In March of 2014 Newsweek made waves in the community and around the world after falsely proclaiming that Dorian Nakamoto was in fact Satoshi Nakamoto and caused a great deal of turmoil for the retired systems engineer. Trained as a physicist, Nakamoto worked as a systems engineer on classified defense projects and computer engineer for technology and financial information services companies.
Dorian Nakamoto is a 65-year-old unemployed engineer living in Temple City, California. A hardware engineer for various companies over the last three decades, Dorian’s area of expertise was troubleshooting air traffic control systems. He has had no training, education, or work experience with cryptography, peer to peer systems, or alternative currencies.
After being chased down by reports from his home, and a flurry of media trucks following the man around he provided assurance to the world that he was not in fact Satoshi Nakamoto.
Newsweek’s cover article falsely naming Dorian Nakamoto “The Face Behind Bitcoin” was published in March 2014. Criticism of the article was immediate and universal. Thereafter, Newsweek appended a statement issued by Dorian to the article’s online version, but has not retracted the article, apologized, or compensated Dorian or his family.
In addition to the article’s false conclusion, it contains misstatements of fact and invented and altered quotes from Dorian and his family members. This is not the first time these allegations have been made against the article’s author. In addition, in an interview after the article was published, the author appears to have wholly invented an additional conversation with Dorian supporting her version of events.
The article’s author, Newsweek employee Leah McGrath Goodman, was previously sued for defamation in 2011. The complaint in that case alleged that a book written by Goodman contained “significant factual errors and misquotes.”
In the course of her reporting, Goodman obtained Dorian’s private email address through deception, lied to Dorian in emails, published details of his private life, including his health, employment, and financial troubles, published pictures of his home, indirectly making public his address, and published altered or invented quotes from Dorian and his family.
The Bitcoin community has been generous to Dorian, donating approximately $23,000 worth of Bitcoin to Dorian for his personal use.
Dorian’s Legal Defense Fund is a separate effort, authorized and endorsed by Dorian, to raise money to hold Newsweek accountable for their article. A lawsuit against Newsweek will be very expensive. Dorian does not have the resources to pay the costs of such a suit, let alone attorneys’ fees. Monies raised by the Fund will be used to further Dorian’s legal claims against Newsweek; anything remaining will be given directly to Dorian for his expenses.
The legal team has set up a website where those interested may make donations including those in bitcoin here: http://www.newsweeklied.com