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Obama: I Would Have Talked to Theaters For Sony

Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union with Candy Crowley,” President Barack Obama said if Sony had called him he would have called up the theater chains and found out “what the story was.”

Obama said, “Well look, I was pretty sympathetic to the fact that they’ve got business considerations they have to, they’ve got to make. And you know, had they talked to me directly about this decision, I might have called the movie theater chains and distributors and asked them what the story was. But, what I was laying out was a principle that I think this country has to abide by. We believe in free speech. We believe in the right of artistic expression and satire and things that powers that we might not like, if we set a precedent in which it a dictator in another country can disrupt through cyber, you know, accompanies distribution chain or its products and as a consequence we start censoring ourselves, that’s a problem. And it’s a problem not just for the entertainment industry. It’s a problem for the news industry. CNN has done critical stories about North Korea. What happens if in fact there’s a breach in CNN’s, you know, cyberspace? Are we going to suddenly say, well, we better not report on North Korea. So, the key here is not to suggest that Sony was a bad actor, it’s making a broader point that all of us have to adapt to the possibility of cyber attacks, we have to do a lot more to guard against them. My administration’s taken a lot of strides in that direction, but we need congress to pass cyber security law. We’ve got to work with the private sector and private sector has to work together to harden their sights, but in the meantime, when there’s a breach, we have to go after it and we can’t change how we operate.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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