Two days after Sony and movie theaters alike decided not to release The Interview in late December — or, it seems, release it at all, ever — the hackers responsible for the threats and blackmail, understood by U.S. officials to be working for North Korea, ominously praised Sony executives via email for their "very wise" decision. The email also demanded that Sony never, ever show or distribute the film, which features Kim Jong-un's head being dramatically blown to bits.
The hackers have named themselves "Guardians Of Peace," shorthand GOP — oh, irony, irony — and titled the email "Message from GOP."
It's very wise that you have made the decision to cancel the release of The Interview. It will be very useful for you.
Sony's decision not to release the movie, days after the hackers threatened a 9/11-style attack on the United States, has been widely perceived as a cop-out. While Sony officially noted that the decision was heavily influenced by movie theaters' refusal to air the film, which in turn was linked to the terrorism threats, this has been seen as an excuse. Prior to the threat of terrorism, hundreds of thousands of privileged Sony documents were leaked — from salaries to insider emails to schedules — which has landed executives like Amy Pascal in hot water, not to mention thrown future film deals and the company's stocks in jeopardy.
Even after Sony acquiesced to the hackers' demands, they've continued to threaten Sony, reports Brian Stelter of CNN.
Now we want you never let the movie released, distributed or leaked in any form of, for instance, DVD or piracy ... And we want everything related to the movie, including its trailers, as well as its full version down from any website hosting them immediately.
The implied message is that more Sony documents will be leaked — as they have been, in waves, since late November — unless Sony scrapes the internet clean of all The Interview-related clips. Unfortunately, this is nearly impossible for Sony to do.