Esteemed whistleblowing website Cryptome.org is up and running again, only one day after web hoster Network Solutions took it down. Cryptome had a PDF of an internal Microsoft document available for download, namely a “Global Criminal Compliance Handbook”. The handbook was intended for use by law enforcement and intelligence agencies and describes Microsoft’s various online services, such as Hotmail and Live. A lawyer asked the document be removed, claiming it was an infringement covered by the DMCA.
John Young, who maintains Cryptome, filed a counter notification, stating Microsoft “improperly claimed copyright violation for the file which provides information that allows users of Microsoft products to protect their privacy and personal data security against abuse of trust by Microsoft.”
Mr Young had earlier stated: “Microsoft is improperly using copyright violation claim to conceal this violation of customer trust, a purpose not intended nor supported by copyright law.” Network Solutions took down the website yesterday after receiving Mr Youngs counter notification. The web hoster had previously informed Mr Young it would do so as soon as it gets the counter notification, in accordance with the DMCA.
Microsoft immediately backpedaled as soon as Cryptome was not available anymore and the press reported on it. Actually, the entire case blew up in Microsoft’s face in terms of bad press, after Wikileaks and Wired Magazine hosted the document in question on their respective websites. A Microsoft lawyer phoned Network Solutions yesterday evening local time and left a message telling them it was withdrawing the takedown request.
Microsoft’s lawyer wrote: “While Microsoft has a good faith belief that the distribution of the file that was made available at that address infringes Microsoft’s copyrights, it was not Microsoft’s intention that the takedown request result in the disablement of web acess to the entire cryptome.org website on which the file was made available.”