Mozilla to lead Web security research

Mozilla is launching a new research project that it hopes will lead to better security on the Internet.

The Cyber Security Dephi initiative, which was announced in a blog post from advocacy director Dave Steer, will bring together experts from academia, advocacy groups and computer security companies to develop an agenda for addressing problems online.

The announcement comes on the one-year anniversary of Edward Snowden's leaks about government surveillance and, Steer wrote, is partly a reaction to the inability of Washington to secure a safer Internet.

“Policy reform, on its own, has proven insufficient to battle the barrage of data breaches that result in an insecure Web and, for too long, the discussion of security has been dominated by a one-sided perspective that pits risk management against improving security and privacy,” he wrote in the post.

“This Delphi process will result in substantive recommendations to improve the security of the Internet. Beyond this, it will level the playing field for all sectors, including the digital rights community, and enable us to create an affirmative agenda for reform.”

The company plans to get together about 50 cyber, data security and cryptographic experts from a range of disciplines to work on the project.

The advisory board is made up of top cyber experts at the American Civil Liberties Union, Internet security company Verisign and universities like Princeton, Clemson and Johns Hopkins. Additional support is coming from the MacArthur Foundation.

A final report and recommendations should be delivered in the autumn, Steer wrote.

In addition to the research project, Mozilla is also taking part in Reset the Net, a broad Web effort to increase protections for users are some popular websites.