SINGAPORE, 25 May 2017 – Mozilla, the champion for an open and freely accessible Internet, today outlined its ongoing efforts to raise awareness of the importance of Internet health and launched several new initiatives and product features for Firefox, all of which are aimed at ensuring users have a smooth, seamless and secure experience when accessing the Internet.

Jascha Kaykas-Wolff, Mozilla’s Chief Marketing Officer, confidently shared how the non-profit organisation has been making strides towards achieving its goal of building the next-generation Web and fueling the movement for an open Internet. “Launched in April this year, the latest version of Firefox, our flagship browser, is the culmination of Mozilla’s efforts over the last two years to deliver a next-generation browser that can meet the demands of tomorrow’s Web,” he shared.

“Mozilla is built on the principles of online privacy, data protection and user trust. Besides being faster and more stable, Firefox version 53.0 also offers users greater privacy and security and facilitates the move towards a healthier Internet.”

Committed to making the Internet better
Mozilla had earlier this year released its first annual report on the Internet’s state of health – an open source initiative that documents and explains what is happening to the health of the Internet. Titled Internet Health Report, it is a prototype of a community-driven effort led by Mozilla to encourage the public to develop a greater awareness and understanding of the Internet. Using data that it had collected on five key issues, the organisation hopes to cultivate a gathering of like-minded corporations, organisations and individuals that will collaborate to prevent ransomware infections and data breaches as well as help stem the proliferation of inaccurate news reports has led to the topic of Internet health recently taking centre stage.

In 2015, Mozilla teamed up with many companies to announce Let’s Encrypt, a new certificate authority that makes it easy and free to add HTTPS to any website, protecting the privacy of users, while offering some guarantee they are not looking at spoof pages. While the use of encrypted connections are the norm for banking and e-commerce, such secure connections previously were not considered as necessary for other websites. Since its launch, the new certificate authority has made more than 24 million websites safer for use. Moreover, Rust, an open source programming language born out of collaboration between Mozilla and 1,500 contributors, is specially designed to ensure that several major types of security vulnerabilities are prevented, including the one that lead to the famous Heartbleed vulnerability.

Making the mobile Web safe
The rising popularity of smartphones and the mobile Web amongst an increasingly technology-savvy generation of global citizens has resulted in prevalent concerns of one’s privacy and security being jeopardised while online. A staunch advocate against data tracking and mining, Mozilla placed private browsing at the forefront of the user experience when it released its Firefox Focus mobile web browser for iOS users, which by default blocks ad trackers, and erases one’s browsing history, including passwords and cookies with a single tap. Launched in November 2016, the mobile web browser is now available in 27 languages and an Android version is set for release in the coming months.

Firefox improves user experience with Project Quantum and WebAssembly propels the Internet’s evolution
Project Quantum was an initiative kicked off in late 2016 to develop Mozilla’s next-generation Web engine, taking full advantage of modern hardware to power a fast and smooth user experience and deliver significantly improved performance.

With the goal of delivering “quantum leaps” in performance and other major improvements to users by the end of 2017, Mozilla not only began shipping out a core part of its browser engine with the launch of Firefox version 53.0, it also included WebAssembly.

With the emerging web standard, web applications can run in browsers without a plug-in. This gives it the potential to make applications more accessible to people all over the world, significantly improve the Internet in the process. WebAssembly allows web developers to publish games on the web with just a link and cut out the application store middle man, which also entails a major win for gamers. Moreover, WebGL 2 support has landed in Firefox, providing native-like gaming experience to users.

A-Frame, an open-source JavaScript framework created at Mozilla, makes building VR experiences much more accessible to the web community and kickstart the creation of a content ecosystem. The application of the A-Frame web framework ensure the success of WebVR, an open standard Javascript API which allows anyone with a web browser to experience immersive VR on almost any device. With luck, VR should start appearing in standard general availability web browsers within the coming year.

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