Life is short. Have some sense.
Now that the Ashley Madison hackers have posted on the dark web the customer information (including e-mail addresses and sexual tastes) for some 37 million users of the "married dating" website, the boo-hooing has begun.
Seems we're actually supposed to feel sorry for all those people whose lives will be "destroyed"–because they wanted to cheat on their husbands and wives without anyone ever finding out, but those darned hackers ruined it all:
Here's Brian Krebs, who broke the story of the hack a month ago, telling U.K. Guardian's Sam Thielman please, people, don't laugh:
“We have to be very cautious and I think sensitive to this,” Krebs, who broke the initial story, said. “There’s a very real chance that people are going to overreact. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw people taking their lives because of this, and obviously piling on with ridicule and trying to out people is not gonna help the situation.”
Krebs, who posted about the hack’s outcome today and has revealed details of other major hacks including the massive data breach at Target, said the danger from this particular hack had to do not just with the nature of the information but with public shaming culture.
"Shaming culture"! Heaven forbid that anyone should ever have to feel l embarrassed about what they say and do.
On his own website Krebs is even more teary-eyed:
Nearly every day since I first reported the exclusive story of the Ashley Madison hack on July 19, I’ve received desperate and sad emails from readers who were or are AshleyMadison users and who wanted to know if the data would ever be leaked, or if I could somehow locate their information in any documents leaked so far.
Then we have John Herrman, weeping on The Awl:
If the data becomes as public and available as seems likely right now, we’re talking about tens of millions of people who will be publicly confronted with choices they thought they made in private (or, in some cases, didn’t: Ashley Madison does not validate all email addresses). The result won’t just be getting caught, it will be getting caught in an incredibly visible way that could conceivably follow victims around the internet for years….
Here were millions of people expecting the highest level of privacy that the commercial web could offer as they conducted business they likely wanted to keep between two people (even if a great number of the emails are junk, or attached to casual gawkers, the leak claims to contain nine million transaction records).
Sorry, all you once-happy adulterers and adultresses whose dreams just got dashed, but I'm still chortling. The "highest level of privacy" on the Internet just isn't very high. Never has been, and never will be. One of the rules of life is that secrets don't like to be kept. If you want to keep the "choices" you make "in private" really private, you don't blather them on the Internet. It's not "between two people" when it's on a database.
I feel kinda sorry for this guy:
I am from a country where homosexuality carries the death penalty. I studied in America the last several years and used Ashley Madison during that time. (For those of you who haven't been following the story, Ashley Madison has been hacked and its users' names and addresses are on the verge of being exposed.) I was single, but used it because I am gay; gay sex is punishable by death in my home country so I wanted to keep my hookups extremely discreet….
As of now, I plan on leaving the Kingdom and never returning once I have the $ for a plane ticket. Though I have no place to go, no real friends, and no job.
But you know, if you're gay and you live in a country where the penalty is stoning, it's really not a good idea to have hookups with random strangers you meet on the web and don't really know much about.
What makes me sad–or rather, what makes me laugh, but in a cynical kind of way–is the fact that at least 15,000 of the e-mail addresses ended with ".gov" or ".mil." We taxpayers just love paying for adulterous trysts on government time. And using your work e-mail to set up your extra-marital affairs–how's that for stupid?
But otherwise, count me out of the boo-hoo crowd.