California Senator Dianne Feinstein weighed in Tuesday on the crippling cyber attack at Sony Pictures Entertainment and subsequent threats against exhibitors of the studio’s upcoming film “The Interview,” starring Seth Rogen and James Franco.
“Today’s threat against moviegoers is unconscionable and the perpetrators must be brought to justice,” the veteran U.S. representative said in a statement to TheWrap. “Law enforcement is investigating these threats and will do everything possible to keep the public safe.”
As TheWrap previously reported, the Sony hackers invoked 9/11 in their latest threat against the studio. The chilling message was attached to another dump of data reportedly obtained during the Nov. 24 Sony breach. It’s a breach Sen. Feinstein referred to in her statement as “only the latest example of the need for serious legislation” to strengthen cybersecurity in the private sector.
“We must pass an information sharing bill as quickly as possible next year,” she said.
Senator Feinstein, who serves as Senate Intelligence Chairwoman, has been pushing to pass the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act through Congress since July. But the bill has stalled in Congress, even with the recent high-profile Sony hacking.
Her proposed law will roll over to the Republican-led 114th Congress that convenes in January, which is where the Democratic senator is hopeful the legislation will find legs.
But before Congress reconvenes in January, Sony and its exhibitors must decide what to do with “The Interview,” which is slated for a Christmas Day release.
Carmike Theaters shelved the film early Tuesday evening and Los Angeles’ regional chain ArcLight Cinemas following suit several hours later. Landmark Theatres also canceled the New York City premiere of “The Interview,” previously scheduled for Thursday.
While Sony is dealing with theater woes on “The Interview” front, the studio is also fielding further fallout due to the hacking. It has been slapped with two class-action lawsuits from former employees and production managers who worked on previous Sony productions and whose personal information was leaked online as part of the massive hack.
Read Sen. Feinstein’s full statement:
“The November cyber attack against Sony was unprecedented in its damage to computer systems and resulted in significant amounts of data being stolen. This is only the latest example of the need for serious legislation to improve the sharing of information between the private sector and the government to help companies strengthen cybersecurity. We must pass an information sharing bill as quickly as possible next year.
“Today’s threat against moviegoers is unconscionable and the perpetrators must be brought to justice. Law enforcement is investigating these threats and will do everything possible to keep the public safe.”
Ira Tenowitz contributed to this report.