On the Subject of Doxing

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Official photo from Bitcoin.

Yesterday, I wrote an article about how doxing differs from reporting, and about Newsweek's article alleging that it had found the elusive creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto. In the post I said that whether Leah McGrath Goodman's Newsweek story constituted doxing rested entirely on whether she had found the right man or not. She has claimed in multiple interviews that she is confident she has. The internet, however, apparently furious at what it considers a violation of the putative Bitcoin creator's privacy, has chosen to give Newsweek a taste of its own medicine by doxing Goodman and two others.

The website Cryptome, which has been a repository for information on spying, privacy and cryptography for almost two decades, has posted what it calls "eyeballs" of several Newsweek staffers - information it gleans from public databases about addresses, Google Earth and Maps searches. The site posted eyeballs for Leah McGrath Goodman, her editor at Newsweek, Jim Impoco, and Salon writer Andrew Leonard, who wrote an article in support of McGrath's work.

I honestly had reservations about posting this because as I defined doxing yesterday, Cryptome’s actions seems like retribution more than anything else and generally without any benefit to the public interest. To that end I'm not including a link to Cryptome's articles themselves. But this is an interesting and newsworthy development, so I feel like I would be remiss in not mentioning at all.