Thursday, May 5, 2011

Finally, A Gutsy Company Says "No" to the Endless Demands of "Security"

From BoingBoing and my favourite blogger/novelist Cory Doctorow:
Mozilla tells DHS: we won't help you censor the Internet

Cory Doctorow at 2:43 PM Thursday, May 5, 2011

The US Department of Homeland Security has asked the Mozilla Foundation to take down the "Mafiaa Fire" plugin, which automatically redirects browsers to the new URLs for sites that have had their .com and .net addresses seized in the latest round of the copyright wars. The Mozilla Foundation has firmly refused.

However, where ICE might have expected a swift take down from Mozilla, the legal and business affairs department of the tech company was not planning to honor the request so easily.
"Our approach is to comply with valid court orders, warrants, and legal mandates, but in this case there was no such court order," Anderson explains.

According to Anderson complying with the request without any additional information would threaten open Internet principles. So, instead of taking the add-on offline they replied to ICE with a set of 11 well-crafted questions.
Homeland Security Wants Mozilla to Pull "Domain Seizure" Add-On

Mozilla's questions to the DHS
History shows that trends change when somebody finally stands up to the bully and says "enough".

Copyright fights are over property rights and have nothing to do with "security" so Homeland Security has no business trying to enforce some copyright claim by making sure that browsers don't let people go to a site where the material is available. The Justice Department and the Courts are the appropriate tools for pursuing a property right claim.

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