Firefox Marketplace Shows the Power of the Web, Delivers Cross-Platform Global and Local Apps

Mozilla

Mozilla is a nonprofit organization and global community dedicated to the mission of promoting openness, innovation and opportunity online. We create products that capture these values and that people around the world love and choose to use, like Firefox.

Mozilla is working with operator, hardware and developer partners around the world to offer more choice and control in the mobile industry with Firefox OS, which makes smartphones more accessible to people around the globe. Firefox OS smartphones are the first devices powered completely by Web technologies to deliver the performance, personalization and price you want with a beautiful, intuitive and easy-to-use experience that is unmatched by any other phone.

Firefox OS offers two ways to discover and use apps. An adaptive app search, which is a brand new concept for smartphones that literally transforms your phone to match your interests in any moment, and the Firefox Marketplace to help you easily discover popular global apps and relevant local apps.

Firefox Marketplace

In just a few months since the Firefox Marketplace opened with the first Firefox OS launch, we’ve seen significant momentum with thousands of apps submitted and available today, including some that are currently exclusive to the Firefox Marketplace, like the Manana reading app, Senzari Music Graph, Jaxogram photo-sharing app and games like TrippyTap.

Some of the favorite popular global apps include Badoo, Box, Chatty (phrase translator), Cut the Rope, Discovery, Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph – Fix-It Felix, Easy Taxi, Evernav, Facebook, KAYAK, multiConvert, Poppit from Pogo, Projector (task manager), Rhapsody, Sticky (photo stickers), SoundCloud, The New York Times, The Weather Channel, TimeOut, TLC, TMZ, Tuenti, Twitter, wger (diet and exercise), World Radio Player and YouTube.

Mozilla and partners engage with developers around the world to ensure people have a great selection of relevant local apps.

Popular local Firefox OS apps include:
• Spain: Despegar, Tuenti, El Pais, Cinco Dias, La Caixa and Tiempo
• Poland: Tablica, Sport.pl, Pogoda and WP.pl
• Colombia: Despegar, Guru, Gol Caracol and El Tiempo
• Venezuela: Globovision, Despegar, Cinex Movil, Ultimas Noticias, Tu Descuenton & Lider en Deportes
• Peru: Guia Desastres, Despegar, Peru Cookbook and OLX
• Uruguay: Despegar, ibus, OLX
• Germany: Kicker, Leo, Immoscout24 and General-Anzeiger Bonn
• Mexico: CNN Mexico, Despegar, Media Tiempo, Quien, El Universal, Chilango & M3
• Hungary: Mozi24 and Aprod
• Brazil: UOL, OLX, Decolar, GuiaMais, BOL, SporTV, Dieta e Saude, Editora Globo, Galinha Pintadinha, Kekanto and Vivo Chat

“Mozilla is dedicated to putting the power of the Web in everyone’s hands and Firefox OS shows the promise and potential of the Web, without the need for proprietary apps and closed platforms,” said Rick Fant, Mozilla Vice President of Firefox Marketplace. “We are excited by the developer interest in the short time since we’ve opened the Firefox Marketplace and are impressed by the creativity and innovation inspired by Mozilla-pioneered WebAPIs.”

Mozilla introduced new WebAPIs to unlock the power of the Web and enable the Web to be the world’s largest marketplace. These WebAPIs provide access to everything from the dialer and camera to Bluetooth, SMS, accelerometer and more. Developers around the world can now build rich and fun Web experiences that could previously only be developed with proprietary native code, specific to each platform.

Firefox OS gives developers flexible payment options including operator billing and an open API to execute in-app payments, which Mozilla aims to standardize for all Web browsers and operating systems. Mozilla is working with the Inneractive ad network to create a simple library for integrating ads into apps and games specifically for Firefox OS.

Firefox OS levels the playing field in the mobile industry and addresses issues like app fragmentation and discoverability. Porting apps to Firefox OS is a simple process that takes only a few minutes, so developers don’t have to worry about building for multiple operating systems. Firefox OS apps are available across devices and platforms and your content is tied to you, not your devices or operating system.

This means developers can create and distribute apps without gatekeepers, while people and their content don’t get locked into devices or platforms.

John Jackson, IDC Research Vice President said, “Many of the new markets Firefox OS is expanding into offer significant volume potential, and contribute to Web ecosystem benefits. This growth underscores operators’ strategic commitment to the platform and their satisfaction with consumer adoption to date. Firefox OS is entering its second phase of expansion at a time when other aspiring third smartphone platforms continue to struggle for position, scale, and sustainability in the competitive market. The platform continues to add new features that are appropriate for its target markets, striking a balance between value to consumers and affordability. Perhaps more importantly, Firefox OS continues to attract new apps and content partnerships. These are the lifeblood for a platform and should further drive consumer adoption and spur innovation in developer communities.”

Firefox Marketplace is included with all Firefox OS smartphones and a preview is currently available on Firefox for Android, Windows and Mac.

Firefox OS smartphones first went on sale in July and will be available in more than 10 markets around the world by the end of the year.

For more information:

 

Live What You Love: Mozilla Firefox & The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing

Mozilla

Firefox connects you with your passions via the Web, whether it be music, entertainment, lifestyle or sports. That’s why we are excited to announce that Mozilla is sponsoring the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, the world’s premier series of professional surfing events, taking place November 12th – December 20th in the famed North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii.

Livewhatyoulove

Surfing is a sport driven by fierce loyalty – and we don’t want loyal fans to miss a minute of the action.  One way to show your passion and enthusiasm is to add a custom theme to your browser that commemorates the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. With the new FirefoxOS:  Vans Triple Crown of Surfing app, fans will be able follow their favorite surfers and live stream all three events that make up the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing competition –  the Reef Hawaiian Pro, Van’s World Cup of Surfing, and Billabong Pipe Masters — all from their FirefoxOS phone.  You can download the app from the Firefox Marketplace.

Fans will have the opportunity to celebrate the freedom, individuality, and live what they love by swinging by the on-site Firefox Fan Tent where they can kick back, participate in social media contests and get awesome surf swag, including sunglasses, beach towels, and waterproof stickers – all the necessities for a day in the sand.  Firefox will also have a VIP Athlete Area, where the courageous competitors can stop by to unwind in between waves.  They will be able to relax in the lounge area before getting back on their boards. Stay tuned to @Firefox on Twitter and the Firefox page on Facebook for images and videos right from the event.

Aloha!

Update: Today, we are happy to announce that you can install the Van’s Triple Crown Sidebar for Firefox to watch the action on the beach, from home.  The sidebar pulls in the latest contest news from the official Van’s Triple Crown website and allows you to keep up with the contest wherever you go on the Web with real-time updates in your Firefox sidebar. To download, visit this page and click “turn on.”

 

Happy Ninth Birthday Firefox!

Mozilla

Mozilla created Firefox to be an amazingly fun, safe and fast Web browser that embodies the values of our mission to promote openness, innovation and opportunity online. In the nine years since we first launched Firefox, we have moved and shaped the Web into the most valuable public resource of our time

We are excited to join together with the global community of Mozillians to start the celebration of Firefox’s golden ninth birthday on November 9. To celebrate, we’d like to highlight nine of our favorite gifts we’ve given the Web over the past year.

HBDFx.jpg

  • Firefox in Mobile: Firefox has always made a significant impact on the Web and we’ve recently grown Firefox to support not just Windows, Mac and Linux, but also Android phones and tablets. As more and more people access the Web from a mobile device than ever before, our Firefox for Android Web browser consistently offers users an amazing browsing experience, receives 4.5 stars in the Google Play Store and has been downloaded millions of times.
  • Growing the Firefox Family: We also expanded the Firefox family this year with the birth and launch of the first ever Firefox OS smartphones – devices based entirely on open Web technologies. To date, we have launched Firefox OS in nine countries and have thousands of apps in our Firefox Marketplace.
  • Speedy: Firefox is faster than ever before. We beat last year’s Kraken scores by 74%, and we’re 88% faster on Octane. Web Apps and games are 25 percent faster due to our JavaScript improvements and a new technology called asm.js. And, Tom’s Hardware recently named Firefox “the new speed king” and winner of the Web Browser Grand Prix due to startup times, page load times and reliability.
  • Social: We’ve been working on ways to integrate social sites and services directly into Firefox to quickly and easily connect you with your friends and family. Last year, we launched with Facebook as the first Firefox social integration partner. Soon after that we added Cliqz, and Mixi and we are working with more social sites, services and apps to make your browsing experience more social, customizable and personal.
  • Private: We are proud to be named the Most Trusted Internet Company for Privacy in 2012, according to a study performed by the Ponemon Institute. We also just launched the Lightbeam Firefox Add-on, which brings to light the array of first and third party companies people interact with everyday across the Web in a visual way.
  • Secure: We shipped Mixed Content Blocker in Firefox to keep you secure, wherever you surf the Web. Firefox includes Click to Play plugins. By allowing you to decide which sites need to use plugins, Firefox will help protect them and keep their browser running smoothly.
  • The Best Developer Tools: Firefox now boasts a robust set of tools for Web developers for editing and debugging HTML, CSS and JavaScript on the desktop and on mobile. Recent highlights include: the App Manager; Responsive Design View, Network Monitor; Page Inspector; and the JavaScript Debugger.
  • WebRTC: Firefox enables video calls and file-sharing directly in the browser, all without the need for plugins or third-party software with Web Real Time Communications.
  • Innovations in Web Gaming: Over the last year, our developers and engineers have been hard at work to make the Web the platform for high end game development, one of the last challenges to show the Web is a real development platform. We developed a supercharged subset of JavaScript called asm.js that enables developers to create high-intensity applications, like games, directly on the Web. The Web Audio API was added to Firefox and completed the Web as an amazing platform for gaming.

We’ve got some exciting things coming soon including an updated browser interface and Firefox optimized for Windows 8 tablets. We can’t wait to see what other new innovations come to the Web in the next year! Join in on Twitter to celebrate Firefox. Tweet the hashtag #HappyBirthdayFirefox with your favorite Firefox memory or feature all week.

Firefox for Android Included on New Devices to Bring an Amazing Web Experience to Users

Mozilla

We are excited to announce that Firefox for Android will be preinstalled on new mobile devices this year. Firefox for Android will be included on the new Kobo Arc Tablets and the GIGABYTE GSmart Simba SX1 smartphone.

Firefox is the fun, safe and fast browser that puts the power of the Web in your hands. Firefox for Android makes mobile browsing easy and has an intuitive design, the most powerful customization support of any mobile browser and leads the industry in pioneering privacy and security features like Do Not Track, Private Browsing and Guest Browsing. Firefox puts you in control of your Web experience with the ability to synchronize your browsing history, open tabs and passwords across devices.

Kobo Arc Tablets:
Firefox for Android will be preinstalled on the new Kobo Arc 7, Kobo Arc 7HD and Kobo Arc 10HD tablets from Kobo, a global leader in eReading. The devices, designed for the most passionate readers, are hitting stores across North America.

Together, Kobo tablets and Firefox for Android ensure readers have a beautiful experience – whether you’re reading a book or surfing the Web. Like Kobo’s Readability features, Firefox has a Reader feature to offer another way for Kobo customers to view and read Web content by removing advertisements, adjusting pictures and increasing font size to show a more clear view of the page. Everything in your Firefox Reading List is available offline, so you can catch up on reading when Internet access is unavailable, like on an airplane or subway.

The Kobo Arc  tablets are now available at Kobo.com in the US and Canada with additional markets coming soon.

GIGABYTE GSmart Simba SX1 Smartphones
Firefox for Android is preinstalled on the GSmart Simba SX1, a dual SIM smartphone that supports three-way calling across both SIMs.

This will bring an amazing Web experience to GSmart Simba SX1 users and, combined with the 21Mbps high speed connection available, gives users the security, privacy and personalization they want right out of the box and in the palm of their hand.

The GSmart Simba SX1 will be available in Russia, Ukraine, EEU, Belarus and Taiwan from November, and rolled out globally from December 2013.

“We are pleased to partner with Kobo and GIGABYTE to offer Firefox as a pre-installed Web browser on Kobo Arc tablets and the GSmart Simba SX1 smartphone.” said Karen Rudnitski, Senior Product Manager for Firefox for Android. “Firefox is dedicated to offering users the best and most personal mobile browsing experience and we are happy to be able to bring that experience directly to users, globally.”

For more information:

Mozilla, OTOY and Autodesk Work to Deliver High Performance Games and Applications on the Web

Mozilla

At Mozilla, we work to move the Web forward as the platform for creating and consuming great experiences. Recently, we’ve focused on making the Web capable to deliver the most powerful desktop applications possible and awesome gaming experiences to as many people as possible.

Today, the Web received a major boost with this announcement from Amazon and OTOY. As part of this, Mozilla, OTOY and Autodesk, worked to develop ORBX.js, a pure JavaScript framework to make the Web the standard for consuming high-performance cloud graphics.

Combining all these technology advances means that for the first time, Amazon Web Services (AWS) customers will be able to use the power of graphics processing in the Cloud and OTOY’s ORBX.js streaming technology to deliver high performance games and desktop applications to the Web – using only HTML5 and JavaScript.

Graphic design engineers and gamers can now enjoy the flexibility of picking up their work or games anywhere they have access to any HTML5-enabled browser without having to worry about performance or plugins. This video demo shows what great Web-based gaming experiences look like in Firefox:

Autodesk will also leverage this technology to make sophisticated 3D design and engineering applications such as 3DS Max, Autodesk Maya, Autodesk Revit and Autodesk Inventor software available through any HTLM5-enabled Web browser.

This is what executives from Mozilla, Amazon, Autodesk and NVIDIA had to say about the announcement:

“Mozilla’s mission of making the Web the leading platform for the greatest number of users and developers today hit a major milestone,” said Brendan Eich, Mozilla Chief Technology Officer and creator of JavaScript. “With JavaScript performance now rivaling that of safe native code, thanks to Mozilla-pioneered technology such as asm.js and WebGL, the innovative approach used in OTOY’s ORBX.js now makes it possible to run powerful native apps from any popular OS through a modern browser. This robust commercial solution for running high performance games and desktop applications on the Web without plugins, demonstrates the power of the Web as a platform for software development and distribution.”

“As we launched our latest Amazon EC2 instance type to bring further capabilities to our customers today, we are excited to collaborate with OTOY to extend the reach of this powerful and disruptive technology,” said Matt Wood, General Manager, Data Science at AWS. “The combination of OTOY and Amazon EC2 G2 instances provides an immediate and compelling solution for customers looking to build graphics-intensive applications on top of these instances.”

“Designers and engineers have an increasing need to be mobile, accessing the tools they need anytime, anywhere and from any device. Simple viewing and mark-up of documents is no longer sufficient – they need to be able to access powerful 3D design applications, be able to do real design work and not worry about sacrificing performance,” said Jeff Kowalski, Chief Technology Officer at Autodesk. “This is now possible with technology made possible by Autodesk, Amazon and OTOY.”

“With this news, AWS infrastructure can be leveraged to deploy high-performance NVIDIA GRID GPU graphics on-demand, not only to thin-clients, but also to any HTML5 webpage using ORBX.js. “The OTOY ORBX AMI is the easiest way for Software-as-a-Service companies to immediately access the video streaming capabilities in NVIDIA GRID instances,” said Steven Parker, GM of Professional Design and Visualization, NVIDIA. “Many graphics-intensive applications, from Autodesk 3D design software to games, can be hosted by AWS on NVIDIA GRID GPUs and streamed using OTOY software to a browser on any device.”

Telefonica Launches Firefox OS Smartphones in Mexico, Peru and Uruguay

Mozilla

Telefonica is launching Firefox OS phones this week in Mexico, Peru and Uruguay. Both the ZTE Open and ALCATEL ONE TOUCH Fire will be available in Mexico starting today, while the ZTE Open is available in Peru, and the ALCATEL ONE TOUCH Fire is available in Uruguay. Just last week, Telefonica also launched a new Firefox OS device – the LG Fireweb in Brazil. Firefox OS is now available in nine countries with more coming soon.

Firefox OS smartphones are the first devices powered completely by Web technologies to deliver the performance, personalization and price you want in a smartphone with a beautiful, intuitive and easy-to-use experience that is unmatched by any other phone. Firefox OS has all the things you need from a smartphone as well as the things you want like built-in social integration with Facebook and Twitter, HERE Maps with offline capabilities, much-loved features like the Firefox Web browser, the Firefox Marketplace and much more.

Firefox OS features a brand new concept for smartphones – an adaptive app search that literally transforms the phone to meet your needs and interests at any moment. Simply start to type what you are interested in and instantly get a whole new customized phone experience based on your needs. You can discover apps to use once or download to keep, giving you a completely customized experience with the exact content you want, when you want it.

You can also find apps in the Firefox Marketplace, which already has popular global apps like Badoo, Box, EA games like Poppit, Facebook, KAYAK, SoundCloud, The Weather Channel, TimeOut, TMZ, Tuenti and Twitter.

New Firefox OS phones will have the latest version of Firefox OS (1.1), which includes many performance improvements and new features like MMS messaging. Existing Firefox OS users will be upgraded to the latest version soon.

For More Information:

Video Interoperability on the Web Gets a Boost From Cisco’s H.264 Codec

Mozilla

Editor’s Note: Brendan Eich, Mozilla CTO, posted on his blog about Mozilla and the recent Cisco announcement about H.264. This is reposted below:

As I noted last year, one of the biggest challenges to open source software has been the patent status of video codecs. The most popular codec, H.264, is patent-encumbered and licensed by MPEG LA, under terms that prevent distributing it with open source products including Firefox. Cisco has announced today that they are going to release a gratis, high quality, open source H.264 implementation — along with gratis binary modules compiled from that source and hosted by Cisco for download. This move enables any open source project to incorporate Cisco’s H.264 module without paying MPEG LA license fees.

We are grateful for Cisco’s contribution, and we will add support for Cisco’s OpenH.264 binary modules to Firefox soon. These modules will be usable by downstream distributions of Firefox, as well as by any other project. In addition, we will work with Cisco to put the OpenH264 project on a sound footing and to ensure that it is governed well. We have already been collaborating very closely with Cisco on our WebRTC implementation, and we are excited to see Cisco deepening their commitment to the Open Web. Or, as Jonathan Rosenberg, Cisco CTO for Collaboration puts it,

Cisco has a long-standing history of supporting and integrating open standards, open formats and open source technologies as a model for delivering greater flexibility and interoperability to users. We look forward to collaborating with Mozilla to help bring H.264
to the Web and to the Internet.

Here’s a little more detail about how things are going to work: Cisco is going to release, under the BSD license, an H.264 stack, and build it into binary modules compiled for all popular or feasibly supportable platforms, which can be loaded into any application (including Firefox). The binary modules will be available for download from Cisco, and Cisco will pay for the patent license from the MPEG LA. Firefox will automatically download and install the appropriate binary module onto each user’s machine when needed, unless disabled in the user’s preferences.

Interoperability is critical on the Internet, and H.264 is the dominant video codec on the Web. The vast majority of HTML5 streaming video is encoded using H.264, and most softphones and videoconferencing systems use H.264. H.264 chipsets are widely available and can be found in most current smartphones, including many Firefox OS phones. Firefox already supports H.264 for the video element using platform codecs where they are available, but as noted in my last blog post on the topic, not all OSes ship with H.264 included. Provided we can get AAC audio decoders to match, using Cisco’s OpenH264 binary modules allows us to extend support to other platforms and uses of H.264.

While Cisco’s move helps add H.264 support to Firefox on all OSes, we will continue to support VP8, both for the HTML video element and for WebRTC. VP8 and H.264 are both good codecs for WebRTC, and we believe that at this point, users are best served by having both choices.

Of course, this is not a not a complete solution. In a perfect world, codecs, like other basic Internet technologies such as TCP/IP, HTTP, and HTML, would be fully open and free for anyone to modify, recompile, and redistribute without license agreements or fees. Mozilla is fully committed to working towards that better future. To that end, we are developing Daala, a fully open next generation codec. Daala is still under development, but our goal is to leapfrog H.265 and VP9, building a codec that will be both higher-quality and free of encumberances. Mozilla has assembled an engineering dream team to develop Daala, including Jean-Marc Valin, co-inventor of Opus, the new standard for audio encoding; Theora project lead Tim Terriberry; and recently Xiph co-founders Jack Moffitt, author of Icecast; and Monty Montgomery, the author of Ogg Vorbis.

Cullen Jennings, Cisco Fellow, Collaboration Group, says:

Cisco is very excited about the future of royalty free codecs. Daala is one of the most interesting ongoing technical developments in the codec space and we have been contributing to the project.

At Mozilla we always come back to the question of what’s good for the users and in this case that means interoperation of copious H.264 content across OSes and other browsers. We’ve already started looking at how to integrate the Cisco-hosted H.264 binary module, and we hope to have something ready for users in early 2014.

Watch this space for more exciting developments in WebRTC, Daala, and open web video.

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Share Your Firefox with Friends & Family While Keeping Your Web Information Private with Guest Browsing

Mozilla

Firefox for Android offers Guest Browsing to let you share your mobile device with friends and family without having to worry about them viewing your personal information like browsing history, bookmarks, passwords, form data or open tabs. Guest Browsing is designed to quickly and easily lock your personal data and provide your guest with a fresh new browsing experience. Once you enable Guest Browsing Firefox restarts with a fresh profile and deletes that guest’s information when the guest session is closed. This means you can let friends and family borrow your phone or tablet to surf the Web and make sure your own information is safe and secure.

To enable Guest Browsing, just tap on the Firefox Menu button, tap on “Tools” and tap “New Guest Session.” Friends can exit the guest browsing session by tapping on the Menu button and then selecting “Exit Guest Session.”

English

Firefox for Android also helps you easily customize your Android device with your favorite photos. You can set an image as your device’s wallpaper or add a photo to a contact right from your current Web page. Simply press and hold the desired image to bring up the Context Menu and select “Set Image As” to customize your device with an image from the Web.

Firefox for Android adds support Ukrainian, Irish and Romanian locales and is is now available in 27 languages worldwide.

For More Information:

 

Listen Up! Web Audio API now in Firefox – Completes Web as a Platform for Gaming

Mozilla

The Web has been evolving at a fantastic rate over the last few years with the help of Mozilla pioneered technologies such as WebGL, asm.js and Emscripten.  With all these improvements to speed and capability, more potential has been added to HTML5 that allows the Web to include amazing experiences previously only possible with the help of plug-ins.  As impressive as these advancements have been up until now, HTML5 was missing a vital component for games developers, advanced audio capabilities supported across multiple browsers.

Today, Mozilla introduces Web Audio API as part of the update to Firefox for Windows, Mac, and Linux.  This represents a substantial upgrade to the Web’s ability to process audio.  Although the Web has had some audio support, this new Web Audio API brings some powerful new capabilities not possible with Audio Data API.  Audio engineers can now build robust audio engines capable of outputting amazing soundscapes for people to enjoy.  A few new features to highlight include positional audio and support for effects such as reverb, which can create immersive audio experiences on the Web, like never before.

The release of the Web Audio API provides the final building block needed to run advanced games on the Web. Games like the recently released Epic Games demo, Citadel which offers a great demonstration of what is now possible. Try it out on Firefox and you’ll notice an immersive surround sound experience when walking down a street or past waterfalls.

We’ve received a lot of feedback about Web Audio API and believe we now have an offering games developers will love. To help showcase exactly what it can do, we have been collaborating with Goo Technologies who have built an open source demo to show some of these capabilities in action.  This demo was built using their suite of game development tools which they will be releasing next week.

For a developer overview of how Goo Technologies implemented the Web Audio API, take a look at this Hacks post, which includes a link to the interactive demo.

Firefox supports Ogg (both vorbis and Opus) and includes conditional support for MPEG 4, H.264, MP3 and AAC.  The support for this later group is not built directly into Firefox, instead it relies on support from the OS or hardware.

Firefox has implemented the Web Audio API as described in this W3C standard. It has been largely agreed on by the browser community and is very similar to the prototype Webkit Web Audio API, but with a number of improvements. Until other browsers upgrade their implementations, we need to make sure that these differences are clear.  To make supporting the legacy and the standard version as easy as possible, we have written an article that covers the differences and how to write code that will work for both.

The Firefox team is excited to be the first browser to bring the standards compliant version of Web Audio API to the Web.  Now the Web offers a truly competitive platform for games developers, we can’t wait to see what people do with it!

- Martin Best, Game Platform Strategist, Mozilla

The Freedom Act will Help Rebuild User Trust in the Internet

handerson

Recent revelations of the NSA’s expansive surveillance programs harm user trust in the digital ecosystem, stifle innovation, and lead to a harmful balkanization of the Internet. Internet users around the world must be able to trust that their information, communications and documents are safe and secure. The alternative is a race to the bottom where only those users who seek out complex, bolt-on security tools get protected communications, or worse yet become reluctant to use digital communications and avoid services that both improve their lives and drive commerce. Those of us in the technology sector, citizens at home, and constituents globally are asking what can be done to regain user trust.

One obvious answer is to change U.S. law to limit the ability of the NSA to conduct such mass surveillance. The Freedom Act, introduced today in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Sensenbrenner and in the U.S. Senate by Senator Leahy, does just that. The Freedom Act takes an important step toward rebuilding user trust by adding limitations on government collection of data in the name of national security.

The idea is simple. The NSA should not have a blank check to access user data from technology companies. Today, gaps in oversight and legal review permit the NSA to collect and use massive amounts of data about foreigners AND Americans. This infringes fundamental notions of privacy for many and undermines safeguards against unreasonable search afforded under the Constitution. If adopted and passed into law, the Freedom Act would end bulk collection of Americans’ communications records. It also requires the government to aggressively filter and discard information about Americans collected through PRISM and other programs. Other changes proposed by the Freedom Act can be found here.

Certainly, more is required to address this issue as each day we learn of new and disturbing aspects of global surveillance on citizens around the world. The Freedom Act is not a wholesale fix to the myriad of issues exposed by the NSA’s surveillance programs, but it is a step in the right direction. We support Congressman Sensenbrenner and Senator Leahy’s leadership on this crucial issue.

This post is related to our broader work on public policy issues and the Open Internet. To learn more about how you can get involved, check out the Mozilla Netpolicy Module wiki.