Senator John McCain Says North Korea's Sony Hack Was "Warfare" & Not "Cyber Vandalism"

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 17: U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) speaks during a hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee September 17, 2014 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The committee held a hearing on 'United States Strategy to Defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.' (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Source: Alex Wong/Getty Images News/Getty Images

When hackers under North Korea targeted Sony Pictures Entertainment for a planned release of The Interview — a film featuring Seth Rogen and James Franco as two men assassinating the countries leader Kim Jong Un — they published private emails and threatened violence against anyone planning to see the movie. Ultimately, this led to Sony being forced to cancel the film’s premiere as theaters nationwide began refusing to screen it for fear of moviegoers being harmed, and President Barack Obama condemning the attack as “cyber vandalism.” Now, Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) is calling the Sony hacks warfare, disagreeing with the president’s statement, saying the hacks are so much more than vandalism.

“The president does not understand that this is… a manifestation of a new form of warfare,” McCain said to Candy Crowley on CNN’s State of the Union. “When you destroy economies, when you are able to impose censorship on the world and especially the United States of America it’s more than vandalism.” 

Earlier this week, Obama not only encouraged the public to continue to go to the movies without concern about terrorist attacks, but also announced that he felt Sony had made a mistake for “giving in to blackmail.” Meanwhile, as the president discusses how these acts are censoring our rights and freedom of speech, it seems that Sen. McCain wants us to react to North Korea in a more aggressive way.

“It’s a new form of warfare that we’re involved in and we need to react and react vigorously, including reimposing sanctions that were lifted under the Bush administration, including other actions and that will squeeze them for economically,” McCain said. “But most of all, we have to work together with the President and the Congress to come up with counters and abilities to respond, but more importantly to prevent.”

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