Filmmaker Sony Pictures has been scrambling to recover from a recent cyberattack, now blamed on the North Korean government.
The hack focused on the release of Sony's upcoming film, The Interview, which detailed a fictional assassination of the North Korean leader. Embarrassing emails from Sony execs about prominent celebrities have already been circulated, and the hackers appear to have gained access to much more sensitive information about Sony.
As a result of threats against movie theaters that ran the movie, the studio yesterday pulled the release of the film. It was a logical decision, given that most major theater chains had backed away from the film as a result of the threats.
Interestingly, a film that may not previously have stood out from the crowded pack of holiday offerings is now on everyone's mind and has gotten more publicity worldwide than anyone could have ever imagined.
But what kind of precedent are we setting by allowing hackers and foreign governments to control the entertainment choices in American theaters? What example are we setting for the next group of cyber thugs who holds us hostage?
This week Congress released a report detailing the systemic use of torture by the CIA in interrogating suspected terrorists.
The report, prepared by a Democratic-led committee, has been debunked by the Republicans as partisan politics. Yet, Republican Sen. John McCain, a former victim of torture himself as a POW, broke with party ranks to talk about the importance of bringing this situation to light.
Do the ends justify the means? Is it ever OK to use torture? Should we release reports like this that may endanger our troops out in the field? How can we call out other countries for human rights abuses when we do these things ourselves?
We don't have the answers to these questions, but what's important is that we are shining a light on what happened and we are asking the questions. There are very few countries in the world where these issues can be raised without fear of retribution or government crackdown.
That's what makes us different and that's why it's important to bring these issues to light.
Twice this past week, no indictment decisions came back in incidents involving the death of African American men at the hands of white police officers.
None of us were present in Ferguson, MO or New York City when these incidents occurred. It is possible that these were nothing more than tragic incidents.
But as a consultant, I look for patterns of behavior that indicate ongoing trends. And the pattern that's developed over the last couple of years is disturbing, to say the least.
The officers involved may have felt they really had not choice but to fire their weapons. The families and friends of those killed feel their kids were unfairly targeted, and justice is not being served. And the communities feel they need to speak up and sometimes act out to draw attention to the problem.
It's time to change the dynamics so these situations don't continue to occur. Having police officers wear cameras that capture interactions with the public is one way to change behavior. But it's not enough. We need to take a good look at what can be done earlier in the process to bring about different outcomes.
Today is Thanksgiving, the day Americans give thanks for the many blessings we receive throughout the year.
It's also the start of the traditional holiday shopping season, which used to begin on the day AFTER Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday.
First we saw the advent of Cyber Monday. Then Small Business Saturday. Now we see pre-Black Friday sales, and in some cases, stores opening on Thanksgiving to start the shopping frenzy just a little bit ahead of the pack.
I find it highly unlikely that jumping the gun with an early sale will positively impact a store's business for the season. In particular, many consumers are consciously avoiding stores that open on Thanksgiving and force their employees to work on the holiday.
This year, let's take time for a pause in the frenzy to remember the true meaning of Thanksgiving. Holiday shopping will still proceed on Friday, but a pause to stop and reflect will do us all good.
There are no words to describe the horror and sadness at the brutal killing of four men in a Jerusalem synagogue on Tuesday.
A house of worship, whether a church, synagogue, or mosque, is a house of sanctuary--a place where people can feel safe to pray or just to escape the problems they face in their daily lives.
What happened to four men at prayer in a house of worship in Jerusalem is unspeakable. Yet if we don't speak out about this type of incident, it will continue to happen, and that in itself is unspeakable.
"Never again!" is a declaration we hear about the Holocaust, but every genocide in history started not with mass killings, but with acts of violence like this one.
It doesn't matter whether the victims are Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu or something else. We must speak out to stop this from happening again.