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Mozilla Joins Fight against Justice Department
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Mozilla

Summary: Mozilla is the latest company to join in support of Microsoft in their lawsuit against the Department of Justice imposing gag orders on companies.

Microsoft is getting support from several companies such as Apple, Google, and now Mozilla in their lawsuit against the Justice Department. The tech companies joined together to file an amicus brief in support of Microsoft in their fight against gag orders imposed by the U.S. government.

  
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Other supports included in the amicus briefs in support of Microsoft include Fox News, Washington Post, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Electronic Frontier Foundation, and five former FBI and Justice Department officials.

Read Apple Gets One Win for iPhone Privacy.

Microsoft sued the Justice Department in April in response to the government placing gag orders on companies when authority organizations are gathering data on the company’s customers. The gag order prohibits companies from informing customers when the government is collecting data on them, which Microsoft claims violates their Fourth Amendment rights. The Department of Justice claims that being able to seek data on a customer in confidentiality is important for investigations.

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Mozilla joined the fight because they place value in transparency, even releasing an annual transparency report. Mozilla chief legal and business officer Denella Dixon-Thayer said, “Worse yet, the government often issues indefinite orders that prevent companies from notifying users even years later, long after everyone would agree the gag order is no longer needed. These actions needlessly sacrifice transparency without justification. That’s foolish and unacceptable.”

See Mozilla Fights Against Spyware Company and its Exploits.



Microsoft states they have received 2,600 gag orders in the past 18 months. The Justice Department is able to issue the orders under the Electronics Communications Act, which Microsoft claims they are using more and more as a way of carrying out criminal investigations.

Do you think the Justice Department should be allowed to require companies to give over customer information without the customer knowing? Tell us in the comments below.

To learn more other cases Microsoft is fighting, read Microsoft Enters Battle for Data Protection.

Photo: technologytell.com



 

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