Ashley Madison – An Affair to Hack

An Affair to Remember, or an affair to hack –

Avid Life Media, which is the Toronto based parent corporation of Ashley Madison, is facing a class-action lawsuit in which users are suing for breech of contract due to the security breach.

Ummm, does that mean all their names will become public in the lawsuit?

The Toronto police are advising everyone who has been hacked to report it to the police department… Doesn’t seem like a particularly good move if you are trying to remain anonymous. My understanding is that most of the names can not be accessed unless you have access to the shadow world within the internet. Not easily accessible, those that use this shadow world are either in law enforcement, or users themselves, or both. In other words, if you are concerned your spouse will find you, they would have to be in that same shadow world… partaking of all that it entails…like you.

The site boasts the ability to have extra-marital affairs discreetly – meaning you are a liar, a thief and a con-man, and we are happy to have you aboard! Worse – most of the women they show, all 5% of the entire clientelle, either don’t even exist, or, are not a part of the site, or have been radically photoshopped.

So who is the person behind the sensation? Noel Biderman, a married, self professed atheist Jew who believes that the ten commandments are outdated… He claims to believe in monogamy unless his wife were to gain weight, become less attractive, or not satisfy all his various boudoir desires. The media lapped up his business plan stating that everyone cheats anyway, this just gives them a better outlet, more opportunities, and no strings up front. Commonplace, let’s ramp it up a few notches. Morality? Ethics? No problem, we let you be the sinful, transient, womanizer that you’ve always dreamed of being. YUM!

But isn’t this akin to prostitution? And aren’t some of the women on the site prostitutes? Thereby making Noel – a pimp? To make matters worse, a legal Nevada brothel is using the hack to bolster business by claiming he can provide people with all the fantasies and extra-marital affairs they want without any personal data uploaded ever.  FYI – brothels, a form of pimping and prostitution, are only legal in Nevada…just in case you didn’t know.

WOW, what a deal!

What is the legal definition of prostitution? Engaging in, offering or soliciting acts for monetary consideration or for something ‘of value’. A pimp is someone who knowingly offers a prostitute per an agreement of exchange in valuable consideration. And while these are illegal, the thin line comes into play wherein the exchange is deemed an “Escort Service’. The ONLY distinction is the claim that the service being offered is not sexual in nature, but simply social.

Ashley Madison implied in their advertising that their service was sexual in that it was allowing extra-marital affairs. Their slogan, “Life is short, have an affair” supports that cause. Affairs are generally considered sexual. According to Wikipedia the definition of an affair is “a sexual relationship”. According to marriage.about.com, an affair is “a romantic and emotionally intense sexual relationship…”. According Merriam Webster dictionary, an affair is “a secret sexual relationship between two people”.

The common theme? An affair is about sex – selling sex is illegal – pimping sex for money is illegal.

Therefore, legally, it would appear that promoting ‘an affair’, given the definition states that it is a sexual relationship, and taking money for this promotion could very well constitute pimping and prostitution. Madame Noel… And while hacking is illegal, going after the hackers and not the legality of this ‘prostitution ring’ seems inauthentic and confoundingly criminal.

So who is responsible for the hacking? No one knows for sure – see my previous article on Happy Hackers – and many are making huge accusations, profound analysis, and pointing a gnarly finger, ALL in conjecture. Some think it is a disgruntled employee, others point to the fact that Ashley Madison execs themselves were hacking other sites and thus it could be retaliation, maybe it was the ‘First-Wives Club’, look out Bette Midler they’re going to blame you!

Given the statements by the hacking group, Impact Team, it would seem that it is retaliatory, but it could be even a client and given the nature had similarities to the Anonymous hackers in seeking justice within a criminal setting, it would seem that Ashley Madison might best tread carefully for information may be more damaging than rewarding…

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