Firefox web browser maker Mozilla has turned down a request from the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to ban an add-on that allows users to visit websites banned by the US government.
Apart from protecting US citizens, the DHS is also apparently responsible for taking down websites that carry copyright infringement content. The department has ceased scores for websites that allow users to stream copyrighted content like movies, TV shows and sport games.
The MafiaaFire add-on for Firefox allows web surfers to visit the websites banned by the government by using their IP address.
The DHS wrote to Mozilla, asking it to remove the add-on as it leads to copyright infringement. Mozilla however believes otherwise.
The open source outfit claims that firstly, a letter is a not equal to a binding court order and secondly, banning the app can be seen as web censorship, which is bad for the open internet.
“One of the fundamental issues here is under what conditions do intermediaries accede to government requests that have a censorship effect and which may threaten the open Internet." Mozilla said in a statement.
"In this case, the underlying justification arises from content holders’ legitimate desire to combat piracy. The problem stems from the use of these government powers in service of private content holders when it can have unintended and harmful consequences." it added.