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Podcast Episode: Fighting Enshittification

EFFector - Volume 30, Issue 2 - Watch our video. Encrypt the web.


EFFector - Volume 30, Issue 2 - Watch our video. Encrypt the web.

EFFector! Electronic Frontier Foundation

In our 712th issue:

Watch our new video about encrypting the web.

In most issues of EFFector, we give an overview of all the work we’re doing at EFF. Today, we’re doing a deep dive into a single issue: EFF's efforts to encrypt the web and our new video with Baratunde Thurston.

We're on a mission to encrypt the web. So we teamed up with the folks over at Sandwich Video and comedian and social critic Baratunde Thurston to spread the word about how you can use our tools to help.

Sandwich is the production company behind some of the best product launch videos in tech, and you may know Baratunde from his New York Times bestseller How To Be Black, or his work on The Daily Show and The Onion. We brought these creative forces together and made a video to show you why we need to continue moving from the non-secure HTTP to the more secure HTTPS and how you--with EFF tech tools HTTPS Everywhere and Certbot--can help us get there.

The web is in the middle of a massive change from HTTP to HTTPS. All web servers use one of these two protocols to get web pages from the server to your browser. HTTP has serious problems that make it vulnerable to eavesdropping and content hijacking. HTTPS fixes most of these problems. As Baratunde says in the video, “That ‘S’ makes all the difference. It’s for secure.”

For too long, website owners chose to implement HTTPS only for a small number of pages, like those that accepted passwords or credit card numbers. However, in recent years, the Internet security community has come to realize that all web pages need protection.

That’s why we and other like-minded organizations have been pushing for the use of HTTPS across the web. We’ve been calling on all website owners to implement HTTPS by default, and we’re providing the tools to do it.

One tool is HTTPS Everywhere, our browser extension that redirects users to HTTPS sites wherever possible. Many sites partially support HTTPS by making HTTPS available but sending visitors to the non-secure HTTP site by default. HTTPS Everywhere fixes that by redirecting requests to these sites to HTTPS when it’s available, automatically activating encryption and HTTPS protection that might otherwise slip through the cracks.

Our second tool is Certbot, which helps website operators set up encryption for their sites in a convenient and free way. Using a series of easy-to-follow interactive instructions, Certbot can automatically fetch custom certificates for your domain. It can also automatically configure your webserver to support encrypted traffic and even be set to renew that certificate whenever it’s close to expiring so that you never have to worry about it again.

In the video, Baratunde goes through our goal of encrypting the entire web and the reasons to use HTTPS Everywhere and Certbot. Watch and share the video, and start protecting yourself online today.

EFF Updates


Microsoft: Privacy Announcement about Windows 10

Microsoft announced important and welcome privacy changes for Windows 10 users, though we're still waiting for more details.

Reason: The Cops Are Interested in Your Tattoos

Reason explains how automated tattoo recognition technology threatens civil liberties.

CPJ: Why the U.S. Needs to be a Global Leader in Protecting Strong Encryption

Obama failed to implement a strong policy protecting encryption. Donald Trump's comments on the campaign trail suggest the president-elect is unlikely to support measures to protect it.

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Editor: Kate Tummarello, Policy Analyst

EFFector is a publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

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Job Opening: Technology Projects Manager / Technology Projects Director

EFF is seeking an experienced project or engineering manager to join our Technology Projects team. The team is responsible for many of EFF's externally visible technical products—including the HTTPS Everywhere and Privacy Badger browser extensions—working with a very large coalition of external organizational and open source collaborators, and provides computer science expertise and leadership to the rest of EFF. This role would manage and support 3-6 of our current team members and guide strategy in some of our current project areas.

EFF at Schmoocon

Stop by the EFF booth to say hi and learn about the latest developments in defending digital freedom for all. You can even pick up a special gift as a token of our thanks when you take advantage of our membership specials or donate! On Saturday at noon, join EFF's General Counsel Kurt Opsahl and Staff Attorney Andrew Crocker for our Ask the EFF panel in the Bring It On track.

January 13-15, 2017
Washington, D.C.

Crafting Type Workshop

Crafting Type is a 3-day introductory typography workshop taught by Dave Crossland and Thomas Phinney. Event will be held at EFF headquarters in San Francisco. Space is limited so register today!

January 13-15, 2017
San Francisco, CA

Copyright Week

Copyright Week commemorates the anniversary of Internet users' defeat of the Stop Online Piracy Act by bringing together a diverse group of advocates to address and support a core set of principles for fixing copyright law.

January 16-20, 2017

Encryption Apps for your Phone workshop @SF Public Library

Join Lisa Wright and William Theaker from the Electronic Frontier Foundation as they lead an intermediate workshop on encryption apps for your mobile phone.

January 18, 2017 San Francisco, CA

Government Transparency Workshop

EFF Investigative Researcher Dave Maass will discuss filing public records requests on the federal, state, and city levels at the San Francisco Public Library.

January 19, 2017
San Francisco, CA

EFA January 2017 Teleconference

The Electronic Frontier Alliance will host a teleconference to hear updates and announcements from member groups. Please RSVP in order to participate.

January 26, 2017

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