Dude, been a part of my life for about five years now.
"Dox" is a shortening of "drop dox" is a shortening of "dropping documents" is the Internet's rediscovery of the Muslim tradition of shabnameh whereby the anonymous intimidate the named. The most effective and haunting recent use has been by the Taliban in Afghanistan: you'll wake up one morning and there will be an unsigned letter stating "we know you're sending your daughter to school. Just remember - someday the Americans will leave and the Taliban will still be here."
The usage here is of debatable correctness - doxing is really only effective against a private individual by anonymous individuals. Adrian Chen didn't "dox" violentacrez, he divulged a pseudonymous person's name. In this case, Goodman has done the same to Nakamoto. "dropping dox" is the act of providing the nameless horde the name, address, phone number, school, parents' address, myspace, facebook, linkedin, etc. of the doxed target. If I understand correctly, Goodman did provide Nakamoto's photobucket alias and did take a screengrab from Google Streetview; had those been accompanied by an address it'd be a lot clearer.
But then we run into "expectation of privacy" and "public figure." Now we're in the belly of the beast - Reddit had to get a legal opinion before they decided what to do about Gawker and violentacrez and while they didn't share it with us default mods, based on what they said I can hypothesize as to their outcome:
- you are a public figure if you regularly engage in deliberate publicity. Movie stars, authors, politicians, etc are public figures.
- you are not a public figure if you have not voluntarily participated in anything that would reasonably infringe on your publicity. Natalee Holloway would not be a public figure. George Zimmerman was not a public figure when he shot Trayvon Martin - but as soon as he started making public appearances to defray his legal costs, he bacame one.
- you are a limited use public figure if you do something in your private life that can reasonably be expected to bring about publicity, regardless of whether or not it is desired. Maximo Caminero went from being a private figure to being a limited use public figure when he busted Ai Weiwei's vase.
...and the Reddit admins got a legal opinion that stated Reddit moderators are limited use public figures simply for being Reddit moderators. So a whole bunch of us stopped moderating.
That's a guess. An educated but unfounded guess. The Internet makes things tricky. "doxing" is a new thing but you'll be seeing a lot more of it. Anonymity is already a weapon and identity is already a weekness - We still hear about Anonymous because they're good at it. Lulzsec is a distant memory because they sucked at it.
If you haven't dealt with doxing yet, that means you've been leading a peaceful, sheltered life and good on ya. Me? Somebody tries every couple months.
Satoshi Nakamoto isn't even a "limited use" public figure. He voluntarily put his name on something that has been in the headlines for a year now. Any expectation of privacy he may have had went away the minute he made that decision. He's eligible for Star Tours now. People can photograph him on public beaches. A Google Streetview of his house? Don't disclose the address and you're golden.