Microsoft has acted swiftly after the Web site Cryptome leaked its “Global Criminal Compliance Handbook.” The guide does exactly what it says: outlines the surveillance services the software company will perform for law enforcement agencies on its online platforms. These include its email services, such as Hotmail, MSN, Messenger, Office Live, Windows Live, and even Xbox Live. Gulp.
The 22-page guide has “Confidential For Law Enforcement Use Only” stamped all over it, but that didn’t stop the website from putting the PDF up over the weekend. Cryptome Editor John Young received an notice from the site’s host, Network Solutions yesterday, citing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Unless he removes the guide, they fingerwagged, Cryptome will be disabled tomorrow, February 25. (Update: the Cryptome.org website is already showing a “currently unavailable” message from Network Solutions.)
Young is most incensed by “its improper use of copyright to conceal from its customer violations of trust towards its customers,” he told the Geekosystem Web site. He added that Microsoft was “repugnant” in the way it was allowing the law enforcement agencies to grab its clients’ data. “This information would also be equally useful to customers to protect themselves when Microsoft cannot, due to its legal obligations under CALEA.” [CALEA is the wiretap bill that was passed in 1994.] Will he take down the guide? Like hell he will!
This is not the first time that Cryptome has been pursued using the DMCA. Last year it put up Yahoo’s surveillance guide, which included a price list. Yahoo shouted until it was even more purple in the face than it normally is, but to no avail: the guide is still online–although, one assumes, the prices have gone up.