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McCain spoke about the Sony hack with an Arizona radio station Friday

He called the incident "the greatest blow to free speech that I've seen in my lifetime probably"

He promised to hold hearings early next year in his Senate committee

(CNN) —  

Sen. John McCain, the incoming chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, will hold a hearing into the cyber attack on Sony Pictures in the first two weeks of the next Congress.

McCain also called the cyber attack “an act of war” and said that while the U.S. shouldn’t respond with rockets and missiles, the U.S. should hit North Korea with a cyber attack of its own.

“This is the greatest blow to free speech that I’ve seen in my lifetime probably,” McCain said Friday on Arizona radio station KFYI 550’s “The Mike Broomhead Show.” “We have to respond in kind. We have lots of capability in cyber and we ought to start cranking that up.”

U.S. officials do plan to respond to the cyber attack, and White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the response would be “proportional.” Officials have not yet decided what that response will entail.

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Sony Pictures this week pulled the release of the controversial comedy “The Interview” – which depicted an assassination plot against North Korean leader Kim Jong Un – after a group of North Korean-backed hackers broke into Sony’s servers and threatened to attack movie theaters. Sony’s decision sparked outrage from Hollywood to Washington.

McCain added that Sony should “suck it up, show the movie,” joining calls for Sony to release the movie for free online.

On Thursday, the Arizona senator also slammed the Obama administration in a statement for failing to “satisfactorily address” cyber warfare and pledged to push the issue in his role as the top senator on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“Cyber security is the least understood, most dangerous element of our national security today,” McCain said.

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