In our 712th issue:
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.
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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Kate Tummarello, Policy Analyst
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