Today, millions of people are celebrating Independence Day in America. Originally, begun to celebrate the Declaration of independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1776, millions are simply celebrating family, togetherness and freedom. Being a Brit with many American friends – some in the US, some in the UK trying to reclaim their dependence, I’ve celebrated many an Independence Day and always enjoyed partaking in the celebration of freedom (the Brits were all too happy to take that away from so many over the centuries).

Since joining Mozilla last year, I’ve spent alot of time thinking about what Freedom means particularly on the Web, and for the Web. Be that Freedom from the often evils of propriety technology, freedom to choose and online privacy, to accessibility and security. Its clear to me that here at Mozilla we have been doing an amazing job with our products and work, but there is a long way to go before the Web is closer to the vision we set out in the original Mozilla Manifesto guiding principles. Every day though we do get a little closer, and the Mozilla community grows a little stronger.

Launching Firefox 3 on June 17th recently, and seeing the amazing 8M+ number of downloads clock up in 24-hours – I was thrilled to see so many people freely making a choice on which Web browser they use. In fact, since those 24 hours, another 22M of you have also made that choice (Firefox 3 was now downloaded more than 30 million times in the last 18 days). To take a trip back down memory lane — some years ago, selecting your Web browser of choice was virtually impossible, there was really only one choice for most people. I’m glad to say we’ve come a long way since those days. Mozilla as an open source project and movement has been pivotal in driving back innovation and bringing forward choice to this most important window on the Web. But the work is by far not done, and we are only at the foot of the mountain.

So today on July 4th, I would urge you to also help promote freedom and choice on the Web.

Tell someone they do have a options,

show them how they can participate,

help them understand they too can help make the Web a better place for everyone.

Happy July 4th!