For as outspoken as President Barack Obama has been about the gravity of North Korea's hack of Sony Pictures, in which he said the United States "will respond proportionally," he said Sunday that he doesn't consider the cyber intrusion "an act of war."
"No, I don't think it was an act of war, I think it was an act of cybervandalism that was very costly, very expensive," Obama said in an interview with CNN aired on Sunday, adding, "We take it very seriously."
On Friday, President Barack Obama blamed North Korea for the cyberattack that has caused significant embarrassment for Sony and led to the company canceling "The Interview," a comedy with the fictional plot of the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, after terrorism threats were made if the film was released.
On Sunday, Obama appeared less concerned about security threats and more worried about the potential ramifications for free speech and the news industry.
"If we set a precedent in which a dictator in another country can disrupt through cyber, a company's distribution chain or its products, and as a consequence we start censoring ourselves, that's a problem," Obama told Candy Crowley, in her final interview for her CNN show, State of the Union.