As the whole world knows, a group of hackers released the list of Ashley Madison users, and day in, day out, everybody is talking about it. Why? Because Ashley Madison is a social networking site marketed to people who are married or in a committed relationship, and its slogan is “Life is short. Have an affair” Not a day passes without new reactions. They range from ‘what goes around comes around’ or ‘it’s karma: the cheaters get cheated’ to ‘it’s a violation of privacy/an act of terrorism’ or ‘I sympathize with the users’. Whatever you think of this whole sorry affair, lawyers are now having a field day, and the full impact of the hack has yet to be assessed. This is compounded by the fact that the website was charging a fee for a full delete of users’ profiles, except that apparently the profiles were never erased (here come the damages!).
As for me, I will not comment on what is essentially a private matter for each user. And, frankly, I don’t think that judging others helps. Seriously, don’t you think that there is already enough nastiness in this world? And I must admit that I hate self-proclaimed paragons or virtue who are all about ‘do as I say, not as I do’. Don’t get me wrong, I am not naïve, but I believe that a private matter is exactly that: private.
That said, I must admit that I was surprised that there were so many users (39 millions! Really?). I have read that there were lots of female fake profiles, but still, it remains a huge number. The thought that crossed my mind: well, where do they all find the time? I have barely time for a coffee break during my day!
Am I also the only one to have noticed that there are 1.2M British users and only 400 000 French ones? I took it to Twitter and was basically told that we French didn’t need a site to have affairs. Come on, as if it would explain the difference! You Brits deny the evidence even when it stares you right in the face! So here it is: you are far sleazier than us French (statistically speaking of course). I knew it! Come on, admit it: you are projecting on us French your fantasies to stray. I am glad that we finally ironed this out. Gosh, that felt really good.
Finally, I need to tell you that, over the last month or so, on top of the dozens of spams I receive on this blog, my email was hacked no less than twice, and I found out that someone had created a faked email under my name, ending in autismfile.com. Seriously, who in their right mind would do this? Obviously it didn’t make the headlines. In fact, very few people cared, despite the fact that I had to spend hours to run a full scan of all our electronic devices, change passwords, etc… During the process, I came across Troy Hunt’s very useful site https://haveibeenpwned.com . What does it have to do with the Ashley Madison data dump? Well, not much, except that I have a problem with this new ‘ethical hacker’ concept. I don’t think that revealing Ashley Madison user names and details was ethical in any form or shape. And I have yet to understand the hackers’ real motivation for this huge data dump. Don’t tell me that they wanted to expose security breaches or the depravity of our society –I simply don’t buy it.
In short, cheaters and hackers without a clear cause are making the news right now. I believe that it is time to raise the debate and tackle the real issues. Enough with this depressing mediocrity!