Judge Bans Ashley Madison Users From Citing Hacked Documents In Lawsuits

Ashley Madison

A US judge has now banned Ashley Madison users who are suing the adultery site from citing any hacked or stolen documents during their lawsuits against the site.

Last week, Missouri federal court Judge John Ross ruled against the site’s users who are accusing the company of lying about the number of female participants on the site, and its use of bots and fake profiles.

And they are now no longer allowed to mention or quote any information that was leaked during the data breach, which took place last July.

This new ruling is likely to cause problems for the plaintiffs, given that their initial complaints against Ashley Madison were formed largely from information found within the hacked documents.

Their representative, John Driscoll, has also argued that the relevant stolen information was actually made public after it was posted on the internet and published in newspapers, noting that the plaintiffs would not use the original stolen documents, but the material published online and in the media.

They also identified that the plaintiffs had not actually stolen or published the information themselves, justifying their right to refer to any press reports.

However, during the ruling, Judge Ross stated: “The Court cannot and will not allow Plaintiffs to take advantage of the work of hackers to access documents outside the context of formal discovery.

“To do so would taint these proceedings and, if left unremedied, potentially undermine the integrity of the judicial process.”

Ban on pseudonyms

Earlier this month, Judge Ross also ruled that anyone filing a lawsuit against the site is now required to use their real names in court.

On 6th April, he found that there were no “rare and exceptional circumstances” to justify the use of pseudonyms during the case.

The site further argued that a number of plaintiffs suing Ashley Madison had already filed suits under their real names, which the judge said weakens their argument for confidentiality.

As a result, Judge Ross gave the Ashley Madison users until 3rd June to confirm whether they still want to pursue the suit against the site’s parent company, Avid Life Media.