Blame Korea! No, blame the FBI! No, blame disgruntled employees! No, blame Sabu!
Whoever hacked Sony late last year, releasing tantalizingly gossipy emails that ultimately cost Amy Pascal her career there, they can now add “edited and distributed by WikiLeaks” to their resume. The global leaks clearinghouse has just announced they’ve put the entire bundle online and searchable.
Of course they wouldn’t put this up without framing it in political context. The image heading up the SonyLeaks page is a picture of Spider Man removing his cowl to reveal a Democratic donkey logo.
The statement opens:
Today, 16 April 2015, WikiLeaks publishes an analysis and search system for The Sony Archives: 30,287 documents from Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) and 173,132 emails, to and from more than 2,200 SPE email addresses. SPE is a US subsidiary of the Japanese multinational technology and media corporation Sony, handling their film and TV production and distribution operations. It is a multi-billion dollar US business running many popular networks, TV shows and film franchises such as Spider-Man, Men in Black and Resident Evil.
In November 2014 the White House alleged that North Korea’s intelligence services had obtained and distributed a version of the archive in revenge for SPE’s pending release of The Interview, a film depicting a future overthrow of the North Korean government and the assassination of its leader, Kim Jong-un. Whilst some stories came out at the time, the original archives, which were not searchable, were removed before the public and journalists were able to do more than scratch the surface.
Now published in a fully searchable format The Sony Archives offer a rare insight into the inner workings of a large, secretive multinational corporation. The work publicly known from Sony is to produce entertainment; however, The Sony Archives show that behind the scenes this is an influential corporation, with ties to the White House (there are almost 100 US government email addresses in the archive), with an ability to impact laws and policies, and with connections to the US military-industrial complex.
WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange said: “This archive shows the inner workings of an influential multinational corporation. It is newsworthy and at the centre of a geo-political conflict. It belongs in the public domain. WikiLeaks will ensure it stays there.”
Yes, for those of you following the timeline, the White House announced North Korea was to blame before the actual investigators at the FBI did; in fact, they’d recently denied it was North Korea, and investigators had to scramble to get back inside the Party Line.
If you’ve always wanted to know if Jennifer Lawrence really makes those fart jokes spontaneously and if Tobey Maguire is really the nightmare Molly Bloom says he is, here’s your bedtime reading for perhaps the next year. The leaks are also of interest to pirates, as they outline Sony’s lobbying efforts in the US, and political junkies, as they reveal Sony’s deep ties to the Democratic Party.
WikiLeaks’ landing page has also gotten a makeover, aping Google and using graphic design to position it as The People’s answer to the corporate search engine.