Continuing the Conversation About Encryption and Apple: A New Video From Mozilla

In the past week, the conversation about encryption has reached fever pitch. Encryption, Apple, and the FBI are in headlines around the world. And lively discussions about security and privacy are taking place around kitchen tables, on television, and in comment sections across the Internet.

Mozilla believes the U.S. government’s demand for Apple to circumvent their own security protections is a massive overreach. To require Apple to do this would set a dangerous precedent that threatens consumer security going forward. But this discussion is an opportunity to broaden public understanding of encryption. When people understand the role encryption plays in their everyday lives, we can all stand up for encryption when threats surface — this key issue related to the overall health of the Internet becomes mainstream.

Earlier this month — just days before the Apple story broke — Mozilla launched a public education campaign about encryption. We’re excited to continue this campaign alongside the new, robust conversations that have emerged.

Today, Mozilla is releasing the next installment in the campaign: a short film that animates encryption as a lovable character and unpacks how she works and why she’s so important.

We hope you’ll share this video with your friends and family — and then start a conversation about the issues that have come to the fore over the past week. Building grassroots support for a safe and open Internet is essential. It’s a tried and true tactic: kitchen table conversations and support from everyday Internet users helped uphold net neutrality. This is the power of the open Internet movement at work. Now, it’s time to do it again — let’s spread the word about encryption and help keep it safe.

Celebrating Our Ford-Mozilla Open Web Fellows, and Looking Ahead

Today, the Internet we love and treasure is facing serious threats. Issues like mass surveillance and walled gardens, along with calls to weaken online security, increasingly endanger the Internet’s openness. Most recently, we saw the FBI ask Apple to circumvent their own devices’ security protections, setting a dangerous precedent that threatens consumers’ security. And in many parts of the world, especially emerging markets, inclusion and equality online aren’t guaranteed.

To address these threats, the Internet needs a new breed of advocate: individuals with both a technologist’s savvy and an activist’s zeal. We need advocates who can stand up for critical issues like privacy, inclusion, and literacy online, and ensure the Internet remains a public resource.

APPLY TODAY TO BE A FORD-MOZILLA OPEN WEB FELLOW

In 2015, Mozilla and the Ford Foundation launched the Open Web Fellows program to foster this type of advocate. We built an international leadership initiative to embed bright and passionate technology talent at leading civil society organizations. It’s a necessary step, and a topic we discussed in the Washington Post when the fellowship debuted.

Says Jenny Toomey, Ford Foundation’s Director of Internet Freedom:

“Technology is transforming every aspect of our world. But there aren’t enough technologists who are prepared to lend their vision to the public sector and make sure we’re building the kind of critical systems that can protect and empower us all. We need to make sure that the rights we have fought so hard to achieve are upheld and strengthened in the digital space. And we need to make sure that the people who are working to challenge inequality have the tools and infrastructure they need to do it well. That means having a diverse, creative cohort of public interest technologists, designers, and engineers working within civil society and governments.”

Now, almost 12 months later, we’re accepting applications for the second cohort of Open Web Fellows. This upcoming cohort of fellows will embed at civil society organizations on four continents.

We’re also celebrating the successes of our 2015 fellows. They’ve accomplished amazing things, which we share below.

To paint a clear picture of the Fellowship program and its impact, we asked our 2015 fellows to explain in their own words. Below, you’ll hear from Andrea Del Rio at Association for Progressive Communications (APC); Tennyson Holloway at Public Knowledge; Paola Villarreal at ACLU Massachusetts; Gem Barrett at Open Technology Institute (OTI); Drew Wilson at Free Press; and Tim Sammut at Amnesty International.

What does an Open Web Fellow look like?

There’s no formula or singular mold: Fellows are data architects and women’s rights activists, developers and designers. They hail from four countries and various points in their careers. But they share a common belief: The world can be made a better place by leveraging the open Internet.

Open Web Fellows are very talented technical people, but also have a sense of social duty. That’s what sets us apart.” — Andrea Del Rio

We all share a core understanding that an open Internet is important to modern society, and it needs to be protected.” — Tennyson Holloway

We all come at the open Web from different angles. We’re passionate about one topic, but come at it from a range of backgrounds with a holistic approach.” — Gem Barrett

What does an Open Web Fellow do?

Fellows dream up and create projects at the intersection of the Internet and civil society. They write code, develop apps, and pen blog posts. They host podcasts, attend conferences, and lead workshops. More broadly, fellows engage with the most important issues facing the Internet today: surveillance, inclusion, equality. Fellows work across organizations, borders, and time zones, networking and collaborating with like-minded technologists and do-gooders.

We’re pioneers. We’re technologists working for nonprofits doing relevant work.” — Andrea Del Rio

It’s about data and open source tools and advocacy. It’s about benefiting from the open Web.” — Paola Villarreal

It’s about making sure the Internet remains open and accessible for everyone. It’s also about expanding freedoms online to more people globally.” — Tim Sammut

Fellows are interested in social change activities in the long-term.” — Drew Wilson

Why apply?

Open Web Fellows have the opportunity to fight on the front lines of the open Internet movement. They help some of the world’s most established NGOs and civil society organizations navigate the vibrant and increasingly important realm of Internet advocacy. And fellows build valuable relationships with like-minded advocates.

Having access to all these tools, information, support, people, and resources is a life-changing experience. The work I have been doing during this fellowship has had, and will have, an impact.” — Paola Villarreal

You’re part of a much larger movement, and that’s definitely rewarding.” — Tennyson Holloway

If someone is passionate about improving the world, and wants a springboard into doing that as a career, this is for them.” — Gem Barrett

One of the best things about the fellowship has been the people I met in the Internet freedom community.” — Tim Sammut

What are the host organizations?

Key to the Open Web Fellow program are our host organizations: leading nonprofits around the globe devoted to improving the Internet and the lives of everyone it touches. Host organizations have diverse ambits, from law and human rights to gender equality and press freedom.

Our 2015 host organizations are the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Massachusetts, Amnesty International, Association for Progressive Communications (APC), Free Press, Open Technology Institute (OTI), and Public Knowledge.

Our 2016 host organizations are Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law, The Citizen Lab at Munk School of Global Affairs, ColorOfChange.org, Data & Society, Derechos Digitales, European Digital Rights (EDRi), Freedom of the Press Foundation, and Privacy International.

The Open Web Fellows Program connects the incredible wealth of tech talent with the justice-minded organizations that so badly need their skills. This is not just about bringing technologists into civil society organizations and government, but about strengthening critical institutions and helping them rise to meet the challenges of the digital age — some of which haven’t even been identified yet.” — Jenny Toomey, Director of Internet Freedom, Ford Foundation

Our 2015 Fellows

Andrea

 

Andrea Del Rio,

Association for Progressive Communications (APC)

 

Andrea Del Rio is embedded at APC, the South Africa-based nonprofit expanding women’s rights and gender equality online with focus on the global south. Andrea’s digital savvy allows APC to advance this mission and present their work in a more dynamic and impactful way. Andrea is crafting an interactive platform for APC’s “Feminist Principles of the Internet,” a treatise bridging the gap between the feminist movement and the Internet rights movement. She is transforming the static document into an interactive community where activists can talk and share resources. When complete, the platform will live at http://feministinternet.net/.

I try to make a difference on the user interface.”

In November 2015, Andrea led a gender equality session at MozFest, Mozilla’s annual celebration of the open Internet. The session — “A Feminist Internet in 140 Characters” — brought together diverse makers, designers, and technologists who authored a list of open Web feminist principles.

The feminist principles of the Internet should be relevant to anyone who loves the Internet and is interested in gender equality.”

During her tenure as a fellow, Andrea has traveled to Malaysia, the Philippines, Mexico, the U.S., the UK, and South Africa.

Tennyson

 

Tennyson Holloway,

Public Knowledge

 

Tennyson works alongside Public Knowledge, the advocacy organization based in Washington, DC. Its scope: issues at the intersection of public interest and technology. Public Knowledge explores and comments on troubling corporate mergers; advocates for issues like net neutrality; and upholds consumer protections. It’s here that Tennyson functions as a sorely-needed technologist among lawyers and policy experts.

Tennyson is also devoted to a series of self-directed projects. He created the SMS Vote Updater, a tool for subscribing to and monitoring legislators’ voting. Users text their zip code to the service and quickly receive a list of relevant legislators. Users then subscribe to select policymakers — and when policymakers vote on a bill in Congress, users get a notification detailing the vote and bill.

I was really excited to build this. I like the idea of increasing access. You can keep an eye on your legislator.”

Tennyson is also building whatcanidofortheinternet.org, a collection of resources and stories that detail how individuals can contribute to the Internet. The site motivates others to improve the Internet, and serves as a friendly gateway to the open Internet movement.

Alongside Fellows Andrea Del Rio and Drew Wilson, Tennyson produces the NetPosi podcast. The trio interviews technologists making a mark in the world of activism (or vice versa). Guests include Cory Doctorow and Wendy Seltzer.

It’s a podcast about the intersection of activism and technology.”

PV

 

Paola Villarreal,

ACLU Massachusetts

 

Paola is embedded at ACLU Massachusetts, a staple in the fight for individual rights and liberties. Here, Paola brings a technologist’s savvy (16 years of IT experience) to the world of social justice. She writes code and analyzes gigabits of data to battle inequality.

Paola’s capstone work is Data for Justice, an ambitious initiative that connects activists with data so they can drive change in their communities.

It empowers activists and advocates to make data-driven decisions.”

Specifically, Paola’s project analyzes data from the Boston Police Department and several other sources, spotlighting discriminatory practices. Findings are then showcased using a data visualization framework, titled Augmented Narrative Toolkit, developed explicitly for this project. And in true open source form, the Data for Justice project can be adapted to other cities around the world.

Paola has also traveled extensively as an Open Web Fellow, plugging into pockets of the open Internet movement around the world. She has attended and spoke at open source and open government gatherings in Mexico City, London, Hamburg, Harvard University, and beyond.

Gem

 

Gem Barrett,

Open Technology Institute (OTI)

 

Gem works with Open Technology Institute (OTI), an arm of New America focusing on open source innovation. It’s here that Gem writes, programs, designs, and speaks. Specifically, Gem is helping OTI build out their transparency and open data initiatives.

An open Web fellow gets embedded into an organization and offers their unique skills in order to promote the open Web.”

Gem is also committed to a range of satellite projects. She’s penned articles about making the open source ecosystem more inclusive (here and here), and planned events that explore the intersection of gaming and social justice.

You have the freedom to explore other opportunities outside of the organization for promoting your passion.”

Drew

 

Drew Wilson,

Free Press

 

Drew works with Free Press, a nonprofit that advocates for a healthy and free fourth estate. Here, Drew has helped shape Internet2016, an initiative to inject net policy issues into the 2016 election discourse. The approach is decidedly grassroots: Internet 2016 galvanizes Internet advocates to dog politicians on topics like mass surveillance, encryption, and access. Drew lent both his tech and advocacy acumen, building the web page and consulting on campaign content.

Drew has also tackled a number of personal projects. He co-hosts the NetPosi podcast alongside fellows Andrea and Tennyson.

NetPosi shares stories from people who do interesting work at the intersection of social change and technology.”

Drew curates Tools for Activism, a resource that lists digital tools for activists and technologists. It recently snagged front-page real estate on GitHub. Drew also built a couple of experimental web-tools-for-activism prototypes: a meme generator targeting 2016 presidential candidates (the goal: “empower people to be more politically engaged online”), and Printernet, a web application that assists small NGOs with print mailings.

Tim

 

Tim Sammut,

Amnesty International

 

Amnesty International stands up for human rights around the globe. As an Open Web Fellow, Tim furthers this mission in a 21st-century fashion. Currently, Tim is helping Amnesty pilot GlobaLeaks, and open source platform for the safer submission of sensitive information.

Tim is also building the Secure Communications Framework, a reference model for human rights researchers and activists seeking the right tools and practices for sensitive work. It’s a matrix for identifying safer, more secure, and reliable channels for carrying out work in dangerous regions. The framework can help people maintain privacy and avoid arrest, detention, or worse.

[It’s for] a researcher that may be an expert in their field with first-hand knowledge of the challenges that surround them, but is uncertain which digital tools and practices will enable their work without simultaneously undermining their safety.”

Firefox for iOS is Faster with 3D Touch and More

We recently released the first version of Firefox for iOS. It’s a great browser and we’re excited to bring you more new features today. The latest release of Firefox for iOS brings improvements to make browsing simpler and more fun by taking advantage of the latest iOS hardware and software features.

Firefox for iOS on iPhone 6S and 6S Plus now offers 3D Touch to help you access commonly used features faster than ever before. Simply press the Firefox app icon to open the Quick Access menu which has shortcuts to Open Last Bookmark, open a New Private Tab or a New Tab.

3d-quick-access-en

Firefox for iOS also supports Peek and Pop which lets you preview a tab and take actions on it such as Add to Reading List, Copy URL or Close Tab with fewer steps. You no longer have to tap on the page, wait for it to load and then tap again to use these popular features. Instead, you can preview content by lightly pressing on a tab in the tab menu then swipe up to access these shortcuts. This is especially useful when you’re organizing many tabs and will help you sort them faster.

Peek and Pop

To speed up searches in open tabs, Firefox for iOS lets you type your search query directly into the Spotlight Search Bar on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. You can also search for text in a Web page with ‘Find in Page’ by long-pressing on a text item or from the ‘Share’ menu. Managing your saved Logins with Firefox for iOS is easier too. You can search, filter, view and edit your saved Logins in Settings, whether they’re stored locally or synced through Firefox Accounts.

Finally, when you open the latest version of Firefox for iOS, you’ll see a page listing all the updates we’ve made. We hope you enjoy the latest, faster Firefox for iOS.

Download_on_the_App_Store_Badge_US-UK_135x40

 

 

More information:

Help Us Spread the Word: Encryption Matters

Recent news around Apple’s resistance to the US government’s demand to decrypt the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino shooters has brought encryption into mainstream discussion. The level of public discourse we have seen is already a victory, and an opportunity to engage more. The following is our response to the Apple case and the important issues it brings to the forefront:

“It’s difficult to discuss policy and precedent in the wake of horrific attacks. Yet, it remains true that asking Apple to circumvent their own security protections is a massive overreach. It sets a dangerous precedent that threatens consumers’ security going forward. Companies should be encouraged to aggressively strengthen the security of their products, rather than undermine that security. We must be careful not to let terrible events define something as ubiquitous as encryption, a critical component of the Internet and everyday life online.

“We need people to understand and engage with encryption as a core technology that keeps our everyday transactions and conversations safe and private. We’re currently running an awareness campaign to educate users on the importance of encryption. Encryption deserves the same magnitude of support that issues like net neutrality have received.”
—Mark Surman

Today, the Internet is one of our most important global public resources. It’s open, free and essential to our daily lives. It’s where we chat, play, bank and shop. It’s also where we create, learn and organize.

All of this is made possible by a set of core principles. Like the belief that individual security and privacy on the Internet is fundamental.

Mozilla is devoted to standing up for these principles and keeping the Internet a global public resource. That means watching for threats. And recently, one of these threats to the open Internet has started to grow: efforts to undermine encryption.

Encryption is key to a healthy Internet. It’s the encoding of data so that only people with a special key can unlock it, such as the sender and the intended receiver of a message. Internet users depend on encryption everyday, often without realizing it, and it enables amazing things. It safeguards our emails and search queries, and medical data. It allows us to safely shop and bank online. And it protects journalists and their sources, human rights activists and whistleblowers.

Encryption isn’t a luxury — it’s a necessity. This is why Mozilla has always taken encryption seriously: it’s part of our commitment to protecting the Internet as a public resource that is open and accessible to all.

Government agencies and law enforcement officials across the globe are proposing policies that will harm user security through weakening encryption. The justification for these policies is often that strong encryption helps bad actors. In truth, strong encryption is essential for everyone who uses the Internet. We respect the concerns of law enforcement officials, but we believe that proposals to weaken encryption — especially requirements for backdoors — would seriously harm the security of all users of the Internet.

At Mozilla, we continue to push the envelope with projects like Let’s Encrypt, a free, automated Web certificate authority dedicated to making it easy for anyone to run an encrypted website. Developed in collaboration with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Cisco, Akamai and many other technology organizations, Let’s Encrypt is an example of how Mozilla uses technology to make sure we’re all more secure on the Internet.

However, as more and more governments propose tactics like backdoors, technology alone will not be enough. We will also need to get Mozilla’s community — and the broader public — involved. We will need them to tell their elected officials that individual privacy and security online cannot be treated as optional. We can play a critical role if we get this message across.

We know this is a tough road. Most people don’t even know what encryption is. Or, they feel there isn’t much they can do about online privacy. Or, both.

This is why we are starting a public education campaign run with the support of our community around the world. In the coming weeks, Mozilla will release videos, blogs and activities designed to raise awareness about encryption. You can watch our first video today — it shows why controlling our personal information is so key. More importantly, you can use this video to start a conversation with friends and family to get them thinking more about privacy and security online.

If we can educate millions of Internet users about the basics of encryption and its connection to our everyday lives, we’ll be in a good position to ask people to stand up when the time comes. We believe that time is coming soon in many countries around the world. You can pitch in simply by watching, sharing and having conversations about the videos we’ll post over the coming weeks.

If you want to get involved or learn more about Mozilla’s encryption education campaign, visit mzl.la/encrypt. We hope you’ll join us to learn about and support encryption.

The Internet is a Global Public Resource

One of the things that first drew me to Mozilla was this sentence from our manifesto:

“The Internet is a global public resource that must remain open and accessible to all.”

These words made me stop and think. As they sunk in, they made me commit.

I committed myself to the idea that the Internet is a global public resource that we all share and rely on, like water. I committed myself to stewarding and protecting this important resource. I committed myself to making the importance of the open Internet widely known.

When we say, “Protect the Internet,” we are not talking about boosting Wi-fi so people can play “Candy Crush” on the subway. That’s just bottled water, and it will very likely exist with or without us. At Mozilla, we are talking about “the Internet” as a vast and healthy ocean.

We believe the health of the Internet is an important issue that has a huge impact on our society. An open Internet—one with no blocking, throttling, or paid prioritization—allows individuals to build and develop whatever they can dream up, without a huge amount of money or asking permission. It’s a safe place where people can learn, play and unlock new opportunities. These things are possible because the Internet is an open public resource that belongs to all of us.

Making the Internet a Mainstream Issue

Not everyone agrees that the health of the Internet is a major priority. People think about the Internet mostly as a “thing” other things connect to. They don’t see the throttling or the censorship or the surveillance that are starting to become pervasive. Nor do they see how unequal the benefits of the Internet have become as it spreads across the globe. Mozilla aims to make the health of the Internet a mainstream issue, like the environment.

Consider the parallels with the environmental movement for a moment. In the 1950s, only a few outdoor enthusiasts and scientists were talking about the fragility of the environment. Most people took clean air and clean water for granted. Today, most of know we should recycle and turn out the lights. Our governments monitor and regulate polluters. And companies provide us with a myriad of green product offerings—from organic food to electric cars.

But this change didn’t happen on its own. It took decades of hard work by environmental activists before governments, companies and the general public took the health of the environment seriously as an issue. This hard work paid off. It made the environment a mainstream issue and got us all looking for ways to keep it healthy.

When in comes to the health of the Internet, it’s like we’re back in the 1950s. A number of us have been talking about the Internet’s fragile state for decades—Mozilla, the EFF, Snowden, Access, the ACLU, and many more. All of us can tell a clear story of why the open Internet matters and what the threats are. Yet we are a long way from making the Internet’s health a mainstream concern.

We think we need to change this, so much so that it’s now one of Mozilla’s explicit goals.

Read Mark Surman’s “Mozilla Foundation 2020 Strategy” blog post.

Starting the Debate: Digital Dividends

The World Bank’s recently released “2016 World Development Report” shows that we’re making steps in the right direction. Past editions have focused on major issues like  “jobs.” This year the report focuses directly on “digital dividends” and the open Internet.

According to the report, the benefits of the Internet, like inclusion, efficiency, and innovation, are unequally spread. They could remain so if we don’t make the Internet “accessible, affordable, and open and safe.” Making the Internet accessible and affordable is urgent. However,

“More difficult is keeping the internet open and safe. Content filtering and censorship impose economic costs and, as with concerns over online privacy and cybercrime, reduce the socially beneficial use of technologies. Must users trade privacy for greater convenience online? When are content restrictions justified, and what should be considered free speech online? How can personal information be kept private, while also mobilizing aggregate data for the common good? And which governance model for the global internet best ensures open and safe access for all? There are no  simple answers, but the questions deserve a vigorous global debate.”

—”World Development Report 2016: Main Messages,” p.3

We need this vigorous debate. A debate like this can help make the open Internet an issue that is taken seriously. It can shape the issue. It can put it on the radar of governments, corporate leaders and the media. A debate like this is essential. Mozilla plans to participate and fuel this debate.

Creating A Public Conversation

Of course, we believe the conversation needs to be much broader than just those who read the “World Development Report.” If we want the open Internet to become a mainstream issue, we need to involve everyone who uses it.

We have a number of plans in the works to do exactly this. They include collaboration with the likes of the World Bank, as well as our allies in the open Internet movement. They also include a number of experiments in a.) simplifying the “Internet as a public resource” message and b.) seeing how it impacts the debate.

Our first experiment is an advertising campaign that places the Internet in a category with other human needs people already recognize: Food. Water. Shelter. Internet. Most people don’t think about the Internet this way. We want to see what happens when we invite them to do so.

The outdoor campaign launches this week in San Francisco, Washington and New York. We’re also running variations of the message through our social platforms. We’ll monitor reactions to see what it sparks. And we will invite conversation in our Mozilla social channels (Facebook & Twitter).

Billboard_Food-Shelter-Water_Red

Billboard_Food-Shelter-Water_Blue

Fueling the Movement

Of course, billboards don’t make a movement. That’s not our thinking at all. But we do think experiments and debates matter. Our messages may hit the mark with people and resonate, or it may tick them off. But our goal is to start a conversation about the health of the Internet and the idea that it’s a global resource that needs protecting.

Importantly, this is one experiment among many.

We’re working to bolster the open Internet movement and take it mainstream. We’re building easy encryption technology with the EFF (Let’s Encrypt). We’re trying to make online conversation more inclusive and open with The New York Times and The Washington Post (Coral Project). And we’re placing fellows and working on open Internet campaigns with organizations like the ACLU, Amnesty International, and Freedom of the Press Foundation (Open Web Fellows Program). The idea is to push the debate on many fronts.

About the billboards, we want to know what you think:

  • Has the time come for the Internet to become a mainstream concern?
  • Is it important to you?
  • Does it rank with other primary human needs?

I’m hoping it does, but I’m also ready to learn from whatever the results may tell us. Like any important issue, keeping the Internet healthy and open won’t happen by itself. And waiting for it to happen by itself is not an option.

We need a movement to make it happen. We need you.

Martin Thomson Appointed to the Internet Architecture Board

Standards are a key part of keeping the Open Web open. The Web runs on standards developed mainly by two standards bodies: the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which standardizes HTML and Web APIs, and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), which standardizes networking protocols, such as HTTP and TLS, the core transport protocols for the Web. I’m pleased to announce that Martin Thomson, from the CTO group, was recently appointed to the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), the committee responsible for the architectural oversight of the IETF standards process.

Martin’s appointment recognizes a long history of major contributions to the Internet standards process: including serving as editor for HTTP/2, the newest and much improved version of HTTP, helping to design, implement, and document WebPush, which we just launched in Firefox, and playing major roles in WebRTC, TLS and Geolocation. In addition to his standards work, Martin has committed code all over Gecko, in areas ranging from the WebRTC stack to NSS. Serving on the IAB will give Martin a platform to do even greater things for the Internet and the Open Web as a whole.

Please join me in congratulating Martin.

Dr. Karim Lakhani Appointed to Mozilla Corporation Board of Directors

Image from Twitter @klakhani

Image from Twitter @klakhani

Today we are very pleased to announce an addition to the Mozilla Corporation Board of Directors, Dr. Karim Lakhani, a scholar in innovation theory and practice.

Dr. Lakhani is the first of the new appointments we expect to make this year. We are working to expand our Board of Directors to reflect a broader range of perspectives on people, products, technology and diversity. That diversity encompasses many factors: from geography to gender identity and expression, cultural to ethnic identity, expertise to education.

Born in Pakistan and raised in Canada, Karim received his Ph.D. in Management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and is Associate Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, where he also serves as Principal Investigator for the Crowd Innovation Lab and NASA Tournament Lab at the Harvard University Institute for Quantitative Social Science.

Karim’s research focuses on open source communities and distributed models of innovation. Over the years I have regularly reached out to Karim for advice on topics related to open source and community based processes. I’ve always found the combination of his deep understanding of Mozilla’s mission and his research-based expertise to be extremely helpful. As an educator and expert in his field, he has developed frameworks of analysis around open source communities and leaderless management systems. He has many workshops, cases, presentations, and journal articles to his credit. He co-edited a book of essays about open source software titled Perspectives on Free and Open Source Software, and he recently co-edited the upcoming book Revolutionizing Innovation: Users, Communities and Openness, both from MIT Press.

However, what is most interesting to me is the “hands-on” nature of Karim’s research into community development and activities. He has been a supporter and ready advisor to me and Mozilla for a decade.

Please join me now in welcoming Dr. Karim Lakhani to the Board of Directors. He supports our continued investment in open innovation and joins us at the right time, in parallel with the Katharina Borchert’s transition off of our Board of Directors into her role as our new Chief Innovation Officer. We are excited to extend our Mozilla network with these additions, as we continue to ensure that the Internet stays open and accessible to all.

Mitchell

Mozilla, Caribou Digital Release Report Exploring the Global App Economy

Mozilla is a proud supporter of research carried out by Caribou Digital, the UK-based think tank dedicated to building sustainable digital economies in emerging markets. Today, Caribou has released a report exploring the impact of the global app economy and international trade flows in app stores. You can find it here.

The findings highlight the app economy’s unbalanced nature. While smartphones are helping connect billions more to the Web, the effects of the global app economy are not yet well understood. Key findings from our report include:

  • Most developers are located in high-income countries. The geography of where app developers are located is heavily skewed toward the economic powerhouses, with 81% of developers in high-income countries — which are also the most lucrative markets. The United States remains the dominant producer, but East Asia, fueled by China, is growing past Europe.
  • Apps stores are winner-take-all. The nature of the app stores leads to winner-take-all markets, which skews value capture even more heavily toward the U.S. and other top producers. Conversely, even for those lower-income countries that do have a high number of developers — e.g., India — the amount of value capture is disproportionately small to the number of developers participating.
  • The emerging markets are the 1% — meaning, they earn 1% of total app economy revenue. 95% of the estimated value in the app economy is captured by just 10 countries, and 69% of the value is captured by just the top three countries. Excluding China, the 19 countries considered low- or lower-income accounted for only 1% of total worldwide value.
  • Developers in low-income countries struggle to export to the global stage. About one-third of developers in the sample appeared only in their domestic market. But this inability to export to other markets was much more pronounced for developers in low-income countries, where 70% of developers were not able to export, compared to high-income countries, where only 29% of developers were not able to export. For comparison, only 3% of U.S. developers did not export.
  • U.S. developers dominate almost all markets. On average, U.S. apps have 30% of the market across the 37 markets studied, and the U.S. is the dominant producer in every market except for China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan.

Mozilla is proud to support Caribou Digital’s research, and the goal of working toward a more inclusive Internet, rich with opportunity for all users. Understanding the effects of the global app economy, and helping to build a more inclusive mobile Web, are key. We invite readers to read the full report here, and Caribou Digital’s blog post here.

It’s International Data Privacy Day: Help us Build a Better Internet

Update your Software and Share the Lean Data Practices

Today is International Data Privacy Day. What can we all do to help ourselves and each other improve privacy on the Web? We have something for everyone:

  • Users can greatly improve their own data privacy by simply updating their software.
  • Companies can increase user trust in their products and user privacy by implementing Lean Data Practices that increase transparency and offer user control.

By taking action on these two simple ideas, we can create a better Web together.

Why is updating important?

Updating your software is a basic but crucial step you can take to help increase your privacy and security online. Outdated software is one of the easiest ways for hackers to access your data online because it’s prone to vulnerabilities and security holes that can be exploited and that may have been patched in the updated versions. Updating can make your friends and family more secure because a computer that has been hacked can be used to hack others. Not updating software is like driving with a broken tail light – it might not seem immediately urgent, but it compromises your safety and that of people around you.

For our part, we’ve tried to make updating Firefox as easy as possible by automatically sending users updates by default so they don’t have to worry about it. Updates for other software may not come automatically, but they are equally important.

Once you complete your updates share the “I Updated” badge using #DPD2016 and #PrivacyAware and encourage your friends and family to update, too!

Why should companies implement Lean Data Practices?

Today we’re also launching a new way for companies and projects to earn user trust through a simple framework that helps companies think about the decisions they make daily about data. We call these Lean Data Practices and the three central questions that help companies work through are how can you stay lean, build in security and engage your users. The more companies and projects that implement these concepts, the more we as an industry can earn user trust. You can read more in this blog post from Mozilla’s Associate General Counsel Jishnu Menon.

As a nonprofit with a mission to promote openness, innovation and opportunity on the Web Mozilla is dedicated to putting users in control of their online experiences. That’s why we think about online privacy and security every day and have privacy principles that show how we build it into everything we do. All of us – users and businesses alike – can contribute to a healthy, safe and trusted Web. The more we focus on ways to reach that goal, the easier it is to innovate and keep the Web open and accessible to all. Happy International Data Privacy Day!

Firefox Can Now Get Push Notifications From Your Favorite Sites

UPDATED TO CLARIFY HOW TO MANAGE PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

Firefox for Windows, Mac and Linux now lets you choose to receive push notifications from websites if you give them permission. This is similar to Web notifications, except now you can receive notifications for websites even when they’re not loaded in a tab. This is super useful for websites like email, weather, social networks and shopping, which you might check frequently for updates.

You can manage your notifications in the Control Center by clicking the green lock icon on the left side of the address bar. You can learn more about how to manage push notifications here.

Push Notifications for Web Developers
To make this functionality possible, Mozilla helped establish the Web Push W3C standard that’s gaining momentum across the Web. We also continue to explore the new design pattern known as Progressive Web Apps. If you’re a developer who wants to implement push notifications on your site, you can learn more in this Hacks blog post.

More information: