Mozilla Refuses to Help Censor the Internet

Posted: May 11, 2011 in Uncategorized


If intellectual property – including Internet domain names, such as – are property, then they fall under the protection of the Fourth Amendment.

If they are not property that is protected by the Fourth Amendment, then they are not property, and the concept of intellectual property as being property is, itself, of questionable legal merit.

The U.S. “Justice” Department, acting as the enforcement goons for the owners of intellectual property, is trying to have it both ways – protecting the intellectual property rights of copyright owners against pirates, as if those property rights are holy and sacred, while at the same time, totally disregarding the Fourth Amendment property rights of the owners of domain names.

The Mozilla Organization, publishers of the popular Firefox browser, are basically telling the “Justice” department to get their act together and be consistent for a change.  And more power to them!



Mozilla Refuses to Help Censor the Internet

By Ian Paul, PCWorld    May 6, 2011 10:06 AM

Mozilla, maker of the open source Firefox browser, recently told the Department of Homeland Security that if you want to censor the Internet you better have a good reason or at least a legal justification. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the DHS’ principal investigative arm, recently asked Mozilla to remove an add-on called MafiaaFire Redirector from the organization’s Firefox add-ons site.

The government agency said MafiaaFire was circumventing a series of ICE domain seizures.

MafiaaFire indTakedown notice (click to enlarge)exes seized domains and then redirect users to active sites that use the same name but now operate under a different Web address. If you went to, for example, you’d see a site seizure notice, but the actual site is still alive under the same name as an “.info” site. The same can be said for many of the sites ICE has seized. So MafiaaFire acts as an automated navigation system to help users find their way down the Web’s dark alleys.
More Info Please

Mozilla’s legal department didn’t immediately comply with ICE’s request to take down MafiaaFire and instead asked for more clarification. “Our approach is to comply with valid court orders…but in this case there was no such court order,” Harvey Anderson, a member of Mozilla’s legal team, recently explained on his personal blog. “Thus, to evaluate Homeland Security’s request, we asked them several questions…to understand the legal justification.”

Mozilla posed a series of eleven questions to DHS about their request to take down MafiaaFire such as have any courts determined that MafiaaFire is illegal? Is Mozilla legally obligated to take down MafiaaFire? And, has the government talked to MafiaaFire about its concerns?

So far, DHS has not responded to Mozilla’s request for more information. Mozilla posed its questions to DHS on April 19.


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