Double Doxxing

Today Newsweek magazine released a story which uncovered the identity of the creator of Bitcoin. The elusive Satoshi Nakamoto has been uncovered as a 61 year old Japanese-American man named Satoshi Nakamoto. His identity had been a closely guarded secret for the last five years until freelance reporter Leah McGrath Goodman tacked him down. Goodman used all her skills as a journalist to uncover the identity of the  recluse inventor. She searched public records, interviewed his family and asked Nakamoto himself for an interview. The story hasn’t been out for 24 hours and a massive uproar is taking place. If you read the comments on the Newsweek article, the majority of comments are negative toward the piece saying that Goodman has broken this Nakamoto’s right to privacy and that his life is now in danger.  At the time of writing this blog there were over a thousand comments some of many of which were directly threatening to Goodman.  Reddit has been a flurry of activity since the article went live and despite the Reddit’s post Boston Bombing rule against “Reddit Justice”, many are calling for retribution against Goodman. bitcoin-20131028

The idea of “doxxing” or revealing personal information about someone who acts under an anonymous persona is poorly regarded in the Reddit community. Many members of Reddit are also Bitcoin users and the backlash is quickly growing. Many are saying the Goodman herself needs to be doxxed and an informal reward has already been placed for the first person to do so.

Journalists have freedom to write and publish information they believe the public wants to hear. It might be poor taste to follow Brad Pitt around the shopping mall but it is their right to publish photos and information found in the public sphere. Goodman claims that the images found of Nakamoto and his home were both in the public sphere and that all of Nakamotos family members agreed to be interviewed for the article. As a journalist, she was well within her rights to publish. Tell that to the trolls.

As Forbes Journalist Kashmir Hill says in her article The Outing of Bitcoin Creator Satoshi Nakamoto is Brilliant Journalism,  “It’s a journalist’s job to invade privacy, and to report things that people often don’t want reported, to tell stories people don’t want told. Respectable journalists try to do this in a way that doesn’t cause unnecessary harm, or unwarranted intrusion into people’s personal lives. The Bitcoin story is too big and too important not to be fully investigated and told.”

How do you feel about the recent outing of the creator of Bitcoin. Is it possible for anyone to remain anonymous?

One response to “Double Doxxing”

  1. John Harvey

    It’s probably worth noting that Dorian Nakamoto (the name he prefers) is probably NOT Bitcoin’s Satoshi Nakamoto.

    This was a great example of reporters jumping the gun, misquoting, and publishing articles without fully understanding the issues.

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