BBC News

'Why I leaked Sony emails on Twitter'

Interview by Jonathan Blake, words by Del Crookes
Newsbeat reporters

image copyrightTwitter/Val Broeksmit

Sony Pictures Entertainment is warning one Twitter user, Val Broeksmit, to stop posting leaked emails which were part of the major hack attack on the company.

The American, whose username is Bikini Robot Army (named after his band), was not involved in the hack itself but was one of the first people to get access to the leaked files, initially via Reddit.

Speaking from California, where he moved after living in London for six years, he says he followed up the initial reports "because he was curious".

Sony has now written to him and asked him to delete his Twitter posts and to destroy all the information he got hold of.

He says he has already done so and that his Twitter account has been restored.

image copyrightTwitter/Val Broeksmit

"Two weeks ago I started tweeting it [hacked Sony emails]. Somebody complained, who I suspect was Sony.

"I got an email from Twitter saying that your account has been suspended because of this tweet. They didn't say why, they just said, 'These are the rules.'

"The tweet was that Oliver Stone was making this [Edward] Snowden film and Sony passed on the overseas territories.

"Twenty-four hours later I got an email saying I'm suspended.

"So I started to redact [blank out] more and more from the emails because I realised at first I didn't redact anything, except for the Sony ones.

image copyrightAP

"I made a false assumption, thinking that Sony had already changed their email addresses.

"I then got this email from Sony... it scared me because it was a lawyer, it was Sony and I recognised the email address.

"As the story was breaking I got an email from Twitter advising me to get a lawyer.

"This has never happened before. It's new, it's weird, it's strange and no-one knows what to do.

"No-one knows what laws protect it and what laws don't.

"Initially I thought it was funny to put out the funny conversations between [Sony executives] Scott Rudin and Amy Pascal.

image copyrightAP
image captionDozens of email exchanges between Scott Rudin and Amy Pascal have been leaked online

"I figured because it was so public and so easy to access for anyone, that it was in the public domain.

"There is private stuff in there and there is serious stuff in there, stuff that could hurt people, and I don't put that on. I don't know if that makes it OK or not."

'I don't have an agenda'

"I don't have an agenda. It's not because it's fun but because it was funny. The emails have already been reported on.

"I'm not breaking any new ground here. I was just elaborating on something that a different reporter had brought up and you can verify that.

"Every one leads back to someone else's story.

"I thought everyone was doing this but I only realised today that they're not. I wasn't expecting this.

"If I go up against Sony I'm probably going to lose because it's just me. I don't have $1bn behind me but I'll fight.

"But I can't give away the ending."

The FBI has accused North Korea of launching the cyber attack against Sony Pictures last month.

The agency says there is enough information to conclude that the country was behind the hack.

North Korea denies claims it is behind the online attacks linked to The Interview, which features the fictional killing of its leader Kim Jong-un.

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