EFF delivers HTTPS Not Quite Everywhere
In the early hours of June 18 the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Tor Project released a beta of a Firefox extension dubbed “HTTPS Everywhere” with the intention of providing encryption of user data when visiting certain sites. According to the official announcement, “HTTPS Everywhere” will provide SSL encryption to sites like Google Search, Wikipedia, Twitter and Identi.ca, and Facebook.
Inspired by Google's encrypted search option, privacy advocates EFF aim to help users make use of some sites' encrypted Web service. Many provide this service but default to unencrypted or link back to unencrypted pages. “HTTPS Everywhere” rewrites these page requests to HTTPS automatically for users.
The name “HTTPS Everywhere” is a bit misleading. Besides Google Search, Wikipedia, Twitter and Identi.ca, and Facebook this extension also works on the EFF and Tor sites, Ixquick, DuckDuckGo, Scroogle, other small search engines, the New York Times, The Washington Post, Paypal, and many other sites that offer HTTPS encryption. But that's hardly everywhere. Many sites, including a number of banks, fail to offer encryption of any kind. Many other sites with SSL encryption are still deemed unsafe due to domain-validated certificates while others include unencrypted third-party content. Users are urged to still observe browser cues (lock icons and such) in determining if your data may or may not be safe. In addition, this extension does not hide users' IP addresses or other personally identifiable information.
Susan Linton is a Linux writer and the owner of tuxmachines.org.
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