Schiff Calls for Forceful Response Against North Korea

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), a senior Member of the House Intelligence Committee, released the following statement:

“The North Korean government’s outrageous act of cyberterrorism against Sony demands a forceful response and I hope that President Obama will ensure that Kim Jong Un and his regime are held to account for an act of economic and political aggression against the United States. I applaud the work of the Intelligence Community and the FBI for their work in tracing the attack to its source. The DPRK, as does any country, has the right to express its displeasure over The Interview  through proper diplomatic channels, but never by  engaging in a sustained cyberattack combined with threats to physically harm American citizens who choose to watch a movie.  Pyongyang’s  power to stifle free speech and artistic freedom must be universally condemned and the Kim regime must be made to understand that acts such as these will only deepen its diplomatic and economic isolation.

“The Sony hack is also a  wake-up call to America and the west, who have been far too complacent in the face of the demonstrated and growing cyber threat posed by Russia, China, and Iran, as well as North Korea.  Our national security is not only dependent on physically safeguarding the American people, but also developing the means to prevent a rogue nation or a terrorist group from launching a cyberattack that results in hundreds of millions of dollars in damage or the loss of life. As a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, I have been working with my colleagues to address the cyber threats posed by state and non-state actors.  When the 114thCongress convenes in January I expect that our committee will intensify its efforts to safeguard our critical infrastructure and economy.  This must be a top priority.

“I am proud to count much of the entertainment industry as my constituents and I know how much this attack has hurt them  and I pledge to do everything possible to ensure that we close vulnerabilities and work to ensure that this never happens again. I am deeply concerned by the precedent of this cyber attack preventing the distribution of a film and hope that it can be widely disseminated in the near future — this would be the most powerful repudiation of North Korea’s belligerent cyber attack. I would also hope that the media would exercise restraint in publishing the private details of personal emails stolen by North Korea — doing otherwise merely intensifies the harm done by this illegal act.”

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