Digg has been taken over by its users after site moderators tried to remove posts that exposed encryption keys for HD DVDs.

Moderators removed posts after HD DVD lawyers sent a cease-and-desist letter to Digg. Users who posted the encryption keys had their posts and - in some cases - entire accounts deleted.

This resulted in a massive rebellion by Digg's users overnight. At one point the whole front page of the news recommendation site was dominated by posts detailing the keys.

Eventually however the site's owner Kevin Rose relented and decided to ignore the cease-and-desist warning. He said in a statement on his blog :

"In building and shaping the site I've always tried to stay as hands on as possible. We've always given site moderation (digging/burying) power to the community. Occasionally we step in to remove stories that violate our terms of use (eg. linking to pornography, illegal downloads, racial hate sites, etc.). So today was a difficult day for us. We had to decide whether to remove stories containing a single code based on a cease and desist declaration. We had to make a call, and in our desire to avoid a scenario where Digg would be interrupted or shut down, we decided to comply and remove the stories with the code.

"But now, after seeing hundreds of stories and reading thousands of comments, you've made it clear. You'd rather see Digg go down fighting than bow down to a bigger company. We hear you, and effective immediately we won't delete stories or comments containing the code and will deal with whatever the consequences might be.

"If we lose, then what the hell, at least we died trying."