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WikiLeaks Posts More Leaked Sony E-Mails

WikiLeaks Posts More Leaked Sony E-Mails

by P. H. MadoreMay 5, 2015

Readers will remember that last December, with the impending release of ‘The Interview,’ a major breach took place at Sony Pictures.

Embarrassing e-mails were leaked to the public, revealing racist remarks about President Barack Obama as well as a rampant lack of professionalism at the highest echelons of Sony management. Studio boss Amy Pascal was fired as a result of some of her remarks and the bad press they brought on the studio.

Also read: WikiLeaks Moving to International Waters?

Now WikiLeaks, the repository for the proceeds of hacktivist findings which first came to prominence with the release of thousands of Pentagon documents, has posted more leaked e-mails from the Sony hack. The e-mails (as well as documents originally obtained in December) can be easily searched by Wikileaks’ new search system. Cosmetically, the system spoofs Google Search.

Does It Belong in The Public Domain?

lockJulian Assange said on Friday that he believed the documents were relevant and that WikiLeaks would be putting them in the public domain, where they belong.

It belongs in the public domain. WikiLeaks will ensure it stays there.

Some of the new e-mails detail possible wrongful terminations of Sony employees, such as this one centering around the firing of Belinda Reser. The e-mail denotes how insufficient reasoning was given for her firing and that she believed Sony employee Monica Howe had been promoted over her for questionable reasons.

My experience in the International Distribution department has been marred by disparate and unfair treatment in promotion and hiring practices, harassment, retaliation, bullying women, name-calling, offensive language, threats, blocking my advancement and transfers, withholding information to paint a negative opinion, maligning, unsolicited hugs and invitations, resulting in sexual harassment and drinking during work hours in the office. […]

Despite my experience, bilingual ability and 4 year degree, Monica Howe, a Caucasian female, who has less seniority than I, no 4 year degree, far less entertainment experience, by her own admission worked less for her 2 SVPs than I did for my busy EVP, and had less of a an overall contribution to the office, was promoted to “Analyst” in our department within 18 months leapfrogging over me. Add to that the prior EVP Peter Iacono’s assistant had been promoted to “Analyst” before, suggesting a pattern that meant I was next in line to promote. That said, promotions are earned, not based on seniority, but Monica made one contribution to the department in her 18 months as an assistant, whereas I had made several and lasting ones. Additionally, Monica has been promoted a 2nd time to Manager, while I am not in the proper title classification for the job I’ve been doing for almost 3 years–Administrator IV.

The actual e-mail chain where this letter can be found actually is from Sony Senior Executive Vice President and General Counsel Leah Weil, in which she advises the parties involved to not speak to Reser for any reason. Weil must have believed a lawsuit was bound to happen, and didn’t want to contribute anything to the other side of it.

Encryption Could Have Prevented All This

While there is no guarantee that it would have been implemented properly or that the hackers wouldn’t have gotten hold of the proper keys, PGP and GPG encryption of internal communications could have prevented these e-mails ever being available in the public spotlight like this. This is not meant to imply that Sony was operating properly and shouldn’t have been shamed for its business practices. Rather, it serves as a lesson to all large organizations that encrypted e-mail communications are the only way to be sure that e-mail will not later find its way, in plain text, to groups which seek to harm the organizations in question.

Surely most major corporations could think of an exchange or two that they’d rather not made public knowledge. Some are more heinous than others. PGP and GPG e-mail encryption are the simple solutions to this, in addition to some other best practices, like archiving e-mails on offline machines and periodically purging e-mail servers.

Images from Shutterstock.

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