Microsoft Uses DMCA To Force Cryptome Offline

from the abuse-of-dmca dept

You may recall late last year we wrote about how Yahoo got upset about the security website Cryptome publishing their "surveillance guide," which details the process (and prices) for law enforcement to request information from Yahoo. Yahoo got upset and issued a DMCA takedown notice, which Cryptome fought. Cryptome has published similar documents from a variety of companies. Recently, for example, it published one from Microsoft, and... once again it's faced with a DMCA takedown. Microsoft sent the DMCA takedown to Network Solutions who refused to stand up for Cryptome, leading to the site being taken offline. Even worse, Network Solutions didn't even wait until its self-imposed deadline to take down the site. As soon as Cryptome filed a counternotice (which would actually give NetSol a reason to keep the site up), NetSol took the site down.

This is a massive abuse of the DMCA takedown process by Microsoft. The DMCA is designed to stop people from sharing copyrighted information not for the purpose of hiding documents -- and especially not for the purpose of trying to suppress the release of important information.

Furthermore, this kind of move has only served to do one thing: call much more attention to Microsoft's surveillance guide, which, yes, is now much more widely available. On top of that, it's made clear that Network Solutions will immediately buckle under DMCA threats -- so if they're your register, perhaps it's time to look elsewhere. Microsoft is a company that should know better than to abuse the DMCA to stifle free speech, and it seems quite likely that they will end up regretting this decision.

Update: And, of course, now that they've drawn much more attention to the whole thing, Microsoft has withdrawn the takedown.
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Filed Under: copyright, dmca, security
Companies: cryptome, microsoft

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  1. identicon
    vyvyan, 25 Feb 2010 @ 10:38pm

    Re: A response from Network Solutions

    "We checked the Internet..."
    sounds pretty funny in a formal letter.

    just like Galileo wrote to pope:
    I checked the universe and found that Earth is still revolving round The Sun. I hope you will find this interesting and include it in your next Sunday Scientology Talk...

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