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WikiLeaks Publishes Thousands of Hacked Sony Documents

Julian Assange
Oli Scarff/Getty Images

WikiLeaks  has published 30,287 documents and 173,132 emails stemming from last winter’s cyber-attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment.

The hack was reportedly initiated by North Korea in response to the studio’s decision to release “The Interview,” a comedy that centered on an assassination attempt on North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. That resulted in a series of embarrassing revelations, exposing correspondence between top executives and producers that ultimately led to the ouster of studio chief Amy Pascal and her replacement by TriStar chief Tom Rothman.

WikiLeaks, which came to prominence releasing sensitive government documents, said that it was releasing the archive because reporters were only able to “scratch the surface” before the correspondence was taken down.

“This archive shows the inner workings of an influential multinational corporation,” WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange said in a statement. “It is newsworthy and at the center of a geopolitical conflict. It belongs in the public domain. WikiLeaks will ensure it stays there.”

The group said that the correspondence expose Sony’s political fundraising and its lobbying activities on behalf of anti-piracy. In particular, WikiLeaks cites emails detailing how members of the studio set up a “collective” in order to get around campaign donation limits and send money to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, because of his support for state film and television tax incentives and work cracking down on piracy.

The release announcing the document release specifically cites Sony Pictures Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton’s involvement with military and intelligence think tank the Rand Corporation, and the company’s overtures to stars like George Clooney and Kevin Spacey in order to come to their events.

A spokesperson for Sony did not immediately have a comment.