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Cryptome restored after Microsoft change of heart

Redmond rescinds DMCA takedown

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Microsoft has rescinded the copyright complaint that resulted in the shutdown of the long-standing whistleblower website, Cryptome.org, after it published Redmond's spy guide for law enforcement.

The company said it has asked Cryptome's ISP, Network Solutions, that the website be restored and that it no longer wants the offending document to be killed. On Wednesday, Cryptome hosted a 22-page PDF that outlines what information Microsoft gathers about its users and what can be handed over to authorities if required.

Similar guidelines for law enforcement have leaked their way to the website before, exposing the policies of Facebook, AOL, Skype, and Yahoo, among others.

Microsoft lawyers swung the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA) in an attempt to force Cryptome to pull the document. When it refused to take action, Microsoft complained to Network Solutions, which not only closed the website, but placed a lock on the Cryptome.org domain to keep it closed.

<p.But as first reported on ReadWriteWeb, Microsoft has suddenly had a change of heart.

"We take our responsibility to protect our customers privacy very seriously, so have specific guidelines that we use when responding to law enforcement requests," a Microsoft spokeswoman told El Reg in an emailed statement. "In this case, we did not ask that this site be taken down, only that Microsoft copyrighted content be removed. We are requesting to have the site restored and are no longer seeking the document's removal."

Network Solutions confirmed it has received the withdrawal notification and has restored access to the website.

Cryptome previously ran afoul of Microsoft's legal dogs after it published the software giant's point-and-click "computer forensics for cops" COFFEE tool. The website also had a similar DMCA dust-up with Yahoo! last year when it revealed the company's law enforcement spying price list. ®

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