Homeland Security Demands Mozilla Remove Firefox Extension That Redirects Seized Domains

from the touchy,-huh? dept

Apparently, the folks at Homeland Security are not at all pleased with the very, very simple Firefox extension, called MAFIAAfire, that negates ICE's domain seizures, by automatically rerouting users to alternate domains. Apparently, DHS demanded that Mozilla take the extension down from its listing of Firefox extensions claiming that the add-on "circumvented" DHS's seizure orders. Thankfully, Mozilla didn't just fold, but instead left it up and sent DHS a list of questions concerning the request. The list of questions is really fantastic, as it goes way beyond the direct request to really get to the heart of the questionable nature of ICE's activity with domain seizures:
To help us evaluate the Department of Homeland Security's request to take-down/remove the MAFIAAfire.com add-on from Mozilla's websites, can you please provide the following additional information:

1. Have any courts determined that MAFIAAfire.com is unlawful or illegal in any way? If so, on what basis? (Please provide any relevant rulings)

2. Have any courts determined that the seized domains related to MAFIAAfire.com are unlawful, illegal or liable for infringement in any way? (please provide relevant rulings)

3. Is Mozilla legally obligated to disable the add-on or is this request based on other reasons? If other reasons, can you please specify.

4. Has DHS, or any copyright owners involved in this matter, taken any legal action against MAFIAAfire.com or the seized domains, including DMCA requests?

5. What protections are in place for MAFIAAfire.com or the seized domain owners if eventually a court decides they were not unlawful?

6. Can you please provide copies of any briefs that accompanied the affidavit considered by the court that issued the relevant seizure orders?

7. Can you please provide a copy of the relevant seizure order upon which your request to Mozilla to take down MAFIAAfire.com is based?

8. Please identify exactly what the infringements by the owners of the domains consisted of, with reference to the substantive standards of Section 106 and to any case law establishing that the actions of the seized domain owners constituted civil or criminal copyright infringement.

9. Did any copyright owners furnish affidavits in connection with the domain seizures? Had any copyright owners served DMCA takedown notices on the seized domains or MAFIAAfire.com? (if so please provide us with a copy)

10. Has the Government furnished the domain owners with formal notice of the seizures, triggering the time period for a response by the owners? If so, when, and have there been any responses yet by owners?

11. Has the Government communicated its concerns directly with MAFIAAfire.com? If so, what response, if any, did MAFIAAfire.com make?
It's always nice to see some organizations not just roll over when the government comes calling. Kudos to Mozilla for not just refusing to takedown MAFIAAfire, but for also asking serious questions of DHS. Of course, DHS has refused to respond at all...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    fogbugzd (profile), May 5th, 2011 @ 3:03pm

    It looks like I need to switch back to using Firefox as my default browser.

     

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    Greg G (profile), May 5th, 2011 @ 3:09pm

    Excellent

    Glad Mozilla did that, now I don't have to change my default browser.

     

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    The eejit (profile), May 5th, 2011 @ 3:15pm

    Nice work, Mozilla!

    That's a pretty good dissection of everything that's wrong, and gives Mozilla a chance to look over the 'evidence' in order to disprove the claims that everything wasn't done legally.

     

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    Hiiragi Kagami (profile), May 5th, 2011 @ 3:24pm

    *points to browser

    Hell yeah, baby! Mozilla just score 500 bonus navigator points for this ballsy move.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2011 @ 3:28pm

    I know it's besides the point, but this addon is horrible. If you install it, expect Firefox to crawl to a halt on every single DNS request it has to make; effectively rendering Firefox useless.

    Edit your hosts file; simpler and faster.

    Oh but yay Mozilla. Even if it sucks. Nice to see them standing up.

     

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      Lauriel (profile), May 6th, 2011 @ 12:58am

      Re:

      Hmm. I have the add-on, and can't say I've noticed a reduction in speed.

       

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      wvhillbilly (profile), May 6th, 2011 @ 8:54pm

      Re: MAFIAAfire slows browser

      Try upgrading your RAM. Lots of time slow performance can be blamed on lack of memory, because your computer is constantly having to thrash stuff back and forth with the paging file.

       

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    That Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2011 @ 3:31pm

    but but but ... piracy!

    do this or off to the gulag with you!

    Do they have any idea how quickly information goes around the intertubes? If they seize a domain, it takes about a day for the new domain to be posted to all of the news sites. This extension just made that time shorter.
    So I guess the plan is to fight piracy 24 hours at a time?

    And hey they managed to create more coverage of the plugin, should they take themselves down for contributing to the problem?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2011 @ 3:32pm

    Mozilla uses in its email the word "request", whereas your link uses the word "demand". The two are not, of course, synonymous.

    It is not at all clear if Mozilla could be held legally liable for its extension, but it is clear that as a group located within the US it is generally not a good idea to get "cutesy" with the DHS and the DOJ.

     

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      Mike42 (profile), May 5th, 2011 @ 3:38pm

      Re:

      You, sir are not an American by any stretch of word or imagination, regardless of your legal place of birth.
      Please save your thinly veiled threats for whatever third world dictatorship which you can more properly call home.

       

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      Mike Masnick (profile), May 5th, 2011 @ 3:47pm

      Re:

      It is not at all clear if Mozilla could be held legally liable for its extension, but it is clear that as a group located within the US it is generally not a good idea to get "cutesy" with the DHS and the DOJ

      I find this to be an interesting statement on two levels.

      1. I don't see how requesting that a government agency back up its demands with a legal basis is, in any way, shape or form getting "cutesy" with the government.

      2. I find the general sentiment you express here horrifying. You actually think that if the government comes to you and makes a request outside of the law, you should just obey? That seems to run entirely counter to the American way of standing up for what you believe in and not being bullied by the government.

      I really find it sad when people who claim to be patriotic Americans really are just willing pawns of authoritarianism.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2011 @ 5:49pm

        Re: Re:

        Perhaps the next time the IRS asks you a question it would be a good time to hit it with a "Mozilla Memo".

        Here the memo should have been no more than one or two very simple, non-argumentative questions.

         

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          Jay (profile), May 5th, 2011 @ 7:39pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          If I recall correctly, the IRS used to use threatening posture in the 90s to go after people with little to no money.

          Congress solved that pretty quickly by taking away their teeth.

          Here, we have Mozilla asking a few common sense questions based on a few facts:

          1) No court order was given with this demand
          2) An inquiry into what harm the plug in is doing to the consumers or the market
          3) Is this about censorship, or is this about taking down an opponent of the already controversial seizure domains?

          The list could be three questions or it could be dozens, but if DHS doesn't want to answer the questions listed, THAT should be what we're focusing on. Mozilla is correct in asking about the validity of this takedown.

          Arguing that the list should be only a few questions less is mere semantics.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2011 @ 8:05pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Ah yes, how dare Mozilla ask questions of the DHS instead of just blindly capitulating in fear like a certain condescending lawyer apparently would.

           

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          techflaws.org (profile), May 5th, 2011 @ 9:46pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Here the memo should have been no more than one or two very simple, non-argumentative questions.

          And why is that? Cause the tiny brains over at the DHS cannot process anything over 3 and up? Figures. That's probably why they never managed to answer those serious questions asked.

           

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          Mike Masnick (profile), May 6th, 2011 @ 1:14am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Perhaps the next time the IRS asks you a question it would be a good time to hit it with a "Mozilla Memo".


          What does the IRS have to do with DHS trying to get Mozilla to take down perfectly legal content?

          Here the memo should have been no more than one or two very simple, non-argumentative questions

          I'm glad that you know what Mozilla should or should not have done.

          However, I'm afraid in my estimation, you are wrong again. Mozilla asked serious questions of a government agency trying to exert greater than justified power. It "should" do exactly what you it did. Just because you like to kowtow to the government, does not mean that everyone else "should."

           

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            Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2011 @ 3:27pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            1. As yet, I have not seen a copy of the alleged communication from the DHS to Mozilla (phone call, letter, email, other?). Here the link uses the word "demand". In the email allegedly sent by Mozilla it uses the word "request". The best evidence of what started this off is a copy of the initial communication. Without it everything else is mere conjecture.

            2. When sending a response to a government agency it is generally not a wise move, even if one is absolutely entitled to do so, to wax poetic with a series of "questions" that serve no useful purpose other than, perhaps, "feeling good" that you did. Generally, the less said the better. Question #3 may very well have been the only one it needed to ask. The writer already knew the answers to most of the others. Thus, they added nothing of relevance and could reasonably be viewed as merely being argumentative.

            3. While Mozilla may stand on firm legal ground, at this early stage its legal position cannot be determined with certainty. By being "cutesy" it may embolden the recipient to move forward and test Mozilla's legal position in court. The goal should be to end the matter here and now, and not to increase in the slightest the possibility that a decision may move to a later date using unknown means.

            4. The above is not being unpatriotic, and it is plainly silly to suggest otherwise. It is not bending to the will of the government. It is merely a way to solve a potential problem in a manner that minimizes the possiblity that it later becomes a real problem. Just because one has a "right" to do something does not necessarily mean that it is the "right" or "smart" thing to do under the circumstances.

             

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              Lauriel (profile), May 6th, 2011 @ 4:59pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Okay, I think I see where you are coming from.

              Firstly, let me say that I am not American, so really couldn't care less if your views are patriotic or not! This, for me, takes out one factor of the argument - nationality. Rather, think globally. This is an issue that concerns everyone, not just America, even though the source individuals/corporations are in the USA.

              Secondly, you are arguing from a position of problem resolution. If you are viewing it as a problem that needs to be resolved as quickly, quietly and efficiently as possible, then you are correct. Mozilla's actions were extremely questionable if this was the goal.

              Problem resolution, however, was NOT Mozilla's goal in this case. Many, Mozilla and MAFIAAfire included, consider what the DHS has been doing as censorship. The sole reason for making this app, as stated by the creator of the MADIAAfire app, was to protest this act of censorship. Mozilla, as a company with a firm belief in open source software, and the ideals on which it is built, is echoing and supporting that protest, as well as making one of it's own.

              Your arguments are 100% correct if Mozilla's response was aimed at resolving it's issue with the DHS demand. It is not. It is a public protest, straight up. It isn't meant to resolve, it is meant to question, probe, and well.. protest the DHS's actions. An anti-war rally is not meant to resolve a smaller issue, but to protest a larger one. This is Mozilla's anti-war cry.

               

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                Jose_X, May 11th, 2011 @ 9:29am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Mozilla stands for a lot of good and freedom and would have the support of a very very large voter base. The more public this got, the more voters would get involved on this issue and push back.

                 

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              Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2011 @ 8:48pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You can try to backpedal all you want, but you've already made it clear to everyone that you would cave to government pressure in fear.

               

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          PrometheeFeu (profile), May 6th, 2011 @ 9:21am

          Re: Re: Re:

          AFAIK the IRS doesn't make demands without citing law. If it does make demands without citing laws, asking them to cite law is simply common sense. As far as the cutesy nature, I'm pretty sure Mozilla could fight back pretty hard against the DHS in court. And honestly, the courts will simply have to agree that if the DHS does not cite law, being cutesy in your questions is not an offense.

           

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        bob, May 5th, 2011 @ 9:45pm

        Re: Re:

        Right on Mike!!!!

         

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        Michial Thompson, May 6th, 2011 @ 5:45am

        Re: Re:

        I HOPE that they have everything in order financially and with the IRS, and I sincerely hope that they don't plan to travel at all via anything other than car.

        I am glad they didn't just Roll Over, but I REALLY HOPE they thought through the consequences of their actions.

         

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          Skeptical Cynic (profile), May 6th, 2011 @ 6:37am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Really? "thought through the consequences of their actions"

          So you think we now live in a country where retaliation for asking justifiable questions of a Government Agency is going happen?

          If we are at that state then I think more and more of us should be asking those questions. Not hoping.

           

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            nasch (profile), May 6th, 2011 @ 2:06pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Haven't you heard the stories of people being put on "harrass at the airport" lists for criticizing the TSA? Yeah, we're in that country.

             

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              Jose_X, May 11th, 2011 @ 9:36am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Harassment of law-biding citizens who would have the sympathy and appreciation of millions of people? Is that smart? We aren't talking about a no-name person or an Al Capone. Does the government really want to draw more scrutiny to itself? Does Hollywood really want to draw more attention to this plugin and to their abusive position?

               

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        Skeptical Cynic (profile), May 6th, 2011 @ 6:29am

        Re: Re:

        Due process is a fundamental right we have in America.

        "~nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law~"

        Without due process we might as well live in a dictatorship or totalitarian country.

        Asking for confirmation that what they are doing is legal and that they have followed due process is not getting "cutesy".

         

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        sam, May 7th, 2011 @ 7:27am

        Re: Re:

        YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH !!!

        reddit.

         

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      Gwiz (profile), May 5th, 2011 @ 3:49pm

      Re:

      ...but it is clear that as a group located within the US it is generally not a good idea to get "cutesy" with the DHS and the DOJ.

      Asking relevant questions about important issues that effect everyone is not being "cutesy" at all.

      It's called being a good American.

      "It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority."
      — Benjamin Franklin

       

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      AW, May 5th, 2011 @ 4:20pm

      Re:

      Yes and those darn colonists shouldn't have gotten "cutesy" with the King of England...did you miss the basis of liberty in the USA? We don't give in because government told us to.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2011 @ 4:28pm

      Re:

      Are you talking about the United States government agencies or Stasi. US agencies work under the rule of law. Stasi agencies don't. Where do you live?

       

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        The eejit (profile), May 5th, 2011 @ 11:07pm

        Re: Re:

        The US clearly, They stole the Stasi idea and then patented it, and are now suing the World for stealing their idea.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2011 @ 4:21am

        Re: Re:

        Do they now? I have seen quite a couple of cases of first degree murder/ attempted first degree murder by the US authorities over the past 50 years. And no rule of law authorises those.
        And if rule of law prevails in the US, why are so many Americans being harassed/raped/beaten half to death by your figures of authority without any of those figures of authority ever being brought to justice?
        Rule of law? My ass!

         

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      Spaceboy (profile), May 5th, 2011 @ 4:28pm

      Re:

      So, your basically getting your panties in a bunch because they want to see a warrant or court order?

       

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        mike.d, May 6th, 2011 @ 1:14pm

        Re: "...your (sic) getting your panties in a bunch..."

        People of the Internet. Sadly, not for the last time: your = your, you're = you are. Get it straight. You look stupid and no one can take you seriously except other stupid people. And that is not respectable.

         

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          Michael Whitetail, May 8th, 2011 @ 12:50pm

          Re: Re: "...your (sic) getting your panties in a bunch..."

          Dear Grammar Nazi,

          Please die in a fire. Thank you.

          Sincerely,

          The rest of the world

           

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      G Thompson (profile), May 5th, 2011 @ 10:33pm

      Re:

      It is amazing the pedantry that you spout when you have no other basis for a negative argument against IP minimulism.

      You and I both know that a legal nastygram such as what DHS/ICE gave Mozilla equates to a demand (you even allude to it in your last line of not getting cutesy) whereas due to this a request from Mozilla towards DHS/ICE is therefore a demand to provide proof of why Mozilla should kowtow to the demands of a Govt organisation when there is No legal requirememt to.

      Mozilla can in no way shape or form be held liable for an extension (especially when it is not even their extension but written by a third party) to state otherwise means that providers of Operating Systems (Redhat, Microsoft, etc) could be held liable because people write unwelcome programs that hook into the operating system (You know like programming in C or Assembler)

      As for the question on the letter Mozilla wrote to DHS I thought they were quite relevant, and were a polite way of asking for a declaratory opinion before having to go to court.

      If it was myself, I would not of bothered with 11 points, just one would of been needed. I would of pointed them to the reply in Arkell v. Pressdram

       

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        aldestrawk (profile), May 6th, 2011 @ 2:32pm

        Re: Re:

        "Mozilla can in no way shape or form be held liable for an extension (especially when it is not even their extension but written by a third party)"

        Is that true? Let's suppose first that ICE actually exercised due process in obtaining the seizures through court order etc. If the code was a core part of Firefox, could ICE then get a court order to force Mozilla to remove a feature that helped in circumventing the domain seizure? Suppose it was an Apple approved app on an Ipad. That's not much different than being a core feature of an Ipad. In Mozilla's case they offer the add-on on their website as an officially approved one. Is this much different than the Ipad scenario? We all know that anyone can write and install an add-on for Firefox without Mozilla's approval. The issue here is that Mozilla has put their seal of approval upon the Mafiaafire add-on. ICE is asking them to take that back and I assume they realize that won't make Mafiaafire go away.
        BTW: Mozilla did not approve the Firesheep add-on but that was not the result of government pressure.

         

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      btr1701 (profile), May 6th, 2011 @ 8:02am

      Re:

      > it is clear that as a group located within the US it is generally
      > not a good idea to get "cutesy" with the DHS and the DOJ.

      The whole point of this country and the Bill of Rights is that the citizens are protected from reprisal by the government for being cutesy.

      Indeed, the freedom to criticize the government and stand up to its abuses is one of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

      Your comment indicates how far we've fallen from those principles if you accept as a matter of course that citizens should just shut up and take it or else.

       

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      anonymous stranger, May 6th, 2011 @ 12:19pm

      Re:

      What exactly is "cutesy" about standing up for your rights?

       

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      Michael, May 6th, 2011 @ 5:48pm

      Re:

      I disagree, I think it ALWAYS a good idea to challenge DHS and DOJ when they appear to be skirting the law. Its people NOT standing up that has made them as brazen as they are now.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2011 @ 3:33pm

    I say we abolish DHS. Instead of protecting us from terrorists, they're wasting their time (and our tax dollars) protecting big corporate profits and trying to protect the government from embarrassment (though in fact causing even more embarrassment in the process). Why do we need them again?

     

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      Trails (profile), May 5th, 2011 @ 3:57pm

      Re:

      Don't worry, you won't care about your domains when a TSA agent gropes your 9 year old child.

       

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      aldestrawk (profile), May 6th, 2011 @ 2:41pm

      Re:

      You do realize that DHS is more than ICE, CBP, and TSA? It is FEMA, the Coast Guard, and the Secret Service. Do you want to eliminate all of this?

       

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        ElectricKoolaid, May 7th, 2011 @ 6:23am

        Re: Re:

        Getting rid of DHS doesn't mean getting rid of all those other agencies, dude. All those other agencies functioned separately from each other for decades before DHS existed, they can function separately again.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2011 @ 3:34pm

    I hope Mozilla's owners aren't planning on traveling abroad anytime soon.

    Also, I'm surprised Mozilla hasn't been sued by the Godzilla company yet. Seems more like Godzilla than Fingerzilla at least phonetically.

     

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    Mudlock, May 5th, 2011 @ 3:43pm

    Now would be a good time to donate:

    https://donate.mozilla.org/page/contribute/openwebfund

     

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    Big Mook, May 5th, 2011 @ 3:52pm

    DHS' new motto

    All your base are belong to us!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2011 @ 4:19pm

    I installed this extension when it first came out. Not because I need the extension but because with so much internet traffic being spied on, one of the things reported to websites are what extensions you have installed.

    I want it seen that not every user of the internet in the US agrees with the actions ICE has taken.

    Call it a civil disobedience.

     

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      Lauriel (profile), May 6th, 2011 @ 12:57am

      Re:

      Me too. Not because I really visit those sites much (although one of them I did), but because I really loved what the guy said about taking a stand against censorship. I'm fully behind him on that.

      I'm so proud of Mozilla - this is the response I was hoping for, but not really expecting. The questions they posited were acute, pertinent, and showed a very in-depth understanding of the on-going situation.

      I agree with what some others have said - Mozilla is already my default browser, but it's definitely time to hit the 'donate' button.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2011 @ 4:23pm

    Of course, DHS has refused to respond at all...

    Incoming: A vague and nebulous statement which repeats several debunked/irrelevant theories (e.g. "piracy is killing corn farmers") and proves absolutely nothing. Afterward, the DHS will seize mozilla.org.

     

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    Craig, May 5th, 2011 @ 4:25pm

    as a Canadian .. i am so glad the DCMA act and DHS and DOJ have no bearing on what i can or cannot do :)

     

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      Trails (profile), May 5th, 2011 @ 4:50pm

      Re:

      As another Canadian, let me assure you they do. Canada is attached at the hip to the US. While American law and policy obviously affects Americans more directly in general, American law and policy WRT many things, especially the internet, have a huge impact up here.

       

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      Rich, May 5th, 2011 @ 5:48pm

      Re:

      What do you mean it has no bearing? Aren't you guys the 51st state? :)

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2011 @ 8:55am

        Re: Re:

        no they come in behind puerto rico

         

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        anonymous coward II, May 6th, 2011 @ 9:51am

        Re: Rich

        I thought that was England.

        Shucks. I forgot, England is America's largest aircraft carrier.

         

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        James, May 9th, 2011 @ 11:35am

        Re: 51st State

        No not the 51st state and no not behind Puerto Rico. However, CANADA is one of the largest corporations of the US.


        Canada’s Corporate registered number. 0000230098 CANADA DC SIC: 8880 American Depositary Receipt. Business Address Canadian Embassy 1746 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20036…”

         

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      Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2011 @ 4:55pm

      Re: Canadian DMCA

      They've been trying to pass a Canadian version of the DMCA for a while now.

       

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      Brad, May 9th, 2011 @ 9:41am

      Re:

      You obviously are not familiar with what happened to MAVEN.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2011 @ 4:34pm

    DHS IS FULL OF IT! (And I don't mean Information Technology)

    The seizure orders very specifically instruct VeriSign to change the DNS records in their database to ones that the government has control over. This extension doesn't change those records at all, therefore it's not circumventing the orders and DHS's request is an act of attempted censorship, technological stupidity or both.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2011 @ 4:54pm

    DHS has failed to respond because they are waiting for the industry lawyers to pull their strings.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2011 @ 4:56pm

    Web browsers = piracy

    Dear Congress,

    Web browsers are responsible for 100% of piracy on the world wide web.
    They must be banned or we'll simply have no reason to innovate anymore.

    Signed,
    Big Br...uh..Media

     

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    Anonymous Poster, May 5th, 2011 @ 5:19pm

    Mozilla: "Chrome's got speed, IE's got name recognition, and Opera's got indie cred, but we've got bigger balls."

     

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    Shane C (profile), May 5th, 2011 @ 5:28pm

    Re: cutesy with the DHS

    It is not at all clear if Mozilla could be held legally liable for its extension, but it is clear that as a group located within the US it is generally not a good idea to get "cutesy" with the DHS and the DOJ.


    Mike, et al.,

    I think what the AC is referring to here is the likelihood that DHS is seriously wondering if they could get away with "seizing" mozilla.org/com now that Mozilla has publicly pushed back against DHS. Asking questions privately, even though they didn't get a response, allows DHS to forget about it, and brush it under the rug. Making it public puts egg on DHS's collective face, and makes Mozilla a bigger target.

    Is it right? NO
    Does it change the threat to Mozilla? YES

    Granted, making it public MIGHT make it harder for DHS to retaliate against Mozilla. And then again, it might not. So far DHS hasn't appeared to care about public opinion (or legal opinions for that matter) with this little game they are playing. Their egos might just feel they have to power to take down a major internet software company for allowing the circumvention of their highly questionable, yet still in their eyes "legal" seizures.

    All in all, I wouldn't be surprised if mafiaafire.com is seized in the next round. It would make DHS look petty, and it appears (from text on the MAFIAAFire site) that not only is MAFIAAFire taunting DHS into doing it, but it looks like they have a backup site ready to go as well. So that seizure would be moot. Nevertheless, DHS still might do it because again, everything they've done so far they believe to be legal.

    Part of me really wants to see DHS "seize" mozilla.org/com. That would be a big enough site, with a big enough budget to get this thing finished once and for all.

     

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      G Thompson (profile), May 5th, 2011 @ 10:50pm

      Re: Re: cutesy with the DHS

      Seizing Mozilla.org would have a knock on effect the likes of which the US Govt could not imagine.

      For example:
      Mozilla would fight both in the courts, media, and halls of public opinion. Oh and this would seriously piss off a lot of very intelligent people worldwide

      More than likely Mozilla would find another place of residence away from the USA with an interesting effect of a lot of other companies following suit and leaving the unstable legal waters of the USA

      They could, and this would be highly interesting, un-license the usage of Mozilla products from any and all US Government usage. Oh and for all those who think it could not be unlicensed, you might want to actually read the copyleft/GPL license of Mozilla products.

      The ripple effects of doing anything to Mozilla would be amazing, and yes like you I to would love to see the USG try.

       

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        C., May 6th, 2011 @ 12:03am

        Re: Re: Re: cutesy with the DHS

        "More than likely Mozilla would find another place of residence away from the USA with an interesting effect of a lot of other companies following suit and leaving the unstable legal waters of the USA"

        Why not?? Superman's leaving.

         

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        chris, May 6th, 2011 @ 9:25am

        Re: Re: Re: cutesy with the DHS

        Knowing them they'll probably accidentally confiscate .org instead :)

        Seriously though, I remember reading that .org is managed outside of the US and is out of reach. Seal team mission?

        I disagree about a strong backlash though. The numbers of people who care/would do anything other than bitch, just aren't there. More likely they'll just move, along with lots of other, like you said.

        I love Mozilla!

         

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      Jay (profile), May 6th, 2011 @ 6:43am

      Re: Re: cutesy with the DHS

      " Making it public puts egg on DHS's collective face, and makes Mozilla a bigger target."

      Yes, but it's collective egg.

      You see, the FBI tried this, to no avail.

      The White House threatened over their logo.

      So seeing the government pushed back means there's plenty more egg to go around.

      Now I'm hungry for an omelette...

       

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      btr1701 (profile), May 6th, 2011 @ 10:39am

      Re: Re: cutesy with the DHS

      > Making it public puts egg on DHS's collective
      > face, and makes Mozilla a bigger target.

      The idea that any citizen or business can so routinely be "targeted" by the government merely for standing up for themselves and exercising their legal rights is a sad indication of how fall we've fallen short of the country the Founders envisioned.

       

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    TheOldFart (profile), May 5th, 2011 @ 5:50pm

    I just added it to my browser

    I have no use for the plugin. I'm against pirating of films, music and video games so it's highly unlikely I'd ever visit most of those sites, but if there's one thing I hate more than anything else in the world it's a fascist.

    The DHS is abusing its power in precisely the way it was intended to be abused when it was created, IMHO. It's another step towards corporate owned law enforcement.

    I rarely subscribe to any sort of conspiracy theory but is there *anything* the DHS has done to actually make the country safer? I'm not the only one asking that question either:

    http://www.customsandinternationaltradelaw.com/2011/02/articles/department-of-homeland-securit-1/d oes-the-us-department-of-homeland-security-make-us-safer/

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2 011/01/02/unconventional_wisdom?page=0,2

     

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      btr1701 (profile), May 6th, 2011 @ 10:57am

      Re: I just added it to my browser

      > Is there *anything* the DHS has done to actually
      > make the country safer?

      Depends on what you mean by "safer".

      The Coast Guard is part of DHS. They do a damn good job of both indicting drug and gun runners and search-and-rescue ops.

      The Secret Service is part of DHS. They do a damn good job protecting high-level government officials.

      On the other hand, DHS has done nothing to secure our borders (and actively undermines the efforts of anyone else who tries) and they oversee the ridiculous TSA and their grope-a-terrorist program. And their ludicrous fixation on copyright violation as a threat to national security is laughable.

      So basically the question is too broad for just a simple yes/no answer. If DHS was abolished, as many here have called for, and the Secret Service disappeared, does anyone really believe the country would be better off for it, with our president left completely unprotected? No. Can they do a better job in other areas in setting the proper priorities and securing the country? Absolutely.

       

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        z (profile), May 6th, 2011 @ 11:21am

        Re: Re: I just added it to my browser

        Depends on what you mean by "a part of"...

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_Homeland_Security
        "created in response to the September 11 attacks, and with the primary responsibilities of protecting the territory of the U.S. from terrorist attacks and responding to natural disasters."

        The Secret Service and Coast Guard were around a lot longer than DHS.

        I still fail to understand how seizing domains protect us from terrorist attacks...

         

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          btr1701 (profile), May 6th, 2011 @ 12:27pm

          Re: Re: Re: I just added it to my browser

          > "created in response to the September 11 attacks, and with
          > the primary responsibilities of protecting the territory of the
          > U.S. from terrorist attacks and responding to natural disasters."

          Yes, and part of creating DHS was to consolidate already-existing agencies under one department.

          > The Secret Service and Coast Guard were around a lot longer than DHS.

          Sure. Doesn't change the fact that they make up a significant percentage of DHS.

          The point is, DHS does some things very well and other things so poorly you wonder if a team of clowns wouldn't be better able to pull it off.

           

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            Gordon (profile), May 7th, 2011 @ 9:17am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: I just added it to my browser

            I believe you're getting the point that others are putting out there but on this one thing, you're wrong.

            The Coast Guard and the Secret Service, although part of DHS, would not in any way be dissolved if DHS was torn down.
            They would simply fall back to where they came from, or not. They could just exist.
            DHS should have never been implemented anyway.

            My 2 cents.

             

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              btr1701 (profile), May 8th, 2011 @ 6:52pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I just added it to my browser

              > The Coast Guard and the Secret Service, although part of DHS,
              > would not in any way be dissolved if DHS was torn down.
              > They would simply fall back to where they came from, or not. They
              > could just exist.

              The same could just as accurately be said for TSA and ICE and all the other DHS components that are causing the problems.

               

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    V, May 5th, 2011 @ 6:02pm

    I've said it before...

    Governments should be afraid of their people. People shouldn't be afraid of their government.

     

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      Hephaestus (profile), May 9th, 2011 @ 9:22am

      Re: I've said it before...

      "Governments should be afraid of their people. People shouldn't be afraid of their government."

      What a perfect reason to defund the Secret Service.

       

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        nasch (profile), May 9th, 2011 @ 3:18pm

        Re: Re: I've said it before...

        I would say the Secret Service is pretty far down the list of my concerns with the federal government, personally.

         

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    fritz43 (profile), May 5th, 2011 @ 6:45pm

    DHS

    Time to put them on a very short leash. They are obviously drunk with power.

    This too shall pass, folks. And besides, it's true: the internet interprets censorship as damage and simply routes around it.

    "They got the guns but we got the numbers." Jim Morrison

     

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    Don, May 5th, 2011 @ 7:01pm

    Alright already, how long does it take the DHS to respond? I really want to see how this turns out.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2011 @ 7:24pm

    I agree that the DHS needs to go. They are simply populated by experts on government-funded theft and thuggery.

     

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    Old Fool (profile), May 6th, 2011 @ 12:41am

    Win!

    This post has put a huge smile on my face, I've always used Firefox because:-

    1/ I hate Microsoft (destroy every company making better software instead of competing).

    2/ I hate Apple (to restrictive).

    3/I'm doing my bit to stop Google taking over the world.

    4/ Gotta love open source.

    I think I'll go make a donation, they deserve it.

     

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    Eponymous CowTurd, May 6th, 2011 @ 12:44am

    But ... ... But ... ... But they're terrorists!

    These guys are terrorists, that's exactly why we pay them millions to protect us.

    Yay Department of Home Land Security!

    Now I'm confused, .....what are we secure from exactly?
    Oh that's right the terrorists!

    Yay go on git that Osama babe.
    Oh wait, thats not in your charter of operations is it?

    Sounds like a FOX hunt then?
    Better git those legal DOGS to go BARKING accusations then.

    Proof?
    Nah, we don't need that silly, just make a lot of noise like a stun grenade WHAM BAM Thank you MAME.

    Now I feel totally SCREWED!

    Its a sad day when the Department of Homeland Security makes the terrorists look GOOD HUH?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2011 @ 12:46am

    Unlisted

    Mafiaafire appears to be unlisted. Browsing through the list of extensions reveals no such program, and searching for it also yields no results. Did Mozilla cave in to DHS demands despite their initial refusal, or was the software never listed in the first place?

    Unlawful domain seizures. Thuggish takedown demands. DHS has too much power and too little oversight.

     

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    elmiguel, May 6th, 2011 @ 3:35am

    Mozilla does not allow searching for this plugin

    Go to: https://addons.mozilla.org

    try to search for: 'Mafiaa' 'MafiaaFire Redirector' etc.
    no results!

    Here is the destination page:
    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/mafiaafire-redirector/

    Looks like gov pressure is already working.

     

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    Lisa Westveld (profile), May 6th, 2011 @ 4:04am

    Poor Mozilla...

    It wouldn't surprise me if ICE will seize the MAFIAAfire domain and perhaps even the Mozilla site itself! ICE doesn't need a court to take down sites. This, they've done before and they will continue to do so until they are stopped by many, many court orders. (And perhaps even that won't be enough...)

     

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      PrometheeFeu (profile), May 6th, 2011 @ 9:45am

      Re: Poor Mozilla...

      I really want them to. Boy will they have bitten more than they can chew if they seize the Mozilla domain. That would mean that nobody is safe from ICE seizures. Under such circumstances, just about the entire tech industry would be willing to go to the mat for Mozilla because they know they might be next. Ideally, they would seize Google. If they do that they will piss off enough basic computer users that we very well might see the head of the DHS resign.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2011 @ 4:54am

    Nothing else to say, but "Bravo"!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2011 @ 6:26am

    donated!

     

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    Seabear70, May 6th, 2011 @ 7:12am

    Awsome!!!!

    Now if they will just fix their damned Ctrl-Arrow key cursor controls!!!!

     

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    Skeptical Cynic (profile), May 6th, 2011 @ 7:26am

    State of the Union

    Today we look at the State of our Union...

    The TSA gropes kids for fun and profit.

    The DHS somehow thinks that taking down domains is protecting the "Homeland".

    I.C.E refuses to actually stop illegal immigration, but thinks that it should be "Enforcing" it's restrictions on people that are born or live here legally.

    The DOJ is spending all of it's resources on piracy, but does nothing about the problems caused by the financial crisis.

    And during all of this the President of this great country ignoring all of the turmoil all over the world thinks it a great idea to film an episode of Oprah.

    The State of the Union is STRONG!

     

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      Hephaestus (profile), May 9th, 2011 @ 9:29am

      Re: State of the Union

      Whats really weird is ever since this president took office, I have been wondering if he has an agenda, was stupid, or just plain incompetent .... incompetent and stupid seem to be winning at this point.

       

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    coop, May 6th, 2011 @ 7:29am

    Thanx DHS,

    I didn`t know about this addon till you whined about it.

     

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    hmm (profile), May 6th, 2011 @ 7:33am

    i hope

    Oh GOD I hope SO SO MUCH that the DHS confiscates mozilla.org...the explosive backlash worldwide would be hilariously immense on a Michael Bay scale!

     

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    Thomas (profile), May 6th, 2011 @ 8:59am

    DHS...

    doesn't care about legality anyway; they are being paid by the MPAA/RIAA to do what the record labels can't do.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2011 @ 9:25am

    It always see a red flag when someone is trying tomake a statement by just asking questions. Example;Glenn Beck. I will be sure not you use mentioned products.

     

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    Art, May 6th, 2011 @ 9:43am

    why...

    why is DHS involving themselves in piracy and copyright issues anyway. Don't they have better things to do, like raping people at airports or persecuting American Muslims?

     

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    Howard the Duck, May 6th, 2011 @ 12:31pm

    Mozilla I love you

    I'm loving the good news too. I want the pendulum to swing.

     

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    Suzie Student, May 6th, 2011 @ 1:26pm

    Fight back, America!

    I'm sorry, but DHS is a complete joke as far as protecting US citizens goes. These mutated power-hungry monster structures we call our government and the current Federal Reserve need to come tumbling down. I have friends who see this ineptness and corruption when they go to work every day, so why haven't we rebelled already? My admittedly biased (and perhaps flawed) opinion: Too many sheep, and not enough people are ready, willing, able or perhaps educated enough to speak out against stuff like this.

    I really hope Mozilla wins this battle. Otherwise, I wonder what this country will become... a fascist authoritarian dictatorship or will be become just like (insert your favorite communist or former communist government), highly industrious as a nation but treats their people terribly and tries to cover it up as if they did nothing wrong or that nothing happened? If history has taught me anything, it's that there will be a revolution. I hope it comes very soon. I also hope those DHS jackasses defecate their pants when they see how many people they've disenfranchised and infuriated if they keep acting like imbeciles.

    I will be donating! Keep up the good fight, Mozilla!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 6th, 2011 @ 4:22pm

    #1 terror organization is the USA government

    The USA government is the largest terrorist organization in the world. I challenge anyone to prove otherwise. How many examples do I need to make - holding people in Guantanamo that have been proven to be innocent (kidnapping/forcible confinement), murdering people like Bin Laden (never been proven guilty of anything), manipulation of governments, bribery, assassinations, the list goes on and on. Wake up America and smell the shit your government is feeding you.

     

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      Michael Whitetail, May 8th, 2011 @ 1:49pm

      Re: #1 terror organization is the USA government

      Wow. Way to be ignorant there. Do you have any citations to back up a single claim you've made?

      (Preface: I do not believe in Gitmo, what its being used for, or the things that happen there)

      Who in Gitmo has had legitimate proof of being innocent? Where is the proof?

      On the Bin Laden deal, whether you believe he had anything to do with 9/11 is besides the point. We know what crimes he commited from The beginning of the Russian/Afgan war through to the 1996 bombing of the parking Gargage of the WTC.

      How do we know? We *financed* his jihad all troughtout that war because, as far as the US was concerned, it was okay when he was doing that shit to the russians.

      Now that they are doing it to us, we are all outraged!!

      What assassinations? Citations please. There has been a Presidential Finding since Carter that forbids US forces to assinate anyone. Killed while attempting to flee capture is covered under the Internation rules of Land Warfare and is not assassination.

      As for the Bribery and manipulations of other governments, can you honestly say that you think the US is the only one doing these things? Its called diplomacy and governments for the last 2,000+ years have been doing it.

      I think it is you that needs to wake up and smell the coffee. Yes things are hideously wrong in this country, but needless, incorrect hyperbole is not requuired, and only tends to confuse the legitimate issues.

       

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        nasch (profile), May 8th, 2011 @ 2:21pm

        Re: Re: #1 terror organization is the USA government

        Killed while attempting to flee capture is covered under the Internation rules of Land Warfare and is not assassination.

        Oh, so all we have to do is try to capture someone while leaving them a potential escape route, and then shoot them when they run. Convenient!

         

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          Michael Whitetail, May 8th, 2011 @ 2:46pm

          Re: Re: Re: #1 terror organization is the USA government

          Such are the rules of warfare, which grew out of the use of such barbaric things as gas, chemical, germ, and nuclear warfare during the first and second parts of the Great European Civil War (WWI and WWII for those who dont get the reference)

          These are the rules that many, MANY civilized countries agreed on in trying to make war less horrible for all parties involved by laying down the rule of law on who is, or is not a fair target and how and with what they may be attacked.

          It covers such things as care and supply of POW's, while out-lawing such things as gas warfare, or the use of .50 cal weapons on human targets. It mandates acceptable use-of-force, tactics, and actions agaisnt enemy combatants, commanders, and spies/sabatuers. Especially those not dressed in national uniform. (This is where you get your streetside executions of VC prisioners who conducted illegal warfare while dressed as civilians)

          As a commander in the field, soldiers had every right to return fire agaisnt those in the compound, and whether Bin Laden was carrying a weapon or not, as the self proclaimed commander of those forces, he was fair game.

           

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            nasch (profile), May 8th, 2011 @ 5:33pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: #1 terror organization is the USA government

            It covers such things as care and supply of POW's, while out-lawing such things as gas warfare, or the use of .50 cal weapons on human targets.

            Actually that's a myth, the Geneva Conventions (nor other treaties as far as I know) don't prohibit the use of .50 caliber rounds against personnel. This seems like a pretty detailed exploration of the subject but I will leave you to google around about it if you're interested.

            http://home.avvanta.com/~minsq/NCArchive/00000210.htm

             

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    patriot charles (profile), May 7th, 2011 @ 8:31am

    government abuse of power by obummer etal

    there is a solution--- but where are the congressmen with balls?
    IMPEACH - CONVICT - EXECUTE FOR TREASON that imposter osama obama barry soetero hussein obummer or whoever he really is

     

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      Michael Whitetail, May 8th, 2011 @ 2:09pm

      Re: government abuse of power by obummer etal

      So its okay to Impeach and execute Obama for the things hes done, but it's not okay to do the same to Bush?

      Bush and his policies in his 8 year reign of destruction has destroyed more lives, financial futures, and killed more people *in this country* than anything Obama has done anywhere in the world!

      He initiated 2 wars of aggression that were almost certainally illegal, lied about them and why. Changed the interstate banking laws to enrich his rich friends and supporters which spiralled the US into a Depression... THEN LIED THAT IT WAS EVEN A DPRESSION! His orders have resulted in an estimated 100,000 civilian deaths, and something like 5,000 us service men dead, with tens of thousands wounded.

      Whats Obama done? Dicked us around with Online censorship in the name of corporate greed, and lied to us about transparency in the Government.... Seems just a bit different when you really look at the face of it.

      Now I am not saying Obama has done thing wrong, far from it, but if what he has merits death, then what Bsh has done merits his death 1000 fold, and maybe even that of his family for the next 10 generations.

       

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    Cody Bonney, May 7th, 2011 @ 11:18am

    Glad to see this

    It's nice to see that they aren't folding. At the same time, the way they worded their response comes off as provoking with the huge list of questions and all. Their focus should be on trying to end the matter as quickly as possible rather than provoking the other parties.

     

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      nasch (profile), May 7th, 2011 @ 11:50am

      Re: Glad to see this

      If their focus were on ending the matter as quickly as possible, they would have just complied. Clearly that is not their goal.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    j, May 7th, 2011 @ 1:56pm

    Downloaded this addon just to spite DHS.

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/mafiaafire-redirector/

    Thank you, Mozilla.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2011 @ 4:58pm

    Agreed... Mozilla does good... now, help them out

    Nice move Mozilla!!

    Now, help the Mozilla Foundation out by making a tax deductible contribution:

    https://donate.mozilla.org/page/contribute/openwebfund

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Cynix, May 8th, 2011 @ 5:01am

    I've installed it just now specifically to poke Homeland Security in the eye!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    A. Duval, May 8th, 2011 @ 7:37am

    Hooray for Firefox! Finally someone with a spine. I'm changing to Firefox today.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    rick walton, May 8th, 2011 @ 11:45pm

    Maffiafire

    I thought this was the United States--by the time we ban everything we do--for whatever reasons--it ought to be a interesting place--MOZILLA job well done

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    ahmed, Jun 12th, 2011 @ 7:21am

    global

    i think this is a global issue to discuss but i think firefox is easy for malware.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Zumba Fitness DVD Set, Sep 6th, 2011 @ 9:53pm

    "Governments should be afraid of their people. People shouldn't be afraid of their government."

    That's not a reason man

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    the0wl (profile), Oct 1st, 2011 @ 5:19pm

    Mozilla vs US ICE

    Isn't it absolutely wonderful when an entity like Mozilla says "no" to the US government? I grabbed MafiaaFire as soon as it came out for Firefox. I love it, and I love Mozilla. I also just installed MafiaaFire in my Chrome browser as well. Seems as tho Google feels the same way. See? We're not *all* stuck behind a malicious firewall...

    Cheers;
    the0wl

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    the0wl (profile), Oct 1st, 2011 @ 6:40pm

    MafiaaFire Take-Down?

    It appears the MafiaaFire site has been taken down, ir at least blocked. Neither RR-DNS nor OpenDNS can find the site. Help?

    the0wl

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    mutuelle du soleil, Dec 12th, 2012 @ 12:35am

    Vos commentaires sont passionnants. Merci bien pour ce partage !

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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