WikiLeaks' move 'rewards a totalitarian regime,' Sony lawyer says

WikiLeaks' move 'rewards a totalitarian regime,' Sony lawyer says
Cars enter Sony Pictures Entertainment headquarters in Culver City on Dec. 2. (Nick Ut / Associated Press)

Sony Pictures on Friday repeated its call for media organizations to not publish information stolen in last year's hack of its computer systems.

The move comes a day after the website WikiLeaks published a searchable database containing a trove of material released in the cyberattack, including more than 170,000 emails and 30,000 other internal documents.

Lawyer David Boies, writing on behalf of Sony Pictures, condemned WikiLeaks' actions and accused the Julian Assange-run publication of assisting North Korea, which the U.S. has blamed for the attack.

"Despite its purported commitment to free expression, WikiLeaks' conduct rewards a totalitarian regime seeking to silence dissident speech, and imposes disincentives on entities such as SPE who depend on trade secrets, confidential information, and protection of intellectual property to exercise their First Amendment rights every day," Boies wrote.

In a Thursday news release, WikiLeaks called the internal Sony data "newsworthy," and focused on Sony's ties to political organizations and causes, including the prevention of film piracy.

"This archive shows the inner workings of an influential multinational corporation," Assange said in a statement. "It is newsworthy and at the centre of a geo-political conflict. It belongs in the public domain. WikiLeaks will ensure it stays there."

Sony has come out sharply against WikiLeaks' line of reasoning.

"The vast majority of media outlets around the world have responsibly declined to assist the attackers with their extortionate plot and attack on SPE's employees, assets and freedom of expression," Boies wrote. "Unfortunately, WikiLeaks has now elected to knowingly and indiscriminately download, copy, index, use and disseminate, and to encourage and facilitate others' access to and use of, SPE's stolen data."

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