Stack Exchange has apparently received a DMCA takedown notice from CipherCloud, requiring Stack Exchange to delete a post with analysis of CipherCloud's product.

I'd like to ask that Stack Exchange corporate post a scanned image of the takedown request publicly on this thread.

Also, I would like to ask Stack Exchange to post the takedown request to EFF's Chilling Effects Clearinghouse database. Background: The Chilling Effects Clearinghouse allows companies to report notices to them, and they make the notices publicly available.

I believe this issue of great interest to our community, and possibly to others as well. Therefore, I think it would do a service to all to publish exactly what allegations CipherCloud made, so that others can form their own opinion about how this should affect our view of CipherCloud as a good citizen or bad citizen of the broader computer security community. It would also help us understand better how this kind of situation might affect the Crypto.SE community in the future.

(On a personal note: my first reaction is to find it absolutely abominable that a CipherCloud has used the DMCA process to, apparently, silence cryptanalysis of their product. But I'd like to understand their perspective before I form a final judgement, and so I'd like to see what they said in their DMCA takedown request, in their own words.)

  • $\begingroup$ I agree that no rash action should be taken until SE makes the takedown notice public, but somehow I suspect that Ciphercloud are ultimately going to suffer reputationally for this. The popular press tend to be pretty brutal on companies engaging in blatant abuse of the law to silence criticism, and a company selling a security product whose capabilities they tell falsehoods about and that a few nerds can describe how to crack in a few paragraphs makes for a good story. Right now Googling 'Ciphercloud' gives you a pretty positive-looking first page of results. Soon it may not. $\endgroup$
    – Mark Amery
    Commented Apr 20, 2013 at 9:05
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    $\begingroup$ Once we know exactly what the takedown said we can figure out 1) how to modify the answers to not be in voliation, 2) if necessary submit a counter-claim that there was no copyright violation. I've contacted the SE contact who deleted the question. I'll keep you posted. $\endgroup$
    – mikeazo
    Commented Apr 20, 2013 at 13:24
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    $\begingroup$ Jaydles ♦ responded to the post on Meta Stack Overflow: "Sending fraudulent DMCA notices has risks more severe than making your company look bad (example). That said, at first blush, I like this idea a lot - sunlight is an awesome disinfectant. We'll look into this, and post a response shortly" $\endgroup$
    – Jeremy
    Commented Apr 20, 2013 at 15:31
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    $\begingroup$ @MichaelPryor has requested that we close this so that all SE inc can have a canonical place to respond to this type of request they will all be in the same place here is the current place for reference. Marking it as off topic seems less than perfect, but probably the best option. $\endgroup$
    – mikeazo
    Commented Apr 20, 2013 at 22:36

1 Answer 1


Here is a copy of the takedown request from CipherCloud. Stack Exchange sent a copy to all users who had posted content. I am making the letter available here at the URL below, and as images below:


page 1

page 2

page 3

page 4

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    $\begingroup$ I like it. "Trust us, we aren't doing what you are saying we are doing." I can't find the patent info. Too bad. I'd be surprised if the screenshots are not legal under fair use. IANAL. $\endgroup$
    – mikeazo
    Commented Apr 20, 2013 at 22:47
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    $\begingroup$ Seems like the best way to avoid further DMCA's is remove the images (already done), add qualifiers to the beginning of every answer that says "NOTE: CipherCloud does not publish the details of their algorithms, so the below is speculation by smart people." $\endgroup$
    – mikeazo
    Commented Apr 20, 2013 at 22:49
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    $\begingroup$ Nice way for a company to prove that they're scared as hell that someone might prove their "product" not to work as indicated. After reading the takedown notice several times, I’ld call it a perfect example of management failure, since a smart management would have instantly jumped at the opportunity to set things straight, publish relevant information, and turn this one around in a free "look at us, we're the best" promotion option. Obviously, CipherCloud missed the opportunity and rather confirmed suspicions with their DMCA. I'm wondering… if I’ld have patents, I‘ld be selling not hiding. $\endgroup$
    – e-sushi
    Commented Oct 7, 2013 at 17:11
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    $\begingroup$ @e-sushi: To be fair, if you've applied for a patent you might well hide things until the patent was granted. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 11, 2013 at 11:31

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