Microsoft backs down over "spy guide" leak, no longer seeking removal

Microsoft has backed down from issuing a DMCA request to hosts of a leaked Microsoft “Global Criminal Compliance Handbook.”

Earlier today, Neowin reported on the leak of a 22-page guide that describes the surveillance services Microsoft offers to law enforcement officials for its online services including Hotmail, Live Messenger and Xbox LIVE. Whistleblowers Cryptome.org originally hosted the document but received a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) take down request from Microsoft Legal earlier this week. Cryptome was temporarily disabled by their host - Network Solutions.

In a statement on Thursday, Microsoft said it did not ask for the site to be taken down. "We are requesting to have the site restored and are no longer seeking the document’s removal," said a Microsoft spokesperson. The software giant also defended the original document, "Like all service providers, Microsoft must respond to lawful requests from law enforcement agencies to provide information related to criminal investigations.  We take our responsibility to protect our customers privacy very seriously, so have specific guidelines that we use when responding to law enforcement requests."

The document detailed services including IP address disclosure, e-mail account registration records, stored e-mail records, account access records and in the case of Windows Live Spaces, owner (creator) information.

View: Microsoft Global Criminal Compliance Handbook (PDF)

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16 Comments

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Typical M$ style.

Can't take any criticism without a legal fight! And they don't earn any reputation from me just because they're backing down THIS time...

Tpiom said,
Typical M$ style.

Can't take any criticism without a legal fight! And they don't earn any reputation from me just because they're backing down THIS time...

Typical troll post style.

What exactly did MS do wrong here apart from seek for the documentation to be removed? And what criticism exactly? The entire story was blown out of proportion that made it seem Microsoft was holding vast amounts of data for their own personal use. But if you actually looked through the documents, you would find out its just the essentials that microsoft has to keep to comply with local laws.

/- Razorfold said,

Typical troll post style.

What exactly did MS do wrong here apart from seek for the documentation to be removed? And what criticism exactly? The entire story was blown out of proportion that made it seem Microsoft was holding vast amounts of data for their own personal use. But if you actually looked through the documents, you would find out its just the essentials that microsoft has to keep to comply with local laws.

Exactly. +1

Good to see MS back down, anyway as all online providers have these policies and procedures, why the fuss.

If anyone wants to find out their own provider's policy on this they should use Freedom of Info laws to request it .. and see what happens ... might be interesting to compare policies from online providers in this area ...

Even though I understand this is needed, I don't feel safe with that amount of info available this way.
I don't know if i should go now erase my email, even though there's nothing meaningful there :P, at least I know no one's reading my personal stuff.

Ricmacas said,
Even though I understand this is needed, I don't feel safe with that amount of info available this way.
I don't know if i should go now erase my email, even though there's nothing meaningful there :P, at least I know no one's reading my personal stuff.

Everyone online is doing this stuff. MS seemed to have a pretty relaxed policy to me, just the essentials being collected.

Ricmacas said,
I don't feel safe with that amount of info available this way.

There's no way past it, you'll have to leave the Earth.

Northgrove said,

Everyone online is doing this stuff. MS seemed to have a pretty relaxed policy to me, just the essentials being collected.

Yeah, exactly. I don't really think this is that bad...

M_Lyons10 said,

Yeah, exactly. I don't really think this is that bad...

It's not worse at least. The trouble is is that MS denied they did it and blamed Google. Another brilliant Steve Ballmer marketing scheme.

Edited by toadeater, Feb 26 2010, 8:34am :

Ricmacas said,

I don't know if i should go now erase my email, even though there's nothing meaningful there :P, at least I know no one's reading my personal stuff.

You'd be totally wasting your time, as they only delete your access to the emails you mark as deleted, they don't delete them totally, they have the originals stored for many many years.
look at signup records for example, I signed up for hotmail around 10 years ago yet they can supply those details?

The reason they were uptight because the govt probably pressured them into this as cryptome publish govt documents that often incriminate the govt and they don't want the public to know of their crimes.

I hope cryptome site comes back up now!

Northgrove said,
The sensible thing to do. I don't get why they were so uptight about it in the first place.

Perhaps because of their hypocritical ad campaign about Google spying on users?

toadeater said,

Perhaps because of their hypocritical ad campaign about Google spying on users?


I don't see how you can call it hypocritical, Microsoft is merely complying with the law, what Google does is far beyond that.