Mozilla Foundation has launched its own campaign against a disputed bill in France that would require browsers to block access to certain websites for Internet users.
The bill, which is expected to be adopted in the fall, would grant authorities the power to provide browsers with lists of sites to block. The objective is to enhance the fight against fraud, online persecution, and to protect minors from accessing pornography sites.
However, critics argue that this move sets a dangerous precedent for global internet censorship. Mozilla claims that the law will create a “dangerous precedent” and pave the way for censorship in other countries.
The company advocates for the use of existing mechanisms to combat malware and phishing, instead of relying on state-imposed block lists, especially at the end-user level.
Mozilla argues that although the bill aims to enhance security, it would actually cause irreparable damage to the open Internet and would be disproportionate to its intended goals.
A petition has been featured on Mozilla’s website, calling for signatures to oppose the adoption of this law. The vote on the bill is scheduled for autumn.
This is not the first time that French authorities have sparked debate over controversial laws that infringe upon privacy and freedom of speech. In June, the French Senate approved an amendment to the justice law, granting law enforcement agencies the ability to activate cameras and microphones on suspects’ devices without notifying the device owners, as well as monitor geolocation data.
Officials argue that this controversial amendment is necessary to combat organized crime and terrorism. However, critics argue that police already possess sufficient powers. This move has faced extensive criticism from human rights activists and organizations, who view it as a potential violation of privacy.