Sony hack marks the beginning of a cyberwar

The China Post news staff

A screwball comedy triggers hacker-released revelations of celebrity gossip, gender inequality among the 1-percent top earners, and an ugly power struggle between Tinsel Town big shots that in turn leads to terror threats, international espionage accusations, geopolitical triangulation involving the world’s most secretive nation and outcry against damage to the sacred freedom of speech.

The cast includes Hollywood royalty George Clooney and Angelina Jolie, some of the U.S. film industry’s best producers and writers, a made-for-ridicule dictator and a U.S. president. Hollywood could not ask for a better script. Yet when Sony Pictures Entertainment decided to pull ��The Interview,�� a comedy telling of the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un after threats by a group of hackers named The Guardians of Peace to attack theaters showing the movie, the studio was most likely not spending its time appreciating the complexity of the situation. To be fair, U.S. society as a whole failed to grasp the true meaning of the unfolding event for a considerable time. When the hackers wiped out Sony Pictures’ network, stole and then leaked information including executive and movie talent salaries, scathingly candid email correspondence between producers, movie stars and executives among other gossip in the first week of December, press all over the world had a field day. The world learned, thanks to the cyber-thieves and the media that relied the stolen information, shocking news like a top producer’s lack of appreciation for Angelina Jolie’s talent and how Hollywood studios pay female leading stars less than their male counterparts. The hackers had cited Sony’s lack of respect for North Korea as a rationale of their actions but the focus on the early days of the event had been the disgraced stars, those caught bad-mouthing them in private and a studio in crisis. Then came Dec. 16, when the hackers threatened to attack the New York premiere of the film slated for Dec. 18 and its nationwide release for Christmas.