Monday 18 December 2017

Eamon Keane: Cheaters are now 'victims'? It's time to get priorities right on web hack

Ashley Madison CEO Noel Biderman
Ashley Madison CEO Noel Biderman

Ever cheated on a partner? To err is human. But there is a world of differences between a kiss at the office party, or a flirtation with the opposite sex and signing up to an agency which promotes cheating.

The fall-out from the Ashley Madison hacking scandal continued this week and, frankly. I'm sick of hearing about the 'victims'.

Reality TV stars, Irish TDs and civil servants were among those who allegedly signed up. Are you feeling sorry for any of them?

After all this is a website where you sign up to meet other people who want to cheat on partners. I know not all who signed up are cheaters but I have zero pity for those who did.

Men cheat. So do women. People always have and they always will. But the owners of the Ashley Madison site decided to try and make money out of it.

Over 37 million people signed up world-wide. The website owners are angry because their security has been compromised, with Ashley Madison CEO Noel Biderman saying he feels victimised because trust has been broken - a remark beyond irony.

I don't want to minimise the fact that people have been hurt in this. Spare a thought for all wives and children of those whose emails were revealed by the hackers.

Yet many blame these hackers, not the men who signed up and put their partners in jeopardy. That said, I am not in any way condoning those who are trying to extort money from people caught out.

Some users of the site are now involved in a class action suit to sue Ashley-Madison for not ensuring their private data was properly protected. Did you ever hear anything so hypocritical?

These people - mainly men - gave up their right to confidentiality in most people's eyes the minute they decided to cheat.

Of course marriages can fall apart. The sexual and emotional sides can grow stale. However, there are also things called marriage counsellors. There is separation. There is divorce.

If you feel that you and your partner can no longer meet each other's needs then you should do the mature thing.


But many don't. Is this because we live in a selfish age? Many people believe they must satisfy every desire whenever they want to, regardless of the consequences for others.

The idea of the men who use this site suing over the leaks really disturbs me for another reason. Imagine some guy who is cheating and someone else finds out. That person then tells the cheater's wife.

Would it be right then for the cheater to go and sue the person who told? Let's get real here. If you enter the world of cheating you have to expect there is always a risk of being caught. Some people even enjoy this. It happens, though.

Finally, don't be surprised if you've been exposed in the Ashley Madison hack. If hackers can get into classified US government sites what moron believed they wouldn't be able to hack a cheaters' dating agency?

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