Recently I received my invitation to test Let’s Encrypt, a project to create a free, open, automated Certificate Authority. Although the project itself might not have caught many headlines, this promises to be a game-changer for the industry. Firstly, they already passed the stage of a nice, cool idea and are moving into the real world, they received a cross-signature from IdenTrust which in turns allows them to be trusted by all major browsers. Certificates Authorities are the ultimate source of trust across the internet. Fortunes have been done around the industry, and new players are still rare: trust is something you can’t build that easy with venture capital. This is why a project like this, has the potential to make encrypted connections a reality for all.
Widely trusted SSL certificates have a cost and they’re not seen as a necessity for many websites. However, it’s important to keep information secure in transit, regardless of its content. It has been proposed by the EFF and others that all internet traffic should be encrypted. When we’re having so many hacking events happening lately, this is becoming even more important everywhere. Switching from HTTP to HTTPS won’t be easy and certainly won’t happen in the short term, but having the option to get a free secure SSL certificate with ease might really help towards that goal.