The contribution of multiply scattered photons to signals from a spaceborne backscatter signal is investigated. Monte Carlo calculations are performed for different atmospheric conditions and for different lidar configurations. It is found out that multiple scattering signals in most cases can accurately be described by a very simple approximation. It is concluded that the process of multiple scattering will be no drawback for the application of spaceborne lidars. In contrary, the transparency of clouds is enhanced so that lidar signals can fully penetrate cirrus clouds, even cirrostratus layers. As a consequence, clouds below a cirrus can be observed which would be obscured if only single scattering would occur.