#CyberFLASH: Ashley Madison hackers Impact Team could face long list of charges

Close up of wooden gavel at the computer keyboardThe hacker or hackers responsible for the Ashley Madison data breach could face a shopping cart of charges. But first the police must identify and arrest them.

In the meantime, adultery-promoting website AshleyMadison.com and parent company Avid Life Media are themselves the targets of legal action.

Much depends on what actually happened and will happen in the case, but for now the most probable charges include extortion, theft and mischief to property.

On Monday, Toronto police said two unconfirmed suicides are linked to the breach. Prominent criminal lawyer Michael Lacy says even if those deaths are confirmed, no charges in Canada against the so-called Impact Team hackers as a result of those possible suicides are likely.

The Canadian Criminal Code Section 241 covers the offence of counselling or aiding suicide, but Lacy says it requires actively encouraging or suggesting someone kill themselves, which doesn’t seem to be the case in this situation.

“It requires more than simply putting something out there that causes someone to believe that they have no choice but to take their own life,” he says.

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