By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – This whole story of the alleged North Korean hackers breaching the Sony Pictures computer system and forcing the withdrawal of their movie mocking North Korea’s dictator has no shortage of villains.

You could start with the Sony executives who thought a vulgar comedy insulting one of the most dangerous regimes on earth was a clever idea – the perfect holiday season family movie.

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Add on their stolen e-mails in which they insult the president and some of their biggest stars, and it’s clear Hollywood’s signature mix of arrogance and tone-deafness is alive and well.

And if the reports are true that someone at the State Department gave Sony the go-ahead for this project after reviewing it, then someone at the State Department should be quickly re-assigned to the overnight shift guarding the parking lot.

But none of that should distract from the biggest villains here, the cyber-thugs and their alleged North Korean military sponsors who are apparently behind this illegal, hostile attack on us.

Just because no one has died because of this – yet – doesn’t mean it’s any less serious than any other attempt to undermine the US economy, threaten the lives of civilians and compromise our values.

This was just the latest in a series of hacks that have cost US companies more than half a billion dollars this year. Given how good they’re getting at it and how much of our economy now relies on computers and the internet, that’s a scary trend.

Also scary – the notion that we can be so easily bullied into unnecessary self-censorship.

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It would be easy to sneer at those movie moguls and say hey, they had it coming.

But that would be overlooking the real villains of this particular plot.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.


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Jon Keller