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2010/10/29

Encrypt The Web

There's a line from Spafford saying that most email was like a postcard. Anybody anywhere involved with moving it around could just read the back of the postcard and tell what the message is. And, honestly, this is true of the web, too. I've heard of stories where they hook a packet sniffer to the WiFi at conventions and such and sent all the images they grabbed to a projector. The stuff is wide open.

There are sites that use HTTPS, which encrypts your traffic. The sites that do tend to be banks and other financial institutions. And there was a time when I dreaded hitting a HTTPS site, because the computer would chug a bit at the decryption. But honestly, that was back when I was hating on Javascript because it did the same thing. I forget when I started saying it, I think it was around 2002, but there's no reason why every site isn't HTTPS. I don't care if it's only kitten videos, there is no reason for anyone between the server and me to know what I'm downloading.

Which is why I'm so happy to see this. The Electronic Frontiers Foundation has created a Firefox extension that pushes whatever traffic you're doing onto the HTTPS server. It doesn't work for everything, and it's in beta, but you can write your own rules. I'm a Chrome guy these days, but this is such a great idea.