It was a mantra we all heard in the aftermath of both the September 11 and Boston Marathon terror attacks. Continue your life as you normally would. If we stop going about our daily lives, we are letting the terrorists win.
Now, the United States government is saying that North Korea was involved in the huge hacking cyberattack that aired tons of Sony’s dirty laundry to the public and is now threatening actual physical attacks on movie theaters that premiere the controversial The Interview next week. While various government agencies have said repeatedly that there is no credible physical threat, movie theaters across the nation decided it wasn’t worth the risk or the hassle to customers of a temporary major security upgrade. Sony eventually acknowledged how many theaters were pulling out and canned the premiere entirely.
So, to recap, America let the terrorists win. Fear caused us to not do what we were possibly going to do before. We have also let terrorism basically censor us. Think about it. In North Korea, the government censors anything it feels like is not in tune with it. Now, they are censoring the United States as well. A fictional comedy movie is not being premiered because the leader of North Korea is not happy with its implications. So, he unleashes a cyberattack followed by terroristic threats. Our response: we gave him exactly what he wanted. The movie is not coming out on the appointed day. You win, Kim Jong. Well played.
It’s a dangerous precedent. Where do we go from here? We frequently hear the FBI and Homeland Security pat themselves on the back and tell us “You just don’t know how many of these plots we thwart on a daily basis.” Well, in light of this development, maybe Americans are being sold short on this deal. Does the FBI have an obligation to tell anywhere that has what they consider to be a non-credible terrorist threat so they can close their doors if they wish? We are making it easy for terrorists. They don’t even have to have a real plan or an endgame strategy. Just making us think that they have the power and resources is now enough to effectively disrupt America.
What do you think? Did Sony do the right thing? Do you think the government put pressure on them? And if someone in North Korea made a movie about assassinating President Barack Obama, how would we take that? Would we be okay with it? Or would we see it as an act of war like North Korea did? Would we have a problem with our government hacking North Korea as punishment? There’s a lot more layers to this issue than what immediately meets the eye.