"The Interview"

Some boundaries should not be crossed

The term "global economy'' appears to be taking on an extended definition in recent days, in my opinion, as Sony Pictures Entertainment announced it would not be releasing its latest comedy movie called "The Interview.''

The new movie reportedly portrayed the graphic assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

The FBI said Friday there’s enough evidence to conclude the North Korean government was responsible for the cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, which ultimately led to the movie being shelved.

The company was hacked by a group identified as “Guardians of Peace” last month over their new film “The Interview.''

Sony canceled the Christmas Day release earlier this week after several of the largest movie theaters chains announced they would not show it in response to a threat that referenced the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack.

The incident has been considered a matter of national security and is being investigated by the FBI and the NSA.

“As a result of our investigation, and in close collaboration with other U.S. Government departments and agencies, the FBI now has enough information to conclude that the North Korean government is responsible for these actions,” the agency’s statement reads. “We are deeply concerned about the destructive nature of this attack on a private sector entity and the ordinary citizens who worked there. Further, North Korea’s attack on SPE reaffirms that cyber threats pose one of the gravest national security dangers to the United States.”

According to the FBI, their conclusion was based in part on the technical analysis of the data deletion malware that was developed by North Korean actors, the identification of IP addresses associated with North Korean infrastructure and connection between similar tools used in a cyber attack carried out by North Korea on South Korean banks and media outlets in March 2013.

“North Korea’s actions were intended to inflict significant harm on a U.S. business and suppress the right of American citizens to express themselves.  Such acts of intimidation fall outside the bounds of acceptable state behavior,” FBI’s statement continued. “The FBI takes seriously any attempt – whether through cyber-enabled means, threats of violence, or otherwise – to undermine the economic and social prosperity of our citizens.”

In a world economy, in my opinion, as unpopular as it may be, it is important for people in the United States to be aware that not everyone in the world believes "freedom of expression'' guarantees poetic license to make jokes about assassinating current world leaders.

On the flip-side, how popular would it have been in America to have a North Korean film maker promoting a new comedy about assassinating the current American president and naming him by name?

In North Korea, even the hint of criticism against Kim Jong-Un can land a person in prison for a very long time. It is reportedly a serious offense to even crumple up a newspaper with any of the leader's images.

In a world economy, cultures overlap. We really don't appreciate how good we have it in America most of the time.

Even in America, however, there are boundaries of decency that we should not cross, even in the name of free expression. We would do well in America to remember "The Interview'' even though it appears we will never ever see it.

The Holton Recorder

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