What Does Mozilla Firefox Mean When We Say “Open”?

Mozilla, the makers of  Firefox, champion and protect the open Web. But a lot of you have asked, what does that mean?

We asked Mark Surman, Executive Director of Mozilla to put it in it’s simplest terms.

Q: What does “open” actually mean?

A:  Firefox is a great example of what can be accomplished in the open. About 40% of Firefox code was written by more than 40,000 volunteer contributors. Today, it’s used by more than 450 million people around  the world.

Open  is being accessible and doing things in the light. Open is having a choice. It’s letting other people drive and teaching them how to do it.

We don’t just let you look over our shoulder, we invite you to get under the hood and tinker with the engine.

What it doesn’t mean: It doesn’t mean built and understood by only a few gatekeepers. It doesn’t mean keeping users in the dark. It doesn’t mean secret surveillance.

Q: Why should I care about the open Web?

A:  The web is more than a technology; it’s a public resource. It’s a  shared force for good. It’s like the Eighth Wonder of the World that belongs to everyone.

But there are threats to the Web. Governments and corporations that try to control it. Those that think privacy, security and user choice aren’t important.

Mozilla’s mission is to keep the Internet alive and accessible. We know an open web is worth fighting for.

Q: Why should I support “open”? How does “open” protect the Web?

A: Mozilla is a not-for-profit organization. This is a movement, not a business.

We  want to protect the web and create value for everyone. Working in the  open will produce some of the most exciting innovations on the web — it  already has. We’re a global community of technologists, thinkers and  builders working together to build the Web for everyone. Being open is how we make that happen.

Thanks Mark, for teaching us all about the open Web and why it’s important.

If you’re a Firefox user, you’re already supporting the open Web. Tell others about Firefox or share this blog post on your social channels.

Want to do more? Help keep Mozilla fighting by signing up for the Mozilla mission emails.  You can also show your support by becoming  one of our community of awesome volunteers.