Earlier this week, hackers dumped more than 40 million records from cheating website Ashley Madison. It has sparked a nationwide scramble, with politicians grasping to explain why their info was on the site, the Pentagon opening a probe in the 15,000 government and military accounts included in the leak, and municipalities around the country looking into whether employees were using Ashley Madison on the job.
South Florida cities will likely be joining that scramble. The records include at least two registrations of email accounts from Miami Beach, two from Miami-Dade County, and five from the City of Fort Lauderdale. (None appear to belong to elected officials or prominent public servants).
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There's no way to know for certain what an email being included in the hack means. Anyone could have used an email address to register a free account, and others included in the leak have protested that they joined for research purposes or as a joke.
As New Times alum Michael Miller points out in the Washington Post, leaks like the Ashley Madison dump are fraught with peril that could easily turn into a web-fueled witch-hunt aimed at people who never even used Ashley Madison to cheat on a spouse.
Still, logging onto a site like Ashley Madison and using a government-issued email likely violates web policies at most municipalities in South Florida.