Mozilla stands up to Homeland Security

Last month the Department of Homeland Security issued an affidavit for Mozilla, the most popular web browser among people who’ve never watched Matlock, to remove one of its add-ons. The offending program, named “MafiaaFire”, allows users to redirect from several domains which had been seized by the DHS, thereby circumventing the censorship.

The best part: the offending sites were allegedly used to stream copyrighted sports footage.

Yes, really.

Homeland Security. Sports footage.

I feel safer already.

Mozilla responded by asking the following:

  • Have any courts determined that the Mafiaafire add-on is unlawful or illegal in any way? If so, on what basis? (Please provide any relevant rulings)
  • Is Mozilla legally obligated to disable the add-on or is this request based on other reasons? If other reasons, can you please specify.
  • Can you please provide a copy of the relevant seizure order upon which your request to Mozilla to take down the Mafiaafire  add-on is based?

They have yet to receive a response.

+1, Mozilla. +1

This incident shows the need for clearly articulated rules and procedures governing internet censorship. The ad hoc approach employed here by the Department of Homeland Security violates the principles of freedom of expression and transparency as outlined in the APC’s Internet Rights Charter.

You can view the request, all 67 hilarious pages of it, here.