If you hadn’t heard of the adultery website called Ashley Madison (ashleymadison.com) before last Tuesday, chances are you’ve heard about it now. The recent news about the breach of the private data collected by this website, whose tagline is “Life is short. Have an affair.”, has caught the attention of the news media, many potentially guilty spouses, and divorce attorneys everywhere.
Reportedly, personal details of Ashley Madison members were hacked last month by a group known as The Impact Team, and the group threatened to make this information public. Though initially there was skepticism by investigators about the validity of the breach and threats, earlier this week the group made true on their threat to “dump” the stolen information early this week onto the Dark Web, an area of the Web only accessible by a covert browser.
While preliminary investigation shows that users of the site are located all over the world, Chicago came in 8th in the top ten U.S. “cities with the most cheaters” according to a recent posting on CBS News’ website. Locally, the Chicago suburbs of Plainfield and Naperville were ranked number two and number 18 in a July 21st article posted to the Plainfield Patch website.
It is an unfortunate reality that there is no true guarantee of privacy on the Web; any information shared has the potential to be hacked and made public. One may argue that the existence of a website dedicated to adultery is the most unfortunate piece of this story. In an article posted on the Web by the British publication, The Telegraph, divorce lawyer Elizabeth Hicks says “While being on the list is obviously not proof of an affair, it is likely to erode the trust in the relationship…For people who are already sensing cracks building in their relationship, this could prove to be the final straw and force couples to have a difficult conversation that they may have been putting off for a while…”.
As the local media continues to cover this situation, and more and more facts surface, many spouses may find themselves faced with difficult decisions in the near future. The lesson to be learned is that poor decisions will almost always lead to trouble down the road, and the selection of a divorce attorney is no exception. If you must choose an attorney, always insist on experienced, quality representation.