No judge has ever declared a Firefox plug-in called MafiaaFire Redirector to be illegal. But that didn't stop the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from trying to censor it from the Web.

The Mozilla Foundation says DHS requested the removal of MafiaaFire, which describes itself as a utility that "automatically redirects you to the correct alternate site" if the main domain has been seized by the U.S. government.

Harvey Anderson, Mozilla's general counsel, told CNET today that the request from DHS was made over the phone. Anderson replied in writing, posing a list of questions in an April 19 e-mail, including this important one: "Is Mozilla legally obligated to disable the add-on?"

Anderson says DHS hasn't replied, and the plug-in has not been removed.

A DHS spokesman told CNET that "ICE's Homeland Security Investigations does not comment publicly on our interaction with Internet intermediaries on intellectual property theft enforcement issues." ICE stands for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement division.

Full story: c|net