Mozilla has asked Firefox users to back the company's calls for a less hands-on US government when it comes to widespread surveillance.
The US government, and other agencies, have pressed for the removal of encryption from consumer services, but Mozilla, other technology companies and a range of protestors are pushing for its greater use.
Today we have launched a campaign to end mass surveillance and protect personal privacy. Check it out: http://t.co/tCMBfCZ9sk— Mozilla (@mozilla) April 14, 2015
Mozilla has now officially launched an anti-surveillance petition to gather support. "Mass surveillance threatens people's privacy and security online. Tell Congress to stop bulk collection of our personal information," the firm said.
Mozilla has also published a letter to Congress that people can sign and share.
"I urge you to do all you can to protect the privacy of users like me and end bulk collection activities," it said.
"I believe that meaningful legislative reforms to the nation's surveillance programmes should maintain national security while also preserving privacy, transparency and accountability.
"I am writing today to urge you to put a stop to mass surveillance. Protecting the privacy of users and the information collected about them online is crucial to maintaining and growing a healthy and open web.
"Current mass surveillance practices fundamentally undermine internet security and user trust."
The letter calls for a ban on the bulk collection of data and trap-and-trace techniques, along with "sufficient transparency" and a confirmation that there will be no new surveillance authorities, powers or programmes.
The letter to Congress closes with a reminder that a balance is needed between protection and privacy.
"I join others who are standing up now to oppose mass surveillance, including privacy advocates, information security professionals, entrepreneurs and leading academics," it said. "Keeping us safe shouldn't cost us our privacy."
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