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.

  • misterwu@lemmy.world
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    1 month ago

    I love how the developer’s name is “roskomSVOBODA” (svoboda means something like freedom) in contrast to the name of the censorship agency “roskomNADZOR” (supervision).

    Forgive me if i got it wrong. My russian is terrible

    • uis@lemm.ee
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      1 month ago

      Yep. Correct. Also RosComSvoboda is Pirate Party without saying Pirate Party.

  • letsgo@lemm.ee
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    1 month ago

    Heh, I wonder how the ml tankies are spinning this one and what browser they’re going to use instead of Nazifox or whatever stupid name they’re using for it now.

    • Illecors@lemmy.cafe
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      1 month ago

      If not for an occasional comment like yours - I would never remember I’ve defederated them. Thanks!

      • vxx@lemmy.world
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        1 month ago

        Tankies are pro authoritarian. I believe their name comes from celebrating China sending tanks to tianmen square.

        They pretend to be lefties though.

        That’s why they would shit on Firefox, because they’re Pro Putin.

        • TheGrandNagus@lemmy.world
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          1 month ago

          Minor correction, although it changes nothing about your point:

          tankie actually refers to people who defended the crushing of Hungarian and Czechoslovakian revolts by Soviet military personnel, who went as far as sending tanks in to quell civil unrest.

          The term was originally coined in the UK and was an insult to British Communist Party followers who would slavishly follow the Kremlin line.

          Of course, the term has now evolved to mean someone from the west who seems to dislike the west and praises Russia and China, despite them also being Capitalist countries now, and generally being more into imperialism.

          • oatscoop@midwest.social
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            1 month ago

            Before any tankies claim the word is a blanket slur against communists: “tankie” was coined by British communists that were disgusted by the attitudes of some of their so-called “fellows”.

        • uis@lemm.ee
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          1 month ago

          I believe their name comes from celebrating China sending tanks to tianmen square.

          AFAIK that name was created before tianmen.

          because they’re Pro Putin.

          Wouldn’t that make them just autocracy fans, not tankies?

          • TheGrandNagus@lemmy.world
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            1 month ago

            AFAIK that name was created before tianmen.

            Correct. It actually originates from westerners who defended the Soviet Union sending tanks into Hungary and Czechoslovakia when citizens were protesting.

            Wouldn’t that make them just autocracy fans, not tankies?

            They’re kinda the same thing. A tankie is a fan of autocracy, but only when Russia or China does it. It’s not a worldview that makes sense.

            • uis@lemm.ee
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              1 month ago

              I mean Putin has his mafia of oligarchs, while China looks like capitalism with beastly grin. And while CCP fans technically can be called tankies, Putin fans cannot. Putin fans are right-wingers.

                • uis@lemm.ee
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                  1 month ago

                  Why? Russia is not Soviet Union, Putin is not communist, and Unuted Russia members are oligarchs.

              • TheGrandNagus@lemmy.world
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                1 month ago

                They can absolutely be called tankies, the word has evolved, just like how fascists aren’t limited to Mussolini’s National Fascist Party, but instead applies to any extremely authoritarian right winger.

                To a tankie, it doesn’t matter whether Russia or China are left or right wing anymore, all they care about now is being anti-western. The US, UK, etc could turn socialist tomorrow and tankies would still hate them and defend Russia and China.

                Anything the west does is bad and imperialistic, and when you bring up the dodgy shit that Russia and China do, all you’ll get back is whataboutism.

  • jaybone@lemmy.world
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    1 month ago

    Why the fuck should any government decide what software you can run? Especially free software. How threatened or insecure must they be? What a true show of cowardice.

    • Num10ck@lemmy.world
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      1 month ago

      you can expect some USA whataboutism regarding tiktok or wardialing or wardriving etc.

      • jaybone@lemmy.world
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        1 month ago

        Right. And I don’t want any Chinese spyware, or NSA spyware, or Israeli spyware on any of my shit either. But here we are I guess.

  • katy ✨@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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    1 month ago

    well just upped my firefox donation :)

    for those curious you can always make an additional one time donation in addition to your monthly one

    • Starb3an@sh.itjust.works
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      1 month ago

      Fuck Russian politics and policies* I like to believe that most Russians just want to live and drink vodka

      • assassin_aragorn@lemmy.world
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        1 month ago

        The old saying goes that Russian history can be summarized as “And then it got worse.” The Russians are victims of their own history, and they are the first group that Putin terrorized (quite literally with the known false flag operation).

        They have such a rich culture and truly bright minds. There could be wonderful scientific collaboration and cultural exchange. I’d love to see a technological rivalry reminiscent of the cold war (without all the proxy fights and nuclear threats and animosity).

        I hope that it’ll be in my lifetime where we’re able to sit down and drink beer and vodka together and be on friendly terms as countries.

      • uis@lemm.ee
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        1 month ago

        I want not to drink, but use 70% vodka as safe solvent. And live.

    • Pilferjinx@lemmy.world
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      1 month ago

      I can’t imagine what it’s like to not to be able to live honestly without getting disappeared.

      • drathvedro@lemm.ee
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        1 month ago

        Feels lonely, most of all. I don’t fear the cops or ex-wagners I walk past every time I go to the store. It’s the radio silence in once popular channels whose owners were “disappeared”, and friends either in exile or too scared to even go out, that makes me feel devastated.

      • Ænima@lemm.ee
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        1 month ago

        Depending on how the US elections go in November, Americans may soon find out.

        • assassin_aragorn@lemmy.world
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          1 month ago

          That’s not disappearing. That’s blatant killing.

          Disappearing is sudden government abduction with no paper trail. You criticize the government and then all a sudden, your colleagues and friends don’t know what happened to you and can’t contact you.

          It’s an important difference. Disappearing is more ominous and has a greater chilling effect. The government isn’t putting you in a comfortable hotel, and they aren’t killing you silently. They’re torturing you for punishment and for information, and threatening your family. It’s far more sinister.

    • uis@lemm.ee
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      1 month ago

      Low hanging fruit. Pony sites were saying “rkn, fuck you” for a long time

  • 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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      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.