Mozilla Awards £260,000 To Tor, Tails And Caddy Open Source Projects

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Mozilla kicks off MOSS awards program with funding to accessibility, security and privacy upstarts

Firefox maker Mozilla is paying out $385,000 (£260,000) to open source projects in the latest round of the company’s MOSS Mission Partners Program.

The winners of the award money are a mix of security, accessibility, and communication projects.

MOSS is an ongoing project at Mozilla that looks to give financial awards to open source projects that the company wants to applaud. For 2016, Mozilla’s entire MOSS budget is $1.25 million (£850,000).

Tor

Almost half the money in this particular round is going to Tor, the system most famous for allowing web users to browse and communicate anonymously without being tracked. Tor is getting $152,000 (£102,000), and Mozilla said that the money will go towards improving the Tor network’s metrics infrastructure so that performance and stability of the network can be monitored and improvements made where need be.

A project called Tails is getting $77,000 (£52,000). Tails is a secure live operating system with the goal of preserving user privacy, and Mozilla said the money will be used to implement reproducible builds, making it possible for third parties to independently verify that a Tails ISO image was built from the corresponding Tails source code.

A HTTP/2 web server called Caddy is the recipient was $50,000 (£34,000), and Mozilla gave $30,000 (£20,000) to Mio, which makes an asynchronous I/O library written in the Rust gaming ecosystem.

“Yes, games. We consider games to be a key art-form in this modern era, which is why we are investing in the future of Web games,” quipped Mozilla.

The awards were rounded off by $15,000 (£10,000) going to the NVDA Project, a project that has developed an open source, free screen reader for people with visual impairments and the blind.

shutterstock_396301720“For many years people with visual impairments and the legally blind have paid a steep price to access the Web on Windows-based computers,” said Mozilla.

“The market-leading software for screen readers costs well over $1,000 (£670). The high price is a considerable obstacle to keeping the Web open and accessible to all.

“The NVDA Project has developed an open source screen reader that is free to download and to use, and which works well with Firefox. NVDA aligns with one of the Mozilla Manifesto’s principles: ‘The Internet is a global public resource that must remain open and accessible’.”

SOS

The awards come after Mozilla launched its SOS (Secure Open Source) Fund earlier this month.

The fund is one Mozilla’s wider open source support program MOSS, and was launched with $500,000 (£350,000) of initial funding.

This cash, according to Mozilla, will go towards “security auditing, remediation, and verification for key open source software projects”.

Mozilla’s Chris Riley penned a blog post to announce the fund, where he explained how adequate support for securing open source software is still a problem unsolved, and that the SOS Fund can be the beginning of a change.

“We want to see the numerous companies and governments that use open source join us and provide additional financial support,” said Riley.

“We challenge these beneficiaries of open source to pay it forward and help secure the Internet.”

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