• RightHandOfIkaros@lemmy.world
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    1 month ago

    Mozilla is bending the knee to Russia? Is this real life? Have we stepped into an alternate timeline? Whats going to happen to all the FireFox users when they find out this happened, will they stop screaming at everyone to use FireFox?

    • Ephera@lemmy.ml
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      1 month ago

      I’m not sure what you expect to happen. If they don’t do this, Russia will ban Firefox. And I do think, it’s better for the Russian people to have Firefox available, even if it bends its knee in certain situations. Because I’d wager the alternatives proactively stick their tongue up Putin’s.

    • chicken@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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      1 month ago

      I know it says the extension is not available from the Firefox addon site if using Russian IPs, but I wonder if they have also gone so far as to make the browser itself not be able to install them in other ways. I would guess they have not, since that would mean a complicated setup in terms of the signatures, like they would have to have a separate FF version and set of signatures per country, or use a central server to authenticate things rather than client validation of signatures. In that case it would be easier to find the addon file somewhere other than the store and install it, since using unsigned addons requires installing a whole separate version of Firefox.

      Even if that’s how it is this whole thing still illustrates that prohibiting unsigned addons from being installed is user-hostile, because on an ideological level Mozilla probably would use that power to advance state censorship if it came down to it.

      • Ephera@lemmy.ml
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        1 month ago

        Ah yeah, true, getting just the signed XPI should work as well.

        And well, it is tricky. The signing requirement allows them to block malicious add-ons, which could also be used for state censorship.
        I think, offering a separate path for people to install unsigned extensions, if they need it, while blocking them for the majority and therefore making them inviable for malware to target, that’s in principle a smart compromise.

        Also, side-note: Folks who are on Linux likely don’t need to install a separate version of Firefox. Linux distros tend to compile with the unsigned extension support enabled (just need to toggle the flag in about:config).

        • chicken@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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          1 month ago

          I guess in this case the malware angle means it’s probably better to require signing, since maybe Russia could successfully distribute malicious fake versions of these extensions otherwise. Still, the centralization here is worrying.

  • AutoTL;DR@lemmings.worldB
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    1 month ago

    This is the best summary I could come up with:


    Stanislav Shakirov, the chief technical officer of Roskomsvoboda, a Russian open internet group, said he hoped it was a rash decision by Mozilla that will be more carefully examined.

    “It’s a kind of unpleasant surprise because we thought the values of this corporation were very clear in terms of access to information, and its policy was somewhat different,” Shakirov said.

    Developers of digital tools designed to get around censorship began noticing recently that their Firefox add-ons were no longer available in Russia.

    Roskomnadzor is responsible for “control and supervision in telecommunications, information technology, and mass communications,” according to the Russia’s federal censorship agency’s English-language page.

    In March, the New York Times reported that Roskomnadzor was increasing its operations to restrict access to censorship circumvention technologies such as VPNs.

    “For the last few months, Roskomnadzor (after the adoption of the law in Russia that prohibits the promotion of tools for bypassing blockings) has been sending such complaints about content to everyone.”


    The original article contains 703 words, the summary contains 160 words. Saved 77%. I’m a bot and I’m open source!

    • Fern@lemmy.world
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      1 month ago

      The beginning made it just a little clearer

      The add-ons were blocked at the request of Russia’s federal censorship agency, Roskomnadzor — the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology, and Mass Media — according to a statement by Mozilla to The Intercept.

      “Following recent regulatory changes in Russia, we received persistent requests from Roskomnadzor demanding that five add-ons be removed from the Mozilla add-on store,” a Mozilla spokesperson told The Intercept in response to a request for comment. “After careful consideration, we’ve temporarily restricted their availability within Russia. Recognizing the implications of these actions, we are closely evaluating our next steps while keeping in mind our local community.”