Hate Hackers: Why Exposing Ashley Madison Users Is A Crime

by Lisa Schmidt

As much as I dislike cheaters, no one has the right to hack a website to "out" someone, or a group of people.

Hiding behind the name “The Impact Team,” a group of hackers has accused Ashley Madison, a website used to conduct extramarital affairs, of lying to its customers about the $19 fee that would erase all of its customers' personal information from its databases.

The team has already released several user profiles, including home address and personal sexual fantasies, and will continue to do so until Ashley Madison is shut down.

What these hackers did is illegal, regardless of their reasoning. They are holding personal and private information for ransom.

According to the group's manifesto:

“We’ve got the complete set of profiles in our DB dumps, and we’ll release them soon if Ashley Madison stays online.”

That is the definition of extortion.

The issue we should all be focusing on here is the unlawful breech of information, not a bunch of horny old men who can't keep it in their pants.

Theft and extortion is illegal, and we're not hearing any outrage about that.

Before you ask, yes, adultery is illegal in 21 states. But aside from its legality, most people just really despise cheaters and infidelity.

When I questioned the illegal behavior of the hackers, someone said to me:

"The 'reason' cheating happens is because the cheater is a coward piece of sh*t [...]. Cheaters are narcissists. No other excuse. Otherwise, they would leave the relationship. Good thing they were hacked."

Psychologically speaking, the reasons are not so cut and dry.

Narcissism is not the only reason people cheat. It's easy to throw around blanket statements on social media and to incite people or push opinions.

I work with people who have relationship issues, as well as a doctor who specializes in infidelity.

This subject and psychology is vast, and there are no simple answers to why someone may or may not choose to cheat.

While cheating is bad, hacking a business and stealing information is wrong. I don't care how high your horse is, or what the cause is.

And, I will add an unpopular yet truthful fact: About 85 percent of cheating happens for a reason, and it's not just the cheater's fault.

No, the person who was cheated on didn’t “deserve” it, but something is probably going wrong in the relationship that doesn't just concern the cheater.

Only about 15 percent of cheaters are low-down, dirty horn dogs, according to couples infidelity therapist, Greg Dudzinski.

By cheering for the hackers and believing the cheaters "got what was coming to them," we are essentially condoning renegade justice.

By the way, where's this group’s outrage for child porn collectors and human traffickers? Selling another human being is the real f*cking outrage.

Are they going to out every married man who has looked at porn online and label them a pervert, too? Porn and sexual addiction are real issues, and they ruin marriages.

What about people in open marriages listed on Ashley Madison, with extended who families don’t know about the arrangement?

That’s a preference, not a deviation, and that will also be exposed.

This group is not contacting all the cheaters' spouses and giving them proof of cheating because they know these 33 million people personally.

This is group is not a friend giving them a discreet heads-up. This group is making a very public decision for how these families handle this leaked information.

Think about the spouses and possibly children who did nothing. They will be faced with endless humiliation and ridicule.

They should have the right to decide how to privately handle this unfortunate event. Families should never be robbed of this choice.

In this situation, people could lose everything. Is this group prepared to compensate the legal bills of suspecting husbands and wives and alienated children?

Probably not.

They're too busy plotting a “righteous” attack to save the world from what they deem to be judge and jury over.

As chief executive of Avid Life Media, the firm that owns Ashley Madison, as well as related hookup sites Cougar Life and Established MenNoel Biderman said to Krebs on Security:

 “Like us or not, this is still a criminal act.”

We still punish criminals here, right?