On Ashley Madison, Affairs, Korea and What's up with the world?

Ashley Madison founder Noel Biderman with Ashley Madison poster.
Photo credits: REUTERS/Bobby Yip
If you are like most of us at engineering and read wired magazine every now and then, you will have noticed a plethora of posts relating to a particular website called Ashley Madison, an appalling website which reminds people that "life is short, have an affair." What they did, however, manage to do was to remind their customers that "life is short, why not just make it shorter?" after unconfirmed reports of members committing suicide right after the news of legit hack on their data servers.

It is ironical that the same company which encourages to have extramarital affairs is crying out on the "morality" of the hack, even having put out a half a million canadian dollars to anyone helping the company track down the source of the hacking and criminalize them. 

I find this quite hilarious though. While I understand that intellectual and information theft is a crime, releasing the information and email addresses of those who have signed up as a member is clearly not, in my opinion. I have had people tell me that affairs actually help to save a dying relationship but I honestly doubt if it really does. Those of whom who wanted to this discretely and wanted to use the "most secure website" to do this now are in deep shit. 

If you are thinking what this has to do with Korea, well, think again. 

In the beginning of this year, I had followed a news story headlining the possible rise of Ashley Madison in the far east; namely HK, China, Korea and Japan. Korea was hoping to become the third largest market after US and Canada in five years time until this happened:

News on Time Magazine

Ashley Madison, however, sued the government and won the battle to keep the website afloat. In it's reopening two weeks, as reported by Business Insider, the members grew by a whopping 100,000 generating a revenue of $400,000. I have to sort of agree that the company had a rather excellent business plan of exploiting infidelity while staying at the very edge of what's legally possible. Increasing the revenue stream by 400 grand in two weeks does show that the need for such services was there. 

After fresh hacks on the servers and after the release of sensitive information of members, 10 Magazine, a magazine based in Seoul, had an article published showing a website which took the geographical data of the users and plotted it on the map. A copy of the image has been reproduced here without prior permission.

Concentrated in Seoul
With all this being said, what people do with their lives and how they plan on wrecking an already working relationship is non of my business. And while I do understand that relationships and the flare and passion associated can die over time, I feel that there is a fine to personal freedom that people have to draw if they decide to morally and socially commit to someone.

Hackers 1: 0 Immorality 


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