Public policy and advocacy at Mozilla
Mozilla public policy works with other teams at Mozilla and with our community of users and developers to provide products and services that make the Web more robust, and to take action when there are opportunities to protect and strengthen the Web’s DNA.
Issues and Activities
The Internet policy issues we engage with fall into two broad pillars of activity: trust and openness.
Trust + integrity
Our work on trust and integrity policy begins with the established external contexts of surveillance reform and privacy, working to develop the values of control, transparency, and privacy. Active issues in this pillar of our work include:
- Surveillance reform - touching on a multifaceted set of geographic and legal contexts, and a range of active, unresolved issues
- Security public policy - finding opportunities for change advocacy that go above and beyond information sharing and risk management, including fighting for the continued freedom of users to communicate securely, without backdoors
- Privacy - continuing leadership on raising public awareness of privacy to build a better, more open Internet future
- Data collection and use - evangelizing and advocating for better data stewardship and management
- Engaging with other issues as they develop globally
Openness + innovation
Our work on openness and innovation includes, but goes beyond, net neutrality and intellectual property, centering around the values of competition, interoperability, and innovation. Active issues in this pillar include:
- Net neutrality - protecting the Internet’s status quo of a level playing field to promote innovation, competition, and user choice
- Copyright - taking part in U.S. and E.U. conversations with the objective of strengthening fair use and safe harbors for intermediary liability to promote technology innovation
- Patent - supporting process reforms to discourage excessive and anti-innovation litigation, paired with targeted advocacy efforts around software patent scope
- Interoperability - advocating for interoperability (including but not limited to in the context of IP) in a world of technology silos and new gatekeepers
- Internet governance - engaging with ever shifting global Internet governance forums and structures, seeking potential for impact despite glacial pace of change
- Access - developing strategies to connect new Internet users to the global open Web
- Telecom - monitoring a variety of issues in spectrum, competition, IP transition, and over-the-top services
The primary open forum for Mozilla public policy and Advocacy Community engagement is Discourse. Discourse includes open discussion of policy issues, along with project and job opportunities and other engagements.
We also have a mailing list, open to any Mozillian or invited guest. Archives are viewable by list members. Historically, this mailing list was the primary place for discussion of policy issues.
If you have an Internet policy issue that you think Mozilla should consider intervening in, please submit it for consideration via our Policy Support form or Bugzilla. Please consider the 'Purpose' section below, as well as the issue areas of interest above, in making your submission.
What's Mozilla's role in public policy?
Mozilla believes the Web should be open and available to everyone, and this openness is essential to a healthy cyber economy. We focus on advancing key characteristics of the open Web, not specific functions like social media or videos, which will always be in flux.
The strength of the Web and its economy rests on a number of core building blocks that make up its foundational DNA. Think of them as requirements to support a full range of social, business, governmental, and educational interactions and communications that underlie the importance of the Web in our lives today.
When these building blocks are threatened, the overall health and well-being of the Web are put at risk. For instance, recent attempts to change copyright through SOPA in the US and ACTA around the world undermine the distributed nature of the Web, its interoperability, security, and ultimately the rights of users themselves. Another example is attempts by network operators to block, degrade or discriminate the flow of data across their systems, which threaten to restrict access to the Web and degrade the resilience of the Internet for millions of users.
Mozilla public policy works with other teams at Mozilla and with our community of users and developers to provide products and services that make the Web more robust, and to take action when there are opportunities to protect and strengthen the Web’s DNA. We want to empower anyone to join us, and become a champion and steward of the healthy Web, to help ensure its open characteristics remain intact for the next 2 billion people who join.
So what do we do?
We engage in public affairs matters when Mozilla can make a difference by both advancing and defending the web:
- without compromising core code and product efforts,
- only when Mozilla can add extra value,
- directly or indirectly.
We aren't a typical lobby shop - not even close. We do have and maintain relationships, and we understand and think about politics. But we focus our engagement on issues, in contexts, and at times where we can dive deep, work strategically, and have outsize impact.
How do we do it?
We'll use a variety of techniques, tools and assets depending on the situation and what's at stake to express our voice when and where it matters. The action steps include:
- educate and inform,
- organize and convene,
- enable and support,
- advocate and engage, and
- hack, code and implement.
We will do these things in concert with Mozilla community members and like minded organizations spread across the globe.
To learn more about how you can help us take action, visit our Advocacy page.