I don't think this was ever a secret, though I'm not sure where it was discussed at length. The cloud needs to "phone home" periodically to make sure the subscription is active, so it's not terribly surprising that it needs to activate online, too. I know I saw discussion somewhere about how that could be a problem in firewalled environments.
I'm no expert on firewalls, but maybe you should talk to your IT staff about allowing communication to the activation server.
I think I heard that Creative Cloud doesn't need to check in every day, but maybe about once a month. If no connection, it would put up a message but give you some time before turning itself off.
You might want to check out the Creative Cloud forum where there's an FAQ as well as the chance to ask a question to those who really know.
I believe that's true, also, but it seems like this is going to be an ongoing problem for folks like Stix, and it's something that probalby needs to be dealt with on their end, not by Adobe.
If you are needing offline activation but can't get it to work this guy has done a good write up here.
As to the Creative Cloud only needing to sign in once a month, that's what I've heard too, but if you have an internet connection active it will sign in anyway just for the heck of it.
That also might cause a problem, albeit probably in about 0.001% of cases. If you have signed in for the month on a network that allows connection to the server, then use your laptop on a network that prevents connection the sign in will fail, possibly preventing you from using the applications. The solution to that would be to unplug from the internet while starting up the apps and because it doesn't see a connection it won't try to connect, allowing the apps to start. Also works for trials in the same case, although obviously it also keeps a record locally of how long the trial has been going for.
So did that work for you for the Cloud, too?
I notice that you still need internet access to get the code....
No, Cloud MUST have direct access through the program itself, which is what doesn't work for me, even though I can get to the sites needed for offline activation etc. There's a good write up on it here, which I have gone through twice already.
Interesting point, when you purchase a subscription to the Cloud you don't get a serial number.