Tag Archives: opensociety

Mozilla Takes a Stand Against Dept of Homeland Security via @RWW

Sometimes you have to take a stand, even if that means standing against the United States Department of Homeland Security. That is what Mozilla is doing concerning the MafiaaFire extension to Firefox.

According to Anderson, the questions Mozilla asked were similar to these:

  • 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?

The question about the extension is less about professional sports teams, piracy and copyright and more about threats to the open Internet. Mozilla is an open source supporter and its developers are big contributors to open source projects and community members on code-sharing forum GitHub. Mozilla is looking for due process and transparency from DHS. It is the right stand to take, even if MafiaaFire and the seized sites it redirects from are not the most upstanding citizens of the World Wide Web.

Twitter Co-Founder Jack Dorsey answers “Why is Twitter Valuable?” | Interview by @pkafka

We have a lot of mainstream awareness, but mainstream relevancy is still a challenge. It’s something that people can’t immediately get their head around: “Why is Twitter valuable?”

The answer is it’s not that Twitter is valuable, it’s that you can follow what’s unfolding in Egypt right now. That’s valuable. You can follow your favorite company or organization. You can also mix that in with your family and your social network and talk about all these interests in real time. That’s the value, not the brand “Twitter.” Twitter just provides the venue for it. So we need to refocus on the value. That’s my goal in the next few months.

It seems like you could really use some filters for all this information that’s on Twitter.

I think it’s the technology challenge for the next five years. We built very easy ways to input information. But extracting that information in a relevant way, in real time, is still a big, big challenge. So we need to build technologies that immediately surface what’s most revelant and most meaningful to you.

And that’s still a very, very large challenge, and difficult. You have to follow all of these accounts, and sometimes you miss some tweets that were extremly relevant to you. We can solve that through technology,  and we will solve that, but it is going to be quite difficult to do.

Every time I read Jack Dorsey’s words, I’m impressed. He’s clearly a thoughtful, big-picture kind of guy. What most resonated with me is his description of the beauty of Twitter being its unobtrusiveness, its agenda-free broadcasting.

I’ve been a bit worried Twitter is heading down a very spammy path (most noticeable when using a mobile app, or following a very popular subject, like #SXSW a few weeks ago), but I’m encouraged that he’ll likely do everything he can to preserve the unencumbered freedom of Twitter.