr. Rogen canceled planned publicity interviews on Tuesday.

    But a broad threat of theater violence, following a sustained attack on Sony’s digital existence, is also without precedent, and opens a new range of worry for Hollywood.

    As Sony and exhibitors spoke in a 2 p.m. conference call on Tuesday, they faced the concerns of competing studios, whose important holiday films will be playing side-by-side with “The Interview” in multiplexes nationwide.

    A further complication is a general reluctance, even after the 2012 mass shooting at an Aurora, Colo., theater, to visibly increase security, which might create an impression that multiplexes in general are not safe and might complicate dealings with their own insurers.

    It is not unusual for studios to face threats for planned releases. In 2012, Sony was peppered with less specific threats related to “Zero Dark Thirty,” about the killing of Osama bin Laden. It opened largely without incident. Universal Pictures in 1988 was besieged by angry protesters when it released Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Temptation of Christ,” with its depiction of an earthy Jesus; more than a dozen people were injured when Christian opponents of the film firebombed a Paris theater showing the movie.

    But those actions stopped short of what hackers appear to have promised on Tuesday.

    Separately, a lawsuit was filed late Monday on behalf of two former Sony Pictures employees whose personal information was stolen and published online. Lawyers for the plaintiffs noted that the hackers had “repeatedly followed through” on threats to disseminate the data. The complaint, filed in United States District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles, states that Sony ignored warnings that its computer systems were susceptible to attack.

    Calling the publication of personal information “an epic nightmare” for current and former Sony Pictures employees, the lawsuit argues that the studio “failed to secure its computer systems, servers and databases, despite weaknesses that it has known about for years.” Hackers claim to have taken at least 100 terabytes of Sony data, or about 10 times the amount stored in the Library of Congress, according to the complaint.

    At the same time, diverging views on what to do with “The Interview” have emerged inside the company. The studio’s powerful movie division has vigorously dug in around continued plans for a wide release, arguing that shelving the film would open the door to a cascade of threats by any determined group that dislikes a movie’s content. Sony’s movie executives also fear that pulling the movie would deeply injure its standing in Hollywood’s creative ranks, sending top filmmakers, writers and producers to rival studios.

    Sony Pictures executives also say they believe that “The Interview” has a shot at being a major box-office hit in North America, particularly given the avalanche of publicity surrounding it. The film, which cost $44 million to make, could take in $30 million in its first four days alone, according to surveys that track audience interest.

    That curiosity could evaporate if people feel threatened.

    But support for “The Interview” is not anywhere near universal within Sony, where employees have suffered from the leak of medical, salary and other personal information and have faced threats from the hackers even before Tuesday’s email.

    Outside of the studio’s movie core there are increasingly negative feelings about the movie. “Why are we all paying the price for a movie that isn’t even very good?” one Sony home entertainment official said on Tuesday. In early reviews, “The Interview” has received mixed-to-negative scores.
     
  2. VanityHalfBlack

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    It's just a movie for Christ Sake!!! If we can make fun of Jerry Lin, we can poke fun at anybody!
     
  3. g1184

    g1184 Member

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    This whole thing is so weird. Just put the damn movie on the internet for $4.99 and make the rest of the money back with sponsors and a "The Interview" merchandise store at the end. Or some ****ty "the interview" game app with micro transactions.

    I'm really curious to find out who is behind these threats. I can't wait to find out that it's an internal Sony attempt at viral marketing.
     
  4. Cohete Rojo

    Cohete Rojo Contributing Member

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    Thankfully Bill and Ted never went back in time to meet Mohamed.
     
  5. Ottomaton

    Ottomaton Contributing Member
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    I doubt the hackers are less than sincere in their craziness and rage, but I bet when all is said and done, Sony is going to be laughing all the way to the bank. They couldn't dream up a more effective viral campaign if they tried.
     
  6. Eric Riley

    Eric Riley Contributing Member

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    This is kinda related to the whole drawing Islamic cartoons that insulted Muhammad (free speech vs angering others). Do you say screw them and release the movie because we have that right? Or worry about possible backlash that could occur as a result and rethink distributing the movie?
     
  7. g1184

    g1184 Member

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    I honestly didn't think they'd let a $44 million dollar investment die ... regardless of how many lives were threatened.

     
  8. dback816

    dback816 Member

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    Hypothetically speaking

    If one innocent non-asian life was harmed as a direct result of the movie, what should happen?
     
  9. Kojirou

    Kojirou Member

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    For all the "Best Korea" jokes, it should not be forgotten that North Korea is a vile, vicious regime that doesn't hesitate to conduct assassinations, kidnappings, murders its own people on a whim, and so on and so on. If there is a positive from this affair, it may be that Americans may finally get around to realizing that they are essentially Korean Nazis.
     
  10. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
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    I think this is a very serious thing that requires a strong reaction. What N. Korea did was tantamount to an attack on the U.S. Breaking into systems of Sony that sit in the U.S. is no different than sending foreign agents into their offices to steal property.

    I think sanctions are in order.
     
  11. Ottomaton

    Ottomaton Contributing Member
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    So what's going to happen? Direct to video? Will they try again at some point in the future?

    I'm pretty sure they won't just just throw it in a vault and forget about it.
     
  12. Kojirou

    Kojirou Member

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    What sanctions? They're a Hermit Kingdom that we've sanctioned to the hilt.

    And just on a note: see, things like this are a minor example why it isn't a good thing when enemy dictatorships, or really enemy countries get nukes. People seem to get it with the Norks, but seem to think it's fine with another country just because we were kinda-sorta-not seriously involved with a coup 60 years ago
     
  13. g1184

    g1184 Member

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    I'd say cut their internet, but I doubt China would go for that.
     
  14. g1184

    g1184 Member

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    Mitt Romney stole my idea.
     
  15. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

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    It might be cheaper than the alternative. If there was a theatrical release and even one show was terrorized, Sony and the theatre company would be on the hook for lawsuits. When that guy shot up a Batman movie audience, people didn't blame the producers of Batman. But, with this, all the lawsuits will say Sony knew or should have known there was a credible threat of violence and that they were negligent in releasing the film. If such an attack could kill or wound 80 people, like the Batman shooting had, the lawsuits should be more than enough to eliminate all profits.

    This is a good opportunity to get creative with distribution. There's a lot of public awareness on this movie right now. Could they do an online release, or something through Netflix or HBO that could recoup the investment? Romney is cute to think they'll distribute this $44m movie for free. And, while giving money to fight ebola is great, I'm not really seeing the connection between that and North Korea. How about use it for a fund a bounty for whoever manages to rid the world of the Kim regime in North Korea.
     
  16. Teen Wolf

    Teen Wolf Member

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    Lol that would have been awesome. Can we get a sequel?
     
  17. Teen Wolf

    Teen Wolf Member

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    South Korea and China don't want the fall of the Kim regime. The mass exodus of brain washed unskilled labor into their countries would take a toll on their economies. I think the status quo will be tough to change.
     
  18. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

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    While that's all true, I'm pretty sure South Korea does in fact want the Kim regime to fall and a reunification to follow.
     
  19. thumbs

    thumbs Contributing Member

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    Actually, the theater attack threats are probably phony, more than likely leaked by Sony executives so insurance would cover their losses from a bad movie and divert attention from the email making fun of blacks and liberals from Obama and Michelle to Angelina Jolie.

    We should go merrily to movie theaters, despite the rotten tomatoes the movie deserves, just to make fun of Kim Jung-Un.

    However, conservative and liberal blacks alike as well as the wear it on their sleeves liberals like Jolie and Pitt and DiCaprio should be equally incensed over the content on the fake liberals at Sony who are still enjoying their laughs at others expense.

    I hope Obama and Michelle remember when they go back to Hollywood for money. However, I doubt it since money tops their agenda.
     
  20. g1184

    g1184 Member

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    The lawsuits is a good point. I imagine Sony will be on the hook again when the hackers release more SSN numbers if they distribute online. What does a stolen identity cost? Unless the hackers were going to release that anyway ... then it's a sunk cost.

    Seems like Sony is screwed in all cases.
     

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