Sony Pictures Threatens To Sue Twitter Over Hack Leaks

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

As the Internet connection in North Korea recovers from a mysterious outage, Sony warns Twitter of a possible lawsuit

Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) has threatened to sue Twitter if it doesn’t suspend the accounts which contain links to its hacked emails.

It comes amid the ongoing fallout and repercussions of a devastating hack in late November, that has now become a political issue occupying the attention of the US government and President Barack Obama.

Twitter Threat

SPE’s lawyer, David Boies, sent a letter to the social network demanding that accounts sharing information be shut down. The letter to Twitter was published on the US website Motherboard.

The SPE singles out a particular Twitter user, called Val Broeksmit, who tweeted screenshots of leaked Sony emails as @BikiniRobotArmy.

Blue bird, Twitter © ruforester FotoliaSPE said that this was a clear violation of copyrighted material, and threatened to sue Twitter unless it removed the Tweets.

“If Twitter does not comply with this request, and the Stolen Information continues to be disseminated by Twitter in any manner, SPE will have no choice but to hold Twitter responsible for any damage or loss arising from such use or dissemination by Twitter,” SPE’s Boies warned.

Sony Pictures was hacked in late November by a group calling itself #GOP (Guardians of Peace). GOP is thought to have originated from North Korea, and the US government later confirmed that North Korea was behind the attack. Officially, the country has denied it was behind the hack, but had previously said it was a “righteous deed.”

Devastating Hack

The attack was widely viewed as a blackmail attempt at the time, and the hackers exposed the personal details of a number of Hollywood film stars, including their salaries. They also revealed private information about Sony employees and embarrassing internal emails, as well as an early script of the latest James Bond film, and the digital copies of some Sony Pictures films.

Sony Pictures seems to have been targeted because of its backing for the film, the Interview. The film stars James Franco and Seth Rogen, and is about the assassination of North Korea’s president. Last week, SPE opted to cancel the cinema release of the film after cinema chains were threatened with 11 September 2001 style attacks.

President Barack Obama condemned that decision, and promised a proportional response against North Korea. Shortly after that, Internet access in North Korea suffered a significant outage on Tuesday.

The US has refused to comment about whether it was behind the outage.

North Korea meanwhile has warned of strikes against the White House, the Pentagon and the US mainland in response to US suggestions that it might put the country back on its list of nations who sponsor terrorism.

And it has just been revealed that Sony has approved the limited release of the Interview on Christmas day, a decision that has been applauded by President Obama.

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