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Obama comes out swinging against North Korea, says Sony made a ‘mistake’ pulling the film

Updated Dec 19th, 2014 2:22PM EST
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President Barack Obama on Friday had tough words not only for North Korea — which earlier in the day had been named by the FBI as the chief culprit in the massive hack of Sony Pictures — but also for Sony itself. In particular, Obama said that he thinks Sony “made a mistake” by pulling the film from theaters in response to threats it had received from hackers tied to the North Korean government.

FROM EARLIER: Read the FBI’s full statement naming North Korea in the Sony hack

“We cannot have a society in which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the United States,” Obama added. “If somebody is able to intimate folks out of releasing a satirical movie, imagine… when they see a documentary they don’t like.”

Obama’s denunciation of Sony for caving to hackers’ demands follows in the footsteps of Republicans such as Senator John McCain and former governor Mitt Romney, who both also said Sony shouldn’t have decided to not release the film.

Obama also said that the United States would also respond “proportionally” to North Korea’s attack on Sony “in a place and time and manner that we choose.” He also added that U.S. intelligence has seen “no indication” so far that North Korea was working in conjunction with another country to hack into Sony Pictures.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.