Mozilla, the company behind the popular web browser Firefox, has taken a stand for internet freedom in the face of pressure from Russian regulators. Despite requests from Roskomnadzor, the Russian media regulator, Mozilla has announced that it will restore access to five add-ons that help users circumvent online censorship.

The decision to pull the Firefox extensions, such as Censor Tracker and Runet Censorship Bypass, from Russia earlier this month initially caused confusion as developers were not directly notified. Mozilla attributed this move to “recent regulatory changes in Russia,” indicating that it was a temporary measure. The extensions in question provide access to websites that are blocked in Russia, including Tor sites and political opposition sites.

One of the reasons behind this decision may be Russia’s ban on websites and advertisements that promote virtual private networks (VPNs), which was implemented on March 1. By delisting the extensions, Mozilla was complying with the new regulations in the country. However, the company has faced backlash from users who value internet freedom and open access to information.

In response to criticism on its support forum, Mozilla’s community- and developer-relations manager, Edward Sullivan, assured users that the extensions will be reinstated. He emphasized Mozilla’s commitment to supporting users in Russia and worldwide, advocating for an open and accessible internet for all. The statement posted by Sullivan highlights the importance of allowing users to customize their online experience through add-ons without unnecessary restrictions.

This move by Mozilla comes at a time when Russia has been cracking down on internet freedom, censoring access to popular websites and services. From blocking social media platforms like Facebook and Telegram to restricting access to online resources like Google News and PornHub, the Russian government has been tightening its grip on the flow of information online.

By standing up to Russian censors and restoring access to censorship-circumventing add-ons, Mozilla is sending a clear message in support of internet freedom. As the company continues to push for an open and accessible internet, users in Russia and around the world can rest assured that their online experience is being safeguarded against unnecessary restrictions and censorship.