back to article Valley VC sues blogger after sex pest claims, discovers writer is a male tech biz rival

A Silicon Valley investor accused of sexual harassment by an anonymous blogger has sued the mysterious scribe for defamation – only to find the writer appeared to be a business rival in disguise. Anis Uzzaman, CEO of Fenox Venture Capital, was outraged when a post appeared on popular Japanese blogging site Hatena in March …

  1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    No VPN?

    Should have used a VPN. That kind of juicyness gets peoples attention.

  2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Re: No VPN?

    The poster was a silicon valley CEO, they aren't going to understand advanced technology like VPNs

  3. streaky Silver badge

    Re: No VPN?

    Or AI, any of them.

  4. AmericanLurker

    Re: No VPN?

    It is a bit too obvious, isn't it.

    So. What do you think. A third party out to damage both of them or Uzzaman in a panic?

  5. bazza Silver badge

    Speaking of Uber

    There's been a couple of articles about Uber in the Japan Times recently. The first suggested that Uber were trying to persuade SoftBank to buy a slice of the company. The second was that SoftBank had instead put money into a popular East Asian rival of Uber's. Seems SoftBank weren't tempted in the least...

    Articles here and here

  6. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    Re: Speaking of Uber

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/07/25/softbank_reportedly_seeking_majority_stake_in_uber/

  7. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    If his defence is that over fifty people within the company could have done it, then presumably the legal liability falls on the directors of the company, which will surely motivate them to discover exactly which employee was responsible. This should be fun...

  8. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Only the people within the company who are fluent in Japanese could have done it. Assume more than one, less than fifty. Of those, not all would have a motive.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It sounds like the IP address was Brandon Hill's home address rather than a company one so I would guess they'll sue Brandon Hill rather than his company. Sue the directors? I don't think so, unless it's part of a "sue anyone and anything who might be involved" blanket bombing, in which case Comcast and the Akond of Swat might also be defendants. Also I don't think there is such a thing as "the legal liability". You can sue whoever you want. "I think you should have sued someone else instead" isn't a defence.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Attorneys came in and they caught me red-handed.

    It wasn't me.

    but it was written in Japanese.

    It wasn't me.

    But they know he is a rival.

    It's wasn't me.

    It was on my I.P. Address.

    It wasn't me.

    I don't think even shaggy can get him out of this one.

  11. Nick Kew Silver badge
    Stop

    Ummm ...

    Thought experiment. El Reg publishes a story about an unnamed sex pest whose description happens to match yours or mine.

    Do we instantly identify with the subject? Do we assume people we know will identify us in the story? Not commentards (I've no idea what you look like in person), but someone who both reads the e-rag and knows us.

    And then, what lengths do we go to to draw the world's attention to the story and our alleged role in it? Not just ignore it and move on. Nor (being a regular commentard) join the commentariat from the peanut gallery. But wade right in with the Power of Denial.

    "It wasn't me, guv."

    "Good Lord! Yes, you do rather match the description. Fancy that.""

    ... and then go to extraordinary lengths to draw the world's attention to the story and yourself. Homing in on one specific attribute of the post: the IP address - as opposed to, say, the commentard's user details.

    And that's positing the story in a widely-read publication in English. Not a blog in Japanese: surely already a specialist niche in a Silicon Valley readership!

    One might almost suppose he had discovered how easy it is to spoof an IP address. How many Commentards have never framed your mate over some trivial prank? How many of us have never been victim of a joe-job?

  12. Symon Silver badge
    Coat

    Re: Ummm ...

    I agree with Nick.

  13. Hollerithevo Silver badge

    Re: Ummm ...

    I have never framed a mate over anything, trivial or not. Because they are a mate. I wouldn't do it to someone not a mate, because I'm a professional. Geez, guys.

  14. Mr Temporary Handle

    "I agree with Nick"

    He and AmericanLurker do seem to have hit the nail on the head there.

    What we're seeing looks like Uzzaman doing a Corporal Jones impression.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Won't people learn?

    to keep their traps shut?

    How many posts on Social Media (it really is more like a Sado Masochists hangout at times) come back to bite you in the ass, balls and wallet?

    There is a reason that I don't have anything to do with SM (either sort honest guv). This sort of thing shows why perfectly.

    Anything posted on SM about me or purporting to be by me is obviously FAKE NEWS but hey carry on, I won't see it anyway so why bovver eh?

  16. adam payne Silver badge

    "Regarding the allegation, we consider it a false allegation for the following reasons. Though it could be through the IP which I own, I am not the person who wrote or published the article.

    I have no reasons to damage [Fenox's] business. Earlier this month, we have notified Fenox that there is a possibility that my IP was used to publish the article by someone as there are over 50 people who know the SSID and password of the Wi-Fi.

    Currently we are communicating with Fenox via our attorneys."

    It may or may not have been you but you own the IP so it's your responsbility.

  17. James 51 Silver badge

    If someone sends a letter bomb and the return address on the envolope is your address, does that make you responsible for it?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder how he got to the blog post if it didn't mention his name...

    ... was he performing a search about the matter to improve his Japanese? <G>

  19. Bob Dole (tm)

    Re: I wonder how he got to the blog post if it didn't mention his name...

    Seems to me that there are only two ways.

    The first is if the target reader of the post actually approached Uzzaman and said "hey, this kinda sounds like you. did you do this?" at which point he would rightfully go ballistic.

    The second is that Uzzaman planted it himself.

  20. Tim Seventh

    Main Point from the Article

    If you are a Startup CEO, immediately assume you are the "very famous Silicon Valley VC" and logon to your Hatena for daily excitement.

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