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Mozilla says no to Department of Homeland Security

Category: Internet, Release Date: 10-May-2011

A brand-new plugin for Mozilla’s FireFox web browser has shot to fame because of the actions of the Department of Homeland Security. The ICE Division of DHS contacted Mozilla last week to request the removal of a tool that helps users locate the new domain of piracy sites.

You see, DHS has been hard at work seizing the domains of known piracy sites and hoping that losing their address would help slow the growth of illegal downloads across the country. To counter this, a new tool was created that looks at the site you are trying to visit, and if seized, will redirect you to a new server location where the site has moved.

DHS contacted Mozilla with a request to remove the tool from their Add-On library, but Mozilla was not one to be intimidated. Rather than remove the tool immediately, they replied with 11 questions that seeked to clarify Mozilla’s legal obligations and whether this was a valid (legal) request. Funnily enough, DHS has not responded to any of the questions.

It’s nice to see one of the companies that touts openness of the internet, actually stand up to the government organizations that may be overzealous in their actions.

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