Mozilla Manifesto


So here’s the Mozilla Manifesto and I have a big complaint.

First and foremost it is technologically deterministic. I’m a historian of technology. Speaking on behalf of my discipline if I may, technology does not have agency. Users have agency. This is part of what we refer to when we talk about the social construction of technology (SCOT). When the principles talk about how the “Internet must” or "software “promotes,” it mistakenly gives agency to objects. Users have agency; they make choices about how to employ technology for better or for worse. The manifesto as written disempowers users as hapless victims under the thrall of technology.

If we boil this down to a user-centric set of freedoms, I think think there is consensus on the following rights:

  1. Freedom of access
  2. Freedom of expression
  3. Freedom of association
  4. Freedom to share (including the right of choosing who to share with vis a vis surveillance)