Mozilla Changes Homeland Security
Excerpt from this article:
Harvey Anderson, Mozilla’s lawyer, in response to a demand from the Department of Homeland Security to remove a browser add-on which re-directs traffic from domains seized by the government to the original owners’ new domains:
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?
This is a really powerful concept, i.e.:
The government "flexes its omnipotent muscles" and seizes my domain name. One day my visitors have access to the information at my site, the next day they don't. Kind of like what happened with these guys:http://stopthelie.com/poker-today-alternative-media-tomorrow-.html
But what happens if a major browser provider like Firefox has an “add on” that redirects everyone looking for “StopTheLie.com” to, as an example, “StopTheLie257.com” (The actual domain name isn’t important…as long as the name is available, I can register it and have it show all of my website files.)
In this scenario, the government still has control of “StopTheLie.com” but it doesn’t matter because now StopTheLie.com “resolves” (in Firefox) to another name that I own. ….I can now reach all my visitors again AND argue the injustice of Homeland Security’s seizure of my name! BOYYYY, I bet “Homeland Security” just loves that little trick!
There is no doubt that the government will work overtime to find a way to “criminalize” this service provided by Firefox. They don’t like having their exercise of power over others thwarted so easily. …but the concept is still there.
Firefox might eventually be forced to cave to government threats, but a small / offshore browser service that fills this niche (restoring access to the ever-increasing list of government-seized / blocked domain names) or even just a website that lists “seized domains” and the new / replacement domain, will make our great protectors’ job just a little bit harder…and I’m all for that.