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Wikileaks makes Sony hacked files searchable, says data belongs in public domain




WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen on a screen speaking via web cast from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London during an event on the sideline of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council session on March 23, 2015 in Geneva.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen on a screen speaking via web cast from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London during an event on the sideline of the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council session on March 23, 2015 in Geneva.
FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images

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Wikileaks has published what it says are all the Sony Pictures materials taken in last year's massive cyberattack.  

That's more than 30,000 documents and more than 173,000 emails. They include personal information and communications between employees at all levels of the company. What's been most talked about are the emails of former studio head Amy Pascal, other execs, and producer Scott Rudin.  Pascal's since resigned her position.  

The Justice Department tied the attack to hackers working for the North Korean government.  The alleged motive was Sony's planned release of the comedy, "The Interview."  It spoofs North Korean President Kim Jong-Un. The movie's wide release was cancelled and it came out instead on video on demand a smattering of screens in select cities.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said his web portal created the searchable Sony database because the materials are newsworthy and belong in the public domain.  

Of course, Sony and the Motion Picture Association of America don't see it that way. A Sony spokesman said yesterday, "We vehemently disagree with Wikileaks' assertion that this material belongs in the public domain and will continue to fight for the safety, security, and privacy of our company and its more than 6-thousand employees."

What do you think?  Is it ethical for Wikileaks to publish materials that were illegally obtained?  If you support Wikileaks’ decision, do you think all corporations should be targeted for hacks so we can all see how they run their businesses and what their employees say to each other?

Guests:

Anita Busch, Film Editor, Deadline.com, an online publication that covers the entertainment news and the business of Hollywood

Denver Nicks, contributor to Time Magazine, author of the book, “Private: Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks, and the Biggest Exposure of Official Secrets in American History” (Chicago Review Press, 2012)

Eugene Volokh, Professor of Law at UCLA and a First Amendment expert