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Mozilla: Emily Dunham Leaves, Management Pitches Privacy

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Moz/FF
  • Emily Dunham: Moving on from Mozilla

    Today – Friday, May 22nd, 2020 – is within days of my 5-year anniversary with Mozilla, and it’s also my last day there for a while. Working at Mozilla has been an amazing experience, and I’d recommend it to anyone.

    There are some things that Mozilla does extremely well, and I’m excited to spread those patterns to other parts of the industry. And there are areas where Mozilla has room for improvement, where I’d like to see how others address those challenges and maybe even bring back what I learn to Moz someday.

  • Protecting Search and Browsing Data from Warrantless Access

    As the maker of Firefox, we know that browsing and search data can provide a detailed portrait of our private lives and needs to be protected. That’s why we work to safeguard your browsing data, with privacy features like Enhanced Tracking Protection and more secure DNS.

    Unfortunately, too much search and browsing history still is collected and stored around the Web. We believe this data deserves strong legal protections when the government seeks access to it, but in many cases that protection is uncertain.

  • The USA Freedom Act and Browsing History

    ast Thursday, the US Senate voted to renew the USA Freedom Act which authorizes a variety of forms of national surveillance. As has been reported, this renewal does not include an amendment offered by Sen. Ron Wyden and Sen. Steve Daines that would have explicitly prohibited the warrantless collection of Web browsing history. The legislation is now being considered by the House of Representatives and today Mozilla and a number of other technology companies sent a letter urging them to adopt the Wyden-Daines language in their version of the bill. This post helps fill in the technical background of what all this means.

    Despite what you might think from the term “browsing history,” we’re not talking about browsing data stored on your computer. Web browsers like Firefox store, on your computer, a list of the places you’ve gone so that you can go back and find things and to help provide better suggestions when you type stuff in the awesomebar. That’s how it is that you can type ‘f’ in the awesomebar and it might suggest you go to Facebook.

    [...]

    Unfortunately, historically the line between content and metadata hasn’t been incredibly clear in the US courts. In some cases the sites you visit (e.g., www.webmd.com) are treated as metadata, in which case that data would not require a warrant. By contrast, the exact page you went to on WebMD would be content and would require a warrant. However, the sites themselves reveal a huge amount of information about you. Consider, for instance, the implications of having Ashley Madison or Stormfront in your browsing history. The Wyden-Daines amendment would have resolved that ambiguity in favor of requiring a warrant for all Web browsing history and search history. If the House reauthorizes USA Freedom without this language, we will be left with this somewhat uncertain situation but one where in practice much of people’s activity on the Internet — including activity which they would rather keep secret — may be subject to surveillance without a warrant.

More Mozilla

  • Mozilla Accessibility: Today is Global Accessibility Awareness Day!

    Thursday, May 21, 2020, marks the ninth annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access/inclusion and people with different disabilities.

    Mozilla is committed to ensuring that all of our offerings are accessible and inclusive. Global Accessibility Awareness Day is a great opportunity to recognize and celebrate that.

  • Data@Mozilla: Sharing data on Italy’s mid-pandemic internet outage

    As a data engineer at Mozilla, my colleagues and I study how internet connectivity changes over time and across regions. Like inclement weather, network outages are simply a fact of life: equipment that powers the internet can fail for numerous reasons in any country. As we know from reports of internet shutdowns and throttling by governments in different parts of the world, sometimes outages can also be intentional. But in terms of data, Mozilla measures outages and connection issues through a series of different metrics, including telemetry upload failures.

  • Mozilla Accessibility: Proper VoiceOver support coming soon to Firefox on MacOS

    Firefox 75, released in April, saw the first fruits of this work. Most notably, we learned our way around the Mac code base and the accessibility APIs. In the process we uncovered a small, but significant, piece we were missing that made us very fast all of a sudden. This small, but mighty, patch, enabled us to progress much more rapidly than we had expected. We also made the VoiceOver cursor visible, and made it follow focus. Also, if navigating with VoiceOver, we made focus follow it if VoiceOver’s setting for that was enabled. And, we also fixed some initial labeling inconsistencies across the board.

  • Data@Mozilla: This Week in Glean: mozregression telemetry (part 2)

    With the probe scraper change merged and deployed, we can now start querying! A number of tables are automatically created according to the schema outlined above: notably “live” and “stable” tables corresponding to the usage ping. Using sql.telemetry.mozilla.org we can start exploring what’s out there.

  • This Week in Glean: Bytes in Memory (on Android)

    With the Glean SDK we follow in the footsteps of other teams to build a cross-platform library to be used in both mobile and desktop applications alike.
    In this blog post we’re taking a look at how we transport some rich data across the FFI boundary to be reused on the Kotlin side of things. We’re using a recent example of a new API in Glean that will drive the HTTP upload of pings, but the concepts I’m explaining here apply more generally.

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Python Programming

  • Reporting Exceptions in Python Scripts with Sentry

    Python scripts are the glue that keep many applications and their infrastructure running, but when one of your scripts throws an exception you may not know about it immediately unless you have a central place to aggregate the errors. That's where adding Sentry can solved this distributed error logging problem. In this tutorial, we'll see how to quickly add Sentry to a new or existing Python script to report errors into a centralized location for further debugging.

  • Luke Plant: Keyword-only arguments in Python

    Keyword-only arguments are a feature that has been around since Python 3.0. But I’ve seen and used them much less use that I could have. They are described in PEP 3102, which is pretty readable, but I think they could benefit from more exposure with examples and rationale.

  • Creating and Modifying PDF Files in Python

    The PDF, or Portable Document Format, is one of the most common formats for sharing documents over the Internet. PDFs can contain text, images, tables, forms, and rich media like videos and animations, all in a single file. This abundance of content types can make working with PDFs difficult. There are a lot of different kinds of data to decode when opening a PDF file! Fortunately, the Python ecosystem has some great packages for reading, manipulating, and creating PDF files.

  • Will McGugan: Rich gets Richer

    Since my last post on Rich there have been a number of improvements. [...] Coverage has reached 97% which is not bad at all. To be honest though it is the use of type annotations throughout which gives me the most confidence.

Linux 5.8 Kernel: Qualcomm Adreno, MacBooks and AMD

  • Qualcomm Adreno 650 + 640 GPUs To Be Supported By Mainline Linux 5.8 Kernel

    The crew working on the MSM DRM driver from Freedreno / Google / Code Aurora (Qualcomm) have an interesting batch of changes for this open-source GPU driver for Qualcomm Adreno hardware come Linux 5.8. New hardware to be supported by this open-source MSM driver in Linux 5.8 include Qualcomm's Adreno 405, 640, and 650 series. The Adreno 405 is an old, low-end part from the 400 series and used by the Snapdragon 415/615/616/617 SoCs. The Adreno 405 support isn't particularly exciting but it's there for those interested along with the relevant MSM8x36 changes to the MDP5 code.

  • Linux 5.8 Picking Up A Quirk For Being Able To Reboot The 2009 MacBook Without Hangs

    With the upcoming Linux 5.8 cycle a quirk is being added to be able to reboot the 2009 era Apple MacBook without needing to boot with any special flags. Up to now the 2009 Apple MacBook (Macbook6,1) required a reboot=pci boot parameter added to the kernel otherwise when rebooting the system there would be a hang. This late 2009 MacBook (MC207LL/A) with Core 2 Duo CPU is very slow by today's standards and hopefully many of you still aren't using it in production, but should you be doing so and running new kernel releases, with Linux 5.8 the kernel can reboot without hanging or needing to manually add the flag.

  • AMD Energy Driver Queued Ahead Of Linux 5.8 For Core/Package Power Sensors

    Landing this weekend in hwmon-next ahead of the upcoming Linux 5.8 kernel cycle is the recently reported on "amd_energy" driver for supporting AMD Zen/Zen2 core and package energy sensors. This is the recently reported on work of a Google engineer allowing AMD Zen CPUs to expose power usage on Linux via the Runtime Average Power Limiting (RAPL) framework. The amd_energy driver is making it to the Linux 5.8 kernel by way of the hardware monitoring "hwmon" subsystem thanks to this Google open-source contribution.

today's howtos

Why Drupal is the Best CMS

Some CMS packages require a license, while free products may be unreliable. Drupal 8 is open-source software licensed under the GPL. It is distributed free of charge, with no restrictions on use. This means you can customize the functions as you see fit. Today, the sheer number of community-contributed modules is astonishing — over 43,000! The platform may be refined and adjusted following your needs. You will not be dependent on Drupal creators. Features may be added and removed with ease. The open-source nature also means that functionality is under constant scrutiny from the vast international community, so any bugs are detected and fixed in no time. Read more