Cryptome.org is a venerable New York based anti-secrecy site that has been publishing since 1999. On Feb 24, 2010, the site was forceably taken down following its publication Microsoft’s “Global Criminal Compliance Handbook”, a confidential 22 page booklet designed for police and intelligence services. The guide provides a “menu” of information Microsoft collects on the users of its online services.
Microsoft lawyers threatened Cryptome and its “printer”, internet hosting provider giant Network Solutions under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The DMCA was designed to protect the legitimate rights of publishers, not to conceal scandalous internal documents that were never intended for sale. Although the action is a clear abuse of the DMCA, Network Solutions, a company with extensive connections to U.S. intelligence contractors, gagged the site in its entirety. Such actions are a serious problem in the United States, where although in theory the First Amendment protects the freedom of the press, in practice, censorship has been privatized via abuse of the judicial system and corporate patronage networks.