There are a couple of oddities about that article, other than the reporter stalking this guy..
Two police officers from the Temple City, Calif., sheriff's department flank him, looking puzzled. "So, what is it you want to ask this man about?" one of them asks me. "He thinks if he talks to you he's going to get into trouble."
"I don't think he's in any trouble," I say. "I would like to ask him about Bitcoin. This man is Satoshi Nakamoto."
"What?" The police officer balks. "This is the guy who created Bitcoin? It looks like he's living a pretty humble life."
Really? Some random police officer in Temple, CA knows that Satoshi Nakamoto is the name used by the mysterious creator of Bitcoin?? That seems a bit implausible.
Satoshi Nakamoto's 2008 online proposal also hints at his age, with the odd reference to "disk space" - something that hasn't been an issue since the last millennium - and older research citations of contemporaries' work going back to 1957.
Disk space hasn't been an issue since 1999? Seriously? That's the sort of thing that counts as evidence here? As far as I can tell - disk space is still an issue and not a term that is no longer in general use.
Reading her article it seemed plausible that this chap is the inventor of Bitcoin, but it seemed just as plausible that he was someone who may be a bit tired of crazy reporters calling him up and trying to determine if he's THAT Satoshi Nakamoto.
Thank you. My eyes kind of glazed over after reading that. "uh.... huh?"
I consider myself pretty tech-literate, being a software engineer, and while I vaguely recognize the name -- and would probably be able to tie it to Bitcoin if you had forced me to -- that's only because I live in the bubble of software and the internet, and I'm not a police officer who walks a beat.
I've never seen such consistent outrage in the comments to an article attacking the journalistic ethics of the writer as in this one. I went to read them because I felt the same way. This story is written as an outing of someone clearly not wanting to be outed, by a writer who tricked their way into his confidence. Newsweek does not come off good in this picture.
Nice. I like how the reporter provides all the details of how she continued to harass him for an interview. Starts by befriending him online under the guise of a fellow model train enthusiast (using an email address that she somehow got from a model train company). When that doesn't work, contacts his son to try to get him to talk. And so on. Seems unethical & disgusting. I stopped reading.
I see Boing Boing has finally transitioned to the "Daily Mail" penchant for regurgitating stories with very little fact-checking. It's bad enough that newsweek has this up on their site, essentially "doxxing" an old man who wants to be left alone - with a picture of his house, no less. But equally damning is the fact that Boing Boing would choose to point a finger (and a link, how helpful!) at this debacle.
Did anyone think over at the Boing Boing HQ that they'd be complicit if something happened to the man in question, or the reporter who wrote the story?
What's that? You didn't?
You don't say...
This article is very suspect. I don't think I believe it. And it is awful that they posted a picture of a mans house and effectively claim that there could be $400,000,000 in it.
It would be sort of silly for BB to ignore it on that basis...this is going to be huge news whether the article turns out to be right or wrong. BB's a drop in the bucket for the publicity this story is going to get.
Step 1: Change your name to Satoshi Nakamoto and wait for reporters to come knocking
Step 2: Spread all sorts of misinformation about Bitcoin
Step 3: Lulz
Sooooo.... They've finally found the elusive Satoshi Nakamoto, who've been hidding under tha alias of... Satoshi Nakamoto. I wonder why nobody ever thought about that.
My thought is he is going to cash in a few thousand bitcoins make a big ol splash saying here I am pay a ton of taxes and then disappear for real again. if he is as sick and crazy as the article implies then he only needs to plan for a decade or two in the tropics...
No, I am Satoshi Nakamoto!
No, Verbal Kint is Satoshi Nakamoto!
And just like that.. he's gone.
The guy isn't an idiot (the algorithm behind Bitcoin is actually well designed, the man knows security). His private wallet has a passphrase on it.
I guess this could be seen as worse, someone could break into his house, steal the wallet, and then torture him for the passphrase.
Still, it's $400M of bitcoins. You can't turn that into cash at any reasonable rate, which is why the exchange rate is so crazy high on them. He couldn't turn those coins into $400 real US dollars before he dies without crashing the system.
Sure, I realize that any would be thief would probably not walk into his house, steal his hard drive and make off with $400 mil. But that putting out this kind of information isn't putting him and his family in danger. And even if a would be thief knew the bitcoin market well enough to know that he wouldn't actually get 400 million, he might only walk away with... 3 million? That isn't much of a deterrent. It's irresponsible "journalism", plain and simple.
Newsweek = Dox-R-Us
They still make those?? Haven't seen one in years.
Some company keeps dropping of Yellow Pages-style directories at our house which we recycle, but I haven't seen a white pages in a long time.
Re: "They still make those?" I initially thought you meant Newsweek.