Mozilla has reinstated certain add-ons for Firefox that earlier this week had been banned in Russia by the Kremlin.

The browser extensions, which are hosted on the Mozilla store, were made unavailable in the Land of Putin on or around June 8 after a request by the Russian government and its internet censorship agency, Roskomnadzor.

Among those extensions were three pieces of code that were explicitly designed to circumvent state censorship – including a VPN and Censor Tracker, a multi-purpose add-on that allowed users to see what websites shared user data, and a tool to access Tor websites.

The day the ban went into effect, Roskomsvoboda – the developer of Censor Tracker – took to the official Mozilla forums and asked why his extension was suddenly banned in Russia with no warning.

“We recently noticed that our add-on is now unavailable in Russia, despite being developed specifically to circumvent censorship in Russia,” dev zombbo complained. “We did not violate Mozilla’s rules in any way, so this decision seems strange and unfair, to be honest.”

Another developer for a banned add-on chimed in that they weren’t informed either.

The internet org’s statement at the time mentioned the ban was merely temporary. It turns out wasn’t mere PR fluff, as Mozilla tells The Register that the ban has now been lifted.

“In alignment with our commitment to an open and accessible internet, Mozilla will reinstate previously restricted listings in Russia,” the group declared. "Our initial decision to temporarily restrict these listings was made while we considered the regulatory environment in Russia and the potential risk to our community and staff.

“We remain committed to supporting our users in Russia and worldwide and will continue to advocate for an open and accessible internet for all.”

Lifting the ban wasn’t completely necessary for users to regain access to the add-ons – two of them were completely open source, and one of the VPN extensions could be downloaded from the developer’s website.

  • AisteruA
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    1 month ago

    I think that’s the right thing to do, but they still gave in in the first place… Let’s hope they keep it that way.

    • ripcord@lemmy.world
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      1 month ago

      No, as they said, they temporarily disabled it while they figured out what their options were and what to do. Then they did that.

    • humbletightband@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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      1 month ago

      They were afraid to lose 4% of the audience in Russia and the favor of the Russian government (probably some grants,idk). Now they are afraid to lose those who think that it’s “the right thing to do”.

      Btw, it’s not that hard for the Russian government to block every VPN extension like they did with Nord VPN and Surfshark VPN let alone ban Mozilla. This action will help no one and it’s yet another act of virtue signaling

      • ripcord@lemmy.world
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        1 month ago

        Oh OK, so they suck if they disable it, but they suck if they enable it because it’s pointless. Got it.

        • thisbenzingring@lemmy.sdf.org
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          1 month ago

          IMO it went down like this

          Mo1: hey boss those fucking orcs want us to turn these plugins off what should we do?

          BossMo1: shit fuck those guys… wait I cant make this call, lawyers would probably need to be involved. Damn my boss is on vacation with that hot lady of his. Its probably 2AM where they are… OK I got it! We disable that shit for a few days get everyone all excited. Get lots of free publicity. Get Putin jacking off and then right as he is about to cum, we turn it back on and get everyone in the world to laugh at them.

          Mo1: thats fucking genius!

          BossMo1: One day kid, this will all be yours!

      • paf0@lemmy.world
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        1 month ago

        “Virtue signaling” is just having morals that other people find out about. Be better.