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Microsoft drops Cryptome 'spy' document fight

The so-called "lawful spy guide" is back up on the restored Cryptome watchdog site after Microsoft reverses its stance on copyright complaint.

The Cryptome site published the notice it got from Network Solutions notifying it of Microsoft's withdrawal of its DMCA complaint. Cryptome.org

Microsoft has withdrawn a copyright complaint against the Cryptome site over its publication of internal Microsoft guidelines for how the software giant can provide user data to law enforcement.

Cryptome, a watchdog site that publishes sensitive corporate and government documents, was taken offline after Microsoft complained Wednesday about its publishing the document "Microsoft Global Criminal Compliance Handbook," also referred to as Microsoft's Surveillance Guide, citing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Microsoft on Thursday morning notified Network Solutions that it was withdrawing its complaint and the domain registrar put the Cryptome site back online, said Network Solutions spokeswoman Susan Wade.

Links to the Microsoft guide were in the Cryptome site late on Thursday. The site also includes what it calls "lawful spy guides" from PayPal, MySpace, Facebook, Cox and Yahoo, among other companies.

A Microsoft spokesperson did not say why the company has reversed its stance.

"Like all service providers, Microsoft must respond to lawful requests from law enforcement agencies to provide information related to criminal investigations," a Microsoft spokesperson had said in earlier a statement. "We take our responsibility to protect our customers privacy very seriously, so have specific guidelines that we use when responding to law enforcement requests. In this case, we did not ask that this site be taken down, only that Microsoft copyrighted content be removed. We are requesting to have the site restored and are no longer seeking the document's removal."