COLUMN: When hacking credit card and Social Security numbers isn’t enough…

Published 3:34 pm Monday, August 24, 2015

This opening weekend of high school football undoubtedly lost the attention it normally gets with yet another issue rocking the minds and hearts of families in the area.

First off toward the beginning of the weekend were the prostitution allegations in Oxford. Police made arrests of a couple individuals who were reportedly engaging in prostitution and were possibly a part of an organized ring. Because of that organized ring element, police released a couple sentences of information and said the rest would come today. They then released a little more information Saturday, but most of it emphasized it was an ongoing case, and when that happens, there’s not much confirmed information the media can work with to get news out.

But, the community was a buzz about it everywhere over the weekend. Rumors flew. Everyone had a theory and knew some inside scoop. Facebook posts on the Oxford Police Department page said to not arrest the women involved because they were simply trying to put food on the tables of their families and raise their children in high-priced Oxford.

Email newsletter signup

I really don’t know what to say about a majority of people saying prostitution is OK. I’d actually like to see what those commenters have to say about the next weekend saga — the Ashley Madison scandal that filled Internet browsers and text-messaging inboxes of people around town.

The list of Mississippians who were paying users of the Ashley Madison adult website, which caters to married individuals wanting to stray from their wedding vows, became easily accessible on the Internet and Facebook this weekend. Whether or not those were real emails and names will need to be proven. Lawsuits already have been filed on behalf of the more than 35 million people whose data on the site was hacked and released.

I don’t know who was scorned and came up with the idea to hack into the Ashley Madison site and release the data of millions of people involved in any sort of activity on the site — whether it was simply chatting with a fellow adult or repeated sexual encounters — but my money is it was a scorned woman, or a politician who got caught up to no good and needed to distract America. Thing is though, it is heartbreaking to think of the millions of lives who were ruined orforever scarred by this data breach. This is no way to expose someone for infidelity that since the beginning of time has been something that happens. All the hackers did is cause people like me to look at the list of users in sadness, recognizing names of people I know and/or have worked with throughout the state. Then I thought of the children in the families, who will hear from their friends what their friends’ parents have said behind closed doors about the family when they are in the lunchroom or outside at recess this week.

Everyone has sinned and fallen short. Remember that before judging your acquaintance, co-worker, neighbor or friend on that Ashley Madison list. Because, really, who knows who will be impacted by the next data breach.