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Mozilla: Emily Dunham Leaves, Management Pitches Privacy

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Moz/FF
  • Emily Dunham: Moving on from Mozilla

    Today – Friday, May 22nd, 2020 – is within days of my 5-year anniversary with Mozilla, and it’s also my last day there for a while. Working at Mozilla has been an amazing experience, and I’d recommend it to anyone.

    There are some things that Mozilla does extremely well, and I’m excited to spread those patterns to other parts of the industry. And there are areas where Mozilla has room for improvement, where I’d like to see how others address those challenges and maybe even bring back what I learn to Moz someday.

  • Protecting Search and Browsing Data from Warrantless Access

    As the maker of Firefox, we know that browsing and search data can provide a detailed portrait of our private lives and needs to be protected. That’s why we work to safeguard your browsing data, with privacy features like Enhanced Tracking Protection and more secure DNS.

    Unfortunately, too much search and browsing history still is collected and stored around the Web. We believe this data deserves strong legal protections when the government seeks access to it, but in many cases that protection is uncertain.

  • The USA Freedom Act and Browsing History

    ast Thursday, the US Senate voted to renew the USA Freedom Act which authorizes a variety of forms of national surveillance. As has been reported, this renewal does not include an amendment offered by Sen. Ron Wyden and Sen. Steve Daines that would have explicitly prohibited the warrantless collection of Web browsing history. The legislation is now being considered by the House of Representatives and today Mozilla and a number of other technology companies sent a letter urging them to adopt the Wyden-Daines language in their version of the bill. This post helps fill in the technical background of what all this means.

    Despite what you might think from the term “browsing history,” we’re not talking about browsing data stored on your computer. Web browsers like Firefox store, on your computer, a list of the places you’ve gone so that you can go back and find things and to help provide better suggestions when you type stuff in the awesomebar. That’s how it is that you can type ‘f’ in the awesomebar and it might suggest you go to Facebook.

    [...]

    Unfortunately, historically the line between content and metadata hasn’t been incredibly clear in the US courts. In some cases the sites you visit (e.g., www.webmd.com) are treated as metadata, in which case that data would not require a warrant. By contrast, the exact page you went to on WebMD would be content and would require a warrant. However, the sites themselves reveal a huge amount of information about you. Consider, for instance, the implications of having Ashley Madison or Stormfront in your browsing history. The Wyden-Daines amendment would have resolved that ambiguity in favor of requiring a warrant for all Web browsing history and search history. If the House reauthorizes USA Freedom without this language, we will be left with this somewhat uncertain situation but one where in practice much of people’s activity on the Internet — including activity which they would rather keep secret — may be subject to surveillance without a warrant.

More Mozilla

  • Mozilla Accessibility: Today is Global Accessibility Awareness Day!

    Thursday, May 21, 2020, marks the ninth annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access/inclusion and people with different disabilities.

    Mozilla is committed to ensuring that all of our offerings are accessible and inclusive. Global Accessibility Awareness Day is a great opportunity to recognize and celebrate that.

  • Data@Mozilla: Sharing data on Italy’s mid-pandemic internet outage

    As a data engineer at Mozilla, my colleagues and I study how internet connectivity changes over time and across regions. Like inclement weather, network outages are simply a fact of life: equipment that powers the internet can fail for numerous reasons in any country. As we know from reports of internet shutdowns and throttling by governments in different parts of the world, sometimes outages can also be intentional. But in terms of data, Mozilla measures outages and connection issues through a series of different metrics, including telemetry upload failures.

  • Mozilla Accessibility: Proper VoiceOver support coming soon to Firefox on MacOS

    Firefox 75, released in April, saw the first fruits of this work. Most notably, we learned our way around the Mac code base and the accessibility APIs. In the process we uncovered a small, but significant, piece we were missing that made us very fast all of a sudden. This small, but mighty, patch, enabled us to progress much more rapidly than we had expected. We also made the VoiceOver cursor visible, and made it follow focus. Also, if navigating with VoiceOver, we made focus follow it if VoiceOver’s setting for that was enabled. And, we also fixed some initial labeling inconsistencies across the board.

  • Data@Mozilla: This Week in Glean: mozregression telemetry (part 2)

    With the probe scraper change merged and deployed, we can now start querying! A number of tables are automatically created according to the schema outlined above: notably “live” and “stable” tables corresponding to the usage ping. Using sql.telemetry.mozilla.org we can start exploring what’s out there.

  • This Week in Glean: Bytes in Memory (on Android)

    With the Glean SDK we follow in the footsteps of other teams to build a cross-platform library to be used in both mobile and desktop applications alike.
    In this blog post we’re taking a look at how we transport some rich data across the FFI boundary to be reused on the Kotlin side of things. We’re using a recent example of a new API in Glean that will drive the HTTP upload of pings, but the concepts I’m explaining here apply more generally.

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More in Tux Machines

Red Hat/Fedora: FHE, CoreOS, LLVM, GraalVM and Paul Cormier

  • IBM Releases Fully Homomorphic Encryption Toolkit for MacOS and iOS; Linux and Android Coming Soon

    Often, when I begin explaining fully homomorphic encryption (FHE) to someone for the first time I start by saying that I’ve been working in the field for nearly a decade and yet, I still have to pause to spell it right. So, let’s call it FHE. Half-kidding aside, FHE really sounds like magic when you hear about it for the first time, but it’s actually based on very sound mathematics. The main difference is that FHE requires a shift in the programming paradigm that we are used to, which makes it a little more difficult to integrate into applications. That was until today thanks to a new toolkit we are making available for MacOS, iOS and soon for Linux and Android. In fact, developers with basic platform tool familiarity can get up and running by following a few simple instructions rather quickly (see video below). It was no small feat to synthesize 11 years of top-notch cryptography research into a streamlined developer experience that is accessible and freely available to anyone in the time most people would spend to brew a pot of coffee or de-clutter a desk.

  • New open source security tools let you develop on encrypted data

    Building security into the fabric of your applications no longer requires you to be an expert in cryptography. The open source IBM Fully Homomorphic Encryption Toolkits provide code and development environment settings that developers can use to experiment with a different kind of secure programming model.

  • Contribute at the Fedora CoreOS Test Day

    The Fedora CoreOS team has released the first Fedora CoreOS testing release based on Fedora 32. They expect that this release will promote to the stable channel in two weeks, on the usual schedule. As a result, the Fedora CoreOS and QA teams have organized a test day on Monday, June 08, 2020. Refer to the wiki page for links to the test cases and materials you’ll need to participate. Read below for details.

  • IBM C/C++ and Fortran compilers to adopt LLVM open source infrastructure

    IBM® has been investing significantly in open source code, communities, and governance. LLVM is an open source compilation technology framework that is actively maintained by a large development community, supporting multiple architectures and programming languages. Clang is the open source C/C++ frontend for the LLVM project and provides full support for the latest language standards. IBM intends to fully incorporate the LLVM Core and Clang sub-projects in future C/C++ offerings on IBM z/OS®, Linux on Power, IBM AIX®, and IBM i (with PASE) platforms. As an active sponsor and strong supporter of the LLVM open source project, IBM is contributing code for both IBM Power® and IBM Z® in the areas of code generation and exploitation, portability and usability enhancements, and toolchain support. In 2019, IBM increased participation in the LLVM project by adding AIX support and enhancing loop optimizations. IBM is intending to fully leverage the LLVM infrastructure in C/C++ offerings as the next step in our compiler strategy.

  • Mandrel: A community distribution of GraalVM for the Red Hat build of Quarkus

    The Java community has demonstrated time and time again its ability to evolve, improve, and adapt to meet the needs of its developers and users. Even after 25 years of language and framework choices, Java has consistently ranked in the top languages in use today due to its strong track record and capabilities in enterprise use cases. Red Hat has long been a strong leader in Java and open source software development and remains committed to being at the forefront of Java as it continues to evolve. Today, Red Hat and the GraalVM community jointly established a new downstream distribution of GraalVM, called Mandrel. This distribution will power the Red Hat build of Quarkus, a recently announced addition to Red Hat Runtimes. This article explains what Mandrel is and why it is necessary.

  • Red Hat CEO Paul Cormier Talks About IBM and His Vision for the Future

    Paul Cormier recently sat down for a talk with us about how the company's relationship with its new owner, IBM, is working out and to reflect on where the company is going.

Latest Security Patches and FUD/Drama

Android Leftovers

Windows 10 May 2020 vs. Linux Performance On AMD Ryzen Threadripper

Given the recent release of the Windows 10 May 2020 Update, here are some fresh benchmarks showing how the latest Windows 10 software update paired with the latest AMD drivers performs against the latest 2020 Linux distribution releases. This testing was done on an AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X box given the interesting performance differences we have seen in the past to Linux's advantage with these HEDT processors. The Linux distributions tested against Windows 10 May 2020 Update were Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, openSUSE Tumbleweed, Arch-based Manjaro 20.0.2, Clear Linux 33250, and Fedora Workstation 32. Read more