WIKILEAKS, which gave Panama a heads up on former President Ricardo Martinelli’s ambitions to wiretap his political opponents, when he asked then US ambassador Barbara Stephens for help in monitoring the opposition, is back in the news with something other than the alleged sexual involvements of its founder.
When Martinelli first took power he asked then US ambassador Barbara Stephens for help in monitoring the opposition. The exchange of email between Panama and Washington became public and after getting the thumbs down Martinelli went his own way and Panama spent $13.4 million on sophisticated Israeli made spying equipment and some of those involved are facing possible long term jail terms.
The Week reported on Friday April 17 that Sony Pictures Entertainment has said it “strongly condemns” WikiLeaks’ decision to publish a searchable archive of hundreds of thousands of emails and documents stolen from the studio.
The archive includes conversations between Sony and Downing Street and Hollywood figures, the BBC reports. It includes more than 170,000 emails and over 20,000 documents. The material, gathered in a cyber-attack last November, was originally published by an unknown organization but not in an easily searchable form.
Describing the original attack as “a malicious criminal act,” Sony said in a statement: “We strongly condemn the indexing of stolen employee and other private and privileged information”.
However, WikiLeaks’ editor in chief, Julian Assange, insists that the release of the materials is in the public interest because they “show the inner workings of an influential multinational corporation.” He wrote: “It is newsworthy and at the center of a geopolitical conflict. It belongs in the public domain. Wikileaks will ensure it stays there.”
The attack last November took place just weeks before Sony was set to release a film about a fictional American plot to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. North Korea denied involvement in the attack but praised it as a “righteous deed”.
The New York Times says the revelations have already embarrassed Sony figures, including the chairwoman of its film operation Amy Pascal, who was shown to have engaged what the New York Times describes as “a rude exchange discussing President Obama’s purported preference for black-themed movies”