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Censorship Crime Microsoft Your Rights Online

Microsoft Says It Never Meant To Knock Cryptome Offline 176

CWmike writes "Microsoft withdrew on Thursday its demand that yank the 'Microsoft Global Criminal Spy Guide' document from the site, and said it had never intended for the whistleblower's domain to be knocked off the Web. 'In this case, we did not ask that this site be taken down, only that Microsoft copyrighted content be removed,' said a Microsoft spokeswoman. 'We are requesting to have the site restored and are no longer seeking the document's removal.' The document, a 17-page guide to law enforcement on how to obtain information about users of Microsoft's online services, including its Windows Live Hotmail, the Xbox Live gaming network and its Windows Live SkyDrive storage service, was published by John Young, who runs, on Feb. 20. Earlier this week, Microsoft demanded that Young remove the document from his site, citing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. When Young refused, his Internet provider shut down the site, and Network Solutions, the registrar of Young's domain, put a 'legal lock' on the domain name. The last prevented him from transferring the URL to another ISP. Computerworld blogger Preston Gralla dug into the document today in his 'Leaked Microsoft intelligence document: Here's what Microsoft will reveal to police about you' post."
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Microsoft Says It Never Meant To Knock Cryptome Offline

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  • Openness (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sopssa ( 1498795 ) * <> on Thursday February 25, 2010 @04:51PM (#31277450) Journal

    While I completely agree that using DMCA to pull of the site is an asshole move, the documents also gave reassurance about privacy policies used in those services, mainly that MS isn't logging chat between people in Messenger and that when you move the email from their servers to your local computer email box, it isn't kept on MS servers. While in contrast, in my understating, for example Google keeps even deleted email somewhere in their networked file system for many many months.

    I actually like to see more of these from different companies. Most interestingly, Facebook has a lot personal data. And what about Google? Yahoo?

    If anything, such openness is good for MS in this case (even while they don't seem to agree to it, until now that it's leaked).

  • by nweaver ( 113078 ) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @04:58PM (#31277544) Homepage

    One thing thats implied is that if the police say "this X-Box, SN#ABC, was stolen on this date", Microsoft will return the subsequent connection history for that xbox!

    Speaking as someone who had my house broken into and my Wii stolen (I had no xbox at the time), this would have been very cool to have, since Nintendo would do F-all when asked.

  • by TwineLogic ( 1679802 ) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @05:02PM (#31277580)
    That Network Solutions, Inc. placed a "legal lock" on his domain name strikes me as NSI appointing themselves sheriff.

    We don't need totalitarian internet authorities who "enforce the law" for Microsoft's civil complaints.

    I suggest we all boycott Network Solutions, Inc. over their treatment of I will do so.
  • by dch24 ( 904899 ) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @05:09PM (#31277660) Journal
    No, if is hosted at Network Solutions (it was, IIRC), Network Solutions should disable or block the hosting.

    Commandeering the domain name (a.k.a. "legal lock") is neither protected by the DMCA nor permitted by ICANN.

    John Young may be able to sue Network Solutions on this basis.
  • by wiredog ( 43288 ) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @05:14PM (#31277722) Journal

    by the data that they can gather? Heck, the users give the data to them. All of it is data that would be gathered by any provider of similar services.

    The only surprise is that they got worked up by the document getting out, and invoked the Streisand Effect.

  • by dcollins ( 135727 ) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @05:35PM (#31278042) Homepage

    "'In this case, we did not ask that this site be taken down, only that Microsoft copyrighted content be removed,' said a Microsoft spokeswoman."

    This is total, exquisite bullshit. The fact is, a DMCA request in this case triggers a site takedown if the owner disagrees with taking down the material.

    Did MS verbally utter the request, "Will you please take down the site?" No, they didn't.

    Did they press a bright green legal button labelled, "Push here to initiate site takedown process"? Yes, they did.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 25, 2010 @06:01PM (#31278480)

    I suggest we all boycott Network Solutions...

    No problem, I'm already ten years into a lifetime boycott of them for employing some pig-ignorant, clueless, foul-mouthed, abusive, knuckle-dragging trailer-trash that I had to deal with in their alleged customer support department.

  • by WeirdJohn ( 1170585 ) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @06:16PM (#31278714)

    About 10 years ago a colleague of mine found a reproducible way to run commands as administrator on any windows machine that enabled shares or IIS. He provided Microsoft with full details on how to do it. Then he was raided by the Feds 2 days later, as he was apparently a "dangerous hacker". He didn't even let us know how he did it though - just Microsoft. Fortunately his Dad was a senior policeman, and knew the right people (lawyers) to get some sense in the situation. Microsoft is not to be trusted in it's dealings with the law.

  • Re:Openness (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 25, 2010 @07:40PM (#31279578)

    If anything, such openness is good for MS in this case (even while they don't seem to agree to it, until now that it's leaked).

    The Microsoft documents got leaked (by who? hmmmm), they look pretty favorable and make Google + associated sites look bad ... but they were leaked out on a nowhere site so didn't get good publicity. Lo and behold, Microsoft throws a DMCA takedown notice and the Streisand effect turns the leak into a flood.

    But I'm probably just a paranoid conspiracy theorist. The leak coming almost immediately after MS & Yahoo got such great publicity for their privacy policies is most likely a co-incidence. And I'm sure that out of the thousands of employees at MS, there's not a single one who would be smart enough to come up with this marketing ploy... Right?

  • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @08:44PM (#31280130) Journal

    The owner of sent a DMCA counter-claim, under penalty of perjury. This means he acknowledges the accusation and bears the responsibility. NSol cannot be held responsible, and is granted immunity from prosecution by the DMCA.

    You're broadly correct, but the devil is in details. Going by DMCA, the service provider cannot re-enable access to the content in question - they first have to inform the copyright claimant of the counter-claim, and then wait for no less than 10 and no more than 14 days for the claimaint to file the lawsuit. Only if the lawsuit isn't filed during that period, can the service provider re-enable service. Wikipedia explains this [] on a simple example. And this is precisely what Network Solutions did - this was mentioned in the comments to the original /. story. You can also read the correspondence [] between Cryptome and Network Solutions - it explicitly mentions this aspect.

    As some people have pointed out, however, Network Solutions was only legally required to remove access to the offending work, and not the entire web site (the latter is "good enough", as far as law is concerned, just overly broad). I don't think this stems from some kind of malice, though, so much as incompetence and/or laziness - they figured that the easiest way for them to block this specific file is to take down the whole site.

  • Re:Wait wait wait. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by iNaya ( 1049686 ) on Thursday February 25, 2010 @09:46PM (#31280570)

    It's not censorship. There is a big difference between keeping one's own secrets, and preventing the publication of someone else's work.

    Of course, like any word in any language, the meaning isn't completely clear-cut, but I do not believe that this is censorship. If someone else wrote what they knew about Microsoft's practice, and MS somehow got that taken down, I suppose that could be considered censorship. But in this case, it was a document that Microsoft wrote so they can do what they will. If it was the government trying to prevent the spread of that document, then it would be censorship. If you took censorship in a very broad meaning, it could mean that any copyright at all, and not telling your best friend that you slept with his sister, are forms of censorship.

    And whether it was censorship or not, which could be argued, it certainly wasn't an abuse of the DMCA. One thing the DMCA does is strengthen copyright law, and seeing as MS used this aspect in "defense" of their own copyrighted material, I don't see how it is an abuse.

    Besides, it's the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Not the Digital Millennium Copyright, but not when it comes to censorship, Act.

    Whether it's an internal document, or a movie, makes no difference to how copyrightable it is, or whether or not the DMCA should be used.

    Of course, IANAL, IANA (I am not American) and MFLINE (my first language is not English), etc.

Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap; it will be dear to you. -- Thomas Jefferson