On March 15, 2017 the US Department of Justice announced that they were laying charges against four people accused of hacking four hundred Yahoo email accounts in 2014. Two of the accused are Russian intelligence officers and a third was in the US but has since fled to Russia. The fourth is one of our own, Hamilton native Karim Baratov, age 22.

Baratov has been roasted by media and law enforcement because he openly flaunted his love of luxury items online. When people asked how he could afford these things, his reply was that he was providing online services.

In the court of public opinion, it sounds like Baratov is guilty of the crimes he’s accused of, even though “online services” could mean everything from sexy video chats to tech support.

This article is not about Baratov. He is currently in jail awaiting his bail hearing in April and plans to fight his extradition to the US where he would face charges of conspiring to commit computer fraud and abuse, conspiring to commit access device fraud, conspiring to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.

This article is about how we address hacking in Canada.

It should be said right off the bat that not all hacking is illegal. One of the definitions of hacking is writing computer programs for fun, which is not illegal if the programs are harmless.

The other definition of hacking is the one most people are most familiar with, which is the act of getting into a computer illegally.

Though it’s never called hacking in the Canadian Criminal Code, the section dealing with the crime is the one used to address mischief. That’s right; the laws against hacking are in the same place you find the law punishing leaving flaming bags of poop on doorsteps on Devil’s Night.

The crime of hacking in Canadian law is called “Mischief in relation to computer data” and is defined as willfully:

  • Detroying or altering computer data
  • Rendering computer data meaningless, useless or ineffective
  • Obstructing, interrupting or interfering with the lawful use of computer data
  • Obstructing, interrupting or interfering with a person in the lawful use of computer data or denying access to computer data to a person who is entitled to access to it.

The punishments are the same as for any other kind of mischief crime. If the act put a life in danger, you’re liable to spend life in jail. If the crime caused damages worth five thousand dollars or more, it’s an indictable offense with a maximum sentence of ten years in jail or a summary conviction which would mean six months in jail or a five thousand dollar fine. If the value of the damage was less than five thousand dollars, you’re facing either a summary conviction or an indictment with up to two years in jail.

Like many crimes, hacking is often done with intent to commit other crimes like fraud, theft, and unauthorized uses of credit card data. A person guilty of hacking could therefore also be found guilty of additional crimes, some of which – like fraud – carry stiffer penalties than mischief.

Canadian law also holds a person responsible if they counseled or made it easier for someone else to commit a crime and they can face the same penalty as the perpetrator who actually did it. They can also face those penalties if they knew or should have known the crime could be committed as a result of their actions or lack thereof.

Though Canadian governments have been criticized as being ill equipped to tackle computer crime, the government seems to be doing its best not only to protect itself from cyber-attacks but also to teach us to protect ourselves.

In 2010, the Harper Government launched the Cyber Security Strategy outlining a long term national plan to deal with computer crime. The website getcybersafe.gc.ca was created by Public Safety Canada and is full of guidelines for ordinary citizens and businesses with the goal of keeping Canadians safer by increasing awareness of common online threats and how to fight them. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Center was created by a joint effort by the RCMP, Ontario Provincial Police, and the Competition Bureau to fight mass marketing fraud online and is regularly updated with information regarding popular scams.

Technology is advancing at a greater pace than ever and our governments are trying to catch up to protect the victims. The problem with their initiatives is that they seem to place most of the pressure to protect against cybercrime on potential victims, which could lead to victim-blaming even in cases where, due to age or infirmity, a person may not be tech savvy enough to take every precaution. Their plan needs work to put the onus back on law enforcement to protect against cyber-crime back on those charged with protecting us, but at least it’s there.

“Life is Short. Have an Affair.”

Ashley Madison, the world’s leading married dating service for discreet casual sexual encounters between married people, has been hacked and now the clients’ real names, usernames, addresses, emails, nude photos, sexually explicit chat logs, and list of deep dark sexual fantasies are being leaked. Over 37,890,000 anonymous members from the US and Canada are shitting their pants simultaneously.

You get what you deserve! This is a skeezy website that helps people cheat on their spouses. The hackers morally object to their business plan.

This data breech is a nail in the coffin for Avid Life Media, the parent of AshleyMadison.com, EstablishedMen.com, Cougarlife.com, and more. The company was planning on an IPO status. No banks would touch them now, not even with someone else’s dick. In 2009 the website tried to take cheating to the ultimate mainstream media outlet – The Super Bowl! The offer was rejected but the video still went viral on YouTube.

So far only two people have been revealed, a man from Brockton, Massachusetts and another person from Mississauga, Ontario.
The hackers have been identified as “The Impact Team.” They posted large amounts of data from the adultery site and claimed that users’ privacy and financial records have been comprised. The team is holding Ashley Madison in ransom and threatening to release all of their records if the site and Established Men are not taken offline in all forms. Established Men has been described as a prostitution and human trafficking website for rich men to pay for sexual encounters.

Ashley Madison offers a bullshit “full delete” feature for a $19 fee that actually pays for nothing. Full Delete made the site $1.7 million in revenue last year. Most people pay with credit cards and their information is not removed as advertised. The Impact Team offers no sympathy or remorse, “Too bad for those men. They’re cheating dirtbags and deserve no such discretion.”

Ashley Madison says that they are working feverishly to remove posts related to the incident. They also suggested that a former employee may have had a hand in the leak.

So much for that “Trusted Security Award!”

In my opinion it is probably someone’s jilted wife who is also a genius computer hacker. Her sweet, darling hubby most likely forgot to delete the cookies on their family computer and then all hell broke loose. But she didn’t want to just confront him, she wanted to go a step further and make sure it didn’t happen to any other woman. She wanted to tear down the sites that “caused” her husband’s infidelity. Well, at least she didn’t go Lorene Bobbitt on his ass and chop his dick off.

Cheaters are going to cheat not matter what. It’s a lot of why I don’t think marriage works. Humans get bored. We constantly need change and freshness to titillate and excite us. It’s only natural to want to sleep with other people. It’s crazy to commit to being with one person for the rest of your life. It’s like only eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches everyday for forever. Even if it’s your favourite food, you will grow sick of it and want to eat some chicken or a slice of pizza once in a while.

Although I think it’s natural to have urges and want to cheat, I do think cheating is wrong. I don’t think I will ever get married for that reason. If you commit to someone, don’t you dare be an asshole and break their heart. Be honest and upfront with your significant other. You will be surprised at how amazing honesty and open communication can be. If they don’t agree with your feelings then maybe a divorce is in order. But there is the other scenario – what if they feel the same way?


This can open up your marriage to a myriad of options! Sharing partners, having your own separate flings, swingers clubs, and more can all be yours if you have a clear set of healthy rules. It’s all about respect, love, attraction, and understanding.
I wonder if they have any sort of filter so people don’t accidentally match with their current spouse. This could be a “Do you like piña coladas?” moment.

People get trapped in webs of lies and have a skewed perspective of what a relationship or marriage “should be.” Marriage in the traditional white-picket-fence-2.5-kids form is outdated and overrated. Variety is the spice of life, so spice things up the right way!
The hacking of this website just proves to me even more that traditional marriage is a very flawed institution. There are millions of people pretending to be happy while leading a double life and it’s more than just Ashley Madison users too. Earlier this year a similar site called Adult Friend Finder was also hacked, threatening to reveal incriminating info and sexual preferences of their 3.5 million users. That hacker was in if primarily for the money, requesting $100,000. In the current case the hackers just want the sites shut down.

The company has not commented whether or not they will shut down the site. I guess only time will tell. I am personally looking forward to the simultaneous shitting of pants and the bitch slaps heard around the world when all of the slutty little details surface.

Featured image credits: blog.wtmresponsibletourism.com