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 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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