MS Shuts Down Whistleblower Site after 'Spy Guide' Leak

Dennis Faas's picture

In response to claims of copyright infringement, web site "" was recently (and temporarily) shut down after the site posted an internal document outlining details on how Microsoft manages logs of user activity. (Source:

Web proprietor John Young filed a counterclaim a day after Microsoft filed its Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice, arguing that he had a fair use to publish the document, a full day before the deadline was set by Network Solutions, his hosting provider. Temporarily Shut Down

Network Solutions shut down and locked its domain name the same day Young filed his counterclaim. has posted thousands of documents many higher-ups would prefer the public didn't see.

Referred to as the "Microsoft Spy Guide," the Microsoft Online Services Global Criminal Compliance Handbook is a 22-page document (PDF) which provides language for subpoenas and diagrams explaining how to understand server logs.

The handbook reveals many things users probably didn't know about Microsoft, such as the fact that Xbox Live records every IP address you ever use to login and stores them for perpetuity.

While some users would view this as an invasion of privacy, others argue that it's a good idea in cases where an Xbox console might be stolen and used by the crook elsewhere. (Source:

Microsoft Withdraws Takedown Request

The leak of Microsoft's compliance handbook is just the latest in a series of leaks of similar documents from other companies. Some critics suggest that Microsoft reacted as though its security had been breached because users can learn how and why the company deals with surveillance requests by law enforcement.

Microsoft later withdrew its takedown request, and service to has since been restored. (Source:

Visit Bill's Links and More for more great tips, just like this one!

Rate this article: 
No votes yet