US CIO Orders All .Gov Websites To Require Encrypted Connections, Amazon Enters The Secure Cert Space
from the moving-forward dept
The unencrypted HTTP protocol does not protect data from interception or alteration, which can subject users to eavesdropping, tracking, and the modification of received data. The majority of Federal websites use HTTP as the as primary protocol to communicate over the public internet. Unencrypted HTTP connections create a privacy vulnerability and expose potentially sensitive information about users of unencrypted Federal websites and services. Data sent over HTTP is susceptible to interception, manipulation, and impersonation. This data can include browser identity, website content, search terms, and other user-submitted information.And the memo doesn't mince words about websites that choose not to go to HTTPS-only:
To address these concerns, many commercial organizations have adopted HTTPS or implemented HTTPS-only policies to protect visitors to their websites and services. Users of Federal websites and services deserve the same protection. Private and secure connections are becoming the Internet's baseline, as expressed by the policies of the Internet's standards bodies, popular web browsers, and the Internet community of practice. The Federal government must adapt to this changing landscape, and benefits by beginning the conversion now. Proactive investment at the Federal level will support faster internet-wide adoption and promote better privacy standards for the entire browsing public.
Federal websites that do not convert to HTTPS will not keep pace with privacy and security practices used by commercial organizations, and with current and upcoming Internet standards. This leaves Americans vulnerable to known threats, and may reduce their confidence in their government. Although some Federal websites currently use HTTPS, there has not been a consistent policy in this area. An HTTPS-only mandate will provide the public with a consistent, private browsing experience and position the Federal Government as a leader in Internet security.It's good to see the federal government embracing this. The plan is to have all federal government websites fully HTTPS by the end of 2016.
Separately, another big step in the world of HTTPS happened quietly on Monday as well: Amazon started offering secure certificates as well, and it appears that they're looking to make it much easier and convenient. Oh, and it is not just for customers registering their domains through Amazon either.
It's good to see the internet world moving more and more to a place where all connections will be encrypted.