MAFIAA Fire: a Firefox add-on to reverse US government domain censorship

Earlier this year, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement shocked the world by asserting the right to seize any .com or .net domain that it characterized as a "pirate" or child porn site, with little due process or judicial oversight. ICE conducted a series of high-profile seizures that were notable in that they were sloppy (80,000 sites were erroneously seized for being implicated in child porn and anyone who subsequently visited them was redirected to a page chiding them for being horrible perverts).

They were also notable for being almost completely ineffective at shutting down the targetted sites. Once their domains were seized, the site operators simply registered new domains, avoiding .com and .net. It wasn't much of a challenge for their users to locate them again. Nevertheless, the ICE has promised more seizures in the years to come.

But one developer decided that subverting ICE censorship was too important to be left to chance, so he created MAFIAA Fire, a Firefox plugin that automatically redirects links to the seized domains to their new homes, effectively undoing the seizures.

"This is just a start, now that we have opened this can of worms people can expect many add-ons, extensions and plug-ins from us," TorrentFreak was told. "Our goal is to reverse governments attempts to censor the Internet, and nearly anything the anti-piracy people put up to protect their dinosaur business models.

"Imagine the old game of whack-a-mole, now imagine playing on multiple machines all around you at the same time."

"We really are tired of the corruption at the highest levels of government by these people. Enough is enough. There is a time to moan and there is a time to take action - and taking action has been long overdue," the MAFIAA Fire developer said.



    1. There are several distributed DNS projects on the go, but they come with their own security pitfalls.

  1. Only problem with this addon is this little feature:
    “- After every 15 redirects you will be redirected to our “help us” page”

    1. fixed that here’s the cracked .xpi file
      in case you or someone else doesn’t trust me here’s how to do it
      1. download the untouched .xpi file from the firefox addon page
      2. open it using 7zip
      3. find and edit “quickfilter.js” (protip: f4 will open it in your default editor for .js files)
      4. find qucikFilterRedirectCount = parseInt(qucikFilterRedirectCount)+1; and change the +1 to +0
      5. save your changes and 7z will ask if you want to update the archive click yes
      6. ??????
      7. profit

  2. I’m so torn on this. I’m all for more effective policing, prosectution and shutdowns of child porn sites, one of the truly hellish dark sides of the internet. Child porn and the way it currently flourishes online sickens me, and I say that as someone who adores the internet and nearly everything it does for us.

    But random seizures with no oversight or process seems like a terrible idea. I’m glad to see that the developers are using Firefox’s capabilities to at least give the wrongfully accused a chance to redirect out of a crappy situation like that.

    1. CrewBaby, the closer law enforcement approaches perfection, the more it becomes oppressive totalitarianism. We sacrifice perfect enforcement to assure our freedom. Unfortunately neither our government nor a huge percentage of our population currently cares much for freedom.

  3. Child porn is a flimsy cover for serving the purposes of the US government’s real puppet masters, the RIAA, MPAA, et al. If CP were the real target, they’d know better than to funnel money into shutting down a domain and go for the producers themselves. (Think for a moment, if a CP producer’s domain is shut down, do you think they’ll just shrug and let their young victims walk out the door?)

    I don’t believe this is a move to go after torrent sites either (unless the government is very stupid) as they will just as easily work around domain seizures. My best guess is they’re trying to scare the users into submission. Slap a big scary government seal on a torrent site and a lot of people coming to download last night’s Law & Order feel a sudden tinge of panic. It’s the internet era’s “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU” poster.

  4. I’m no network guru, but wouldn’t it be easier to setup alternative DNS infrastructure and tell your personal computer to “use this DNS server first and if it can’t answer, go ask my ISP”? Then you wouldn’t have to be mucking about in the wrong network layer (application) and it’d work for all applications on this computer.

  5. I am INSANELY irritated that “Homeland Security” is wasting resources on seizing websites devoted to such security issues as… illegal streaming of the Superbowl. Oooooh.. I feel so much safer: how much did THAT cost us?

    HOWEVER, I echo CrewBaby’s desire to see the kiddieporn sites shut down, even as I loathe the hamfisted way ICE goes about it.

    I will, however, download this plugin, ifonly as a fork in the eye of the snots at Fatherland Security. ZEIG HEIL.

  6. Wonderful idea, but why is the developer giving it a name that will make people think of organized crime?

    1. They’re playing on the (fairly common) convention of referring to the RIAA/CRIAA/XIAA as the MAFIAA. The association with organized crime is deliberate.

      -abs is aware that most people, like the mod, might not see the association as being between the pseudo-governmental pseudo-criminal organizations and instead assume it’s implying criminality on the writers (or users) parts, but he’s pretty sure the intent was what he suspects

      1. to further elaborate MAFIAA was an april fools day joke in ’06 that stuck riaa and the mpaa merged to become the “Music And Film Industry Association of America”

    2. I like it. Nowadays in the USA we’re all guilty until proven innocent anyways. So we’re all basically criminals just by existing here.

  7. I love your illistratoin of the whack’a’mole game. Although I would have put this spin on in. Imagine your surronded by so many games that theres no chance and hell you can even hit 1% of the moles. To the point where you don’t even want to try… Thats what America is. SO curropted from the inside that the PEOPLE, A. don’t have a chance of changing things and B. are so overwhelmed with all the changes that should be made that its not worth the effort. The states are no longer uninted. The government is. The people have been givin the over seas call center (city based governement) while the real egineers of it all won’t even tell you what there doing. And when you ask they tell you what you want to hear.

    1. To the point where you don’t even want to try… Thats what America is. SO curropted from the inside that the PEOPLE, A. don’t have a chance of changing things and B. are so overwhelmed with all the changes that should be made that its not worth the effort. The states are no longer uninted. The government is. The people have been givin the over seas call center (city based governement) while the real egineers of it all won’t even tell you what there doing. And when you ask they tell you what you want to hear.

      Americans think lying is OK, and honesty is only something weirdos care about. It has been like this for a long time. People like it this way.

    2. You are so correct. The U.S. government is so crooked. A politician is nothing more than an educated thief and nothing more. They go to college to learn how to make big money by screwing the little guys. Have you noticed that the laws against holding a monopoly are completely gone? Comcast owns NBC, for one. That’s is a criminal act in my opinion. which official made a bundle allowing that deal to pass.

  8. Doesn’t work.

    I really, really wanted it to work, since there was some images hosted on a site that got taken down,, which apparently used to sell mp3 players that looked too similar to ipods, thus we must prevent the entire world from being able to buy any of their thousands of other, completely legitimate products, with no due process, no warrants, no judge or jury. Bah.

    That site was hosting images for the worlds single most epic piece of spam ever to exist. The Geda VX690HD was a chinese “MP4” player that looked sorta like a PSP. The spam for it is so ridiculously over the top that no one is sure if it was meant to be serious or not. It has a 4 terabyte SSD, a 5GHZ, 64 core processor, it plays playstation 3 games, it has a built in fish scale and zippo lighter that runs on coal. It has a V6 engine crudely photoshopped into the UMD slot. It was endorsed by a photoshopped, effeminate chinese jesus figure wearing lipstick. It was so batshit insane no one could have ever possibly mistaken it for a PSP, yet apparently it was a threat to national security and the site was shut down.

  9. Hey all!

    Thank you for covering our site and software!
    We are huge fans of this site and Cory (even mentioned this in the end of our FAQ!) and it feels good to be on BB! :)

    “- After every 15 redirects you will be redirected to our “help us” page”

    Right now that is done to collect stats, in a future version you will have the option to turn it off. Right now it forwards you to your destination without you having to do anything at all just like it did not exist. As the dev, can you kindly tell me why this redirect to our site bothers you so much?

    @CrewBaby, we hate kiddy porn peddlers too, our service CANNOT be used for such sites, we will cooperate to the fullest extent with the authorities if any such scum ever tried to use our site’s services.

    Most people will give you a blank stare if you mention DNS… while this addon can be installed and working in 2 clicks – something that even average Joe can do!

    @ #18,
    You do not need to “crack the .xpi file”
    simply download the addon as you would normally do, rename it from .xpi to .zip – it’s a normal zip file, open it with whatever is your preference to open zip files (winzip, winrar, 7zip etc)

    Cheers guys!

  10. The entire idea that kiddie porn and that music sharing belong in the same category is completely insulting. Banishing due process to prevent a “crime” that ranks right up there with jay walking is insane. We already have brutal copyright laws. Do we really need to abandon all sanity?

    Think of it this way; If I was to go take my car, hit someone, and take both of their legs off, thus crippling them for life, they couldn’t manage to sue me for more than if I had downloaded a single fucking album from the tubes. The law literally treats tearing someone’s legs off and leaving them cripples for life the same as downloading a copy of an album. That law is screwed up. The fact that any asshole politician thinks that it isn’t brutal enough just goes to show what fuckwits and assholes they all are. Even Al Franken, the merry defender of the intertubes is for this sort of insanity. It leaves me not even a little bit surprised that they want to up the brutality and just banish all law and due process.

  11. As I always like to point out: The people tasked with locking stuff down will always be outsmarted by up-and-comers because, even beyond any monetary benefit, such people are driven by the challenge and the nerd-cred.

    If there was any chance of putting the genie back in the bottle then viruses would have been eliminated with Norton 1.0 (which clearly hasn’t happened). There will always be someone figuring out a way and by the time the authorities have responded, there will be 10 new ways.

  12. I hereby propose Godwin v2.0: Whenever a government official declares something is for Child Porn, that official has officially lost the argument.

    (with the exception of “Hey let’s raid that warehouse where they’re filming and distributing child porn.”)

  13. If Mafiaa fire is being used to restore legitimate (non-child porn/non-pirate) sites, then I have no beef with them. However, if they are using their service to restore piracy websites, then screw ’em. Based on the name (MAFIAA), I’d guess that’s exactly what they’re doing. You guys know it’s illegal and it’s just being a dick to creators. (It’s so funny when people claim to care about “culture” then they really care about getting free stuff.)

    And, if you’re complaining about overzealous enforcement of copyright: you’re right. But, guess what? If you disagree with the death penalty for murder (i.e. overzealous enforcement), it doesn’t mean that murder should be legal.

    1. B2c: There are no piracy sites. That’s the big lie. For there to be piracy, something must be stolen. Nothing is stolen — only copies made.

      Our entire culture has been created by the sharing of stories and songs — that’s what brought us out of the caveman days. Now they want to charge for something that all of human culture was created with.

      That is very very wrong.

      It would be one thing if it was me watching a live performer, but I’m not. We are talking doing what humankind has done since we first learned communication — passing on stories and song. It’s what humans do — its what makes us above the animals.

      That’s why they had to pass laws to create ‘synthetic property’, and ‘synthetic theft’. It’s not real because it’s not a physical good. But our illustrious lawmakers have been being bought out for some time. So they create laws that go against and try to contain human nature.

  14. Yes but what is child porn? Who defines it? For example look for David Hamilton’s work on amazon.

  15. Most users don’t even understand what DNS is, let alone how to bodge it locally and how to keep that list up-to-date.

    They ‘just want it to work’, and this is a neat way to achieve that with minimum hassle.

  16. There is only one legally correct way to fight child porn, and there is only one way to fight it that works. The cool part is that they coincide: arrest the people who make and distribute it, charge them, and lock them up in prison for a very long time.

    That’s the only way to stop the makers and distributors from making and distributing child porn, and it’s a far stronger discouragement to potential child pornographers than merely taking away a DNS entry. The problem is that to governments, child porn makes for a very handy excuse to justify censorship and other draconian measures that circumvent the rule of law.

  17. [quote]Child porn and the way it currently flourishes online sickens me[/quote]

    (Not that CP is a good thing, I’m not going to defend it, but…)
    (Sure it exists and it shouldn’t) to say that it flourishes ??

    How many of you have accidentally stumbled upon CP ??
    probably none of you.. ?

    I’ve been on the net for a good 10~15 years and I’ve seen a fair share of smut and dodgy sites but I can’t remember ever stumbling onto child porn. At most a few ladies where it was questionable if they were barely 18 or possibly not yet barely 18 (and I assume that in most of the reasonable world the definition for CP that really needs to be deleted is the stuff actually involving children and the focus isn’t those “maybe not so barely 18” ones)

    You really need to look for it (not a suggestion) to find it, if any.. (because if it was so damn widespread the authorities wouldn’t have such a hard time finding the people involved)

    2cents and all ..

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