Mozilla and Encryption in the Press

About one month ago, Mozilla kicked off its first major advocacy campaign of 2016: An initiative to build public understanding of and support for encryption. The campaign’s genesis? Last year, Mozilla’s policy and advocacy teams put their heads together and determined encryption would soon need the grassroots support of the open Internet movement.

Their thinking was prescient. Just days after our campaign launched, one of the biggest tech and encryption stories in recent history broke: Apple’s debate with the FBI. Discussion around encryption, government overreach, and online privacy and security reached fever pitch.

This added a major dynamic to an already important campaign. (Late last year, Mozilla identified its advocacy engine as a muscle to grow significantly — and this campaign is our first effort.) Public discourse about encryption has swelled to new heights, and Mozilla is uniquely prepared to share meaningful, educational content to better the discussion.

Nearly one month into our campaign and the Apple news cycle, here’s a reflection on how our work has been covered in the press (and across social):

— 120 stories on five continents covering our campaign and/or support for Apple. In publications ranging from the U.S. and Canada to Poland, Brazil, Kenya and Australia, Mozilla has emerged as a loud supporter of encryption

— Capstone stories include Mozilla Foundation Executive Director Mark Surman’s interview on NPR Morning Edition (which reaches 13 million listeners each day); Mark’s op-ed in CNN; and stories in The Intercept, Fast Company, Reuters, CBC, and WIRED UK

— We’re also seeing unprecedented engagement on social. When we first tweeted our support of Apple, thousands of people retweeted us — including Edward Snowden. That particular tweet had 3.2K retweets and 3.7K favorites. (For comparison, our net neutrality victory tweet had 401 retweets and 203 favorites.) Engagement has remained at an elevated level throughout the campaign, and our design team has done tremendous work creating educational encryption content that’s equally inspiring and engaging.

Encryption will continue to dominate headlines and conversations for the next several months. In the near-term, we’re able to continue engaging interested media with our content, and forge meaningful new relationships. And in the long-term — even though our final campaign beat rolls out this month — Mozilla is positioned to continue on as a leading voice in the conversation.

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