Let's Encrypt the Internet: From HTTP to HTTPS
In November 2014, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) announced the Let’s Encrypt initiative, which is designed to help transition the internet from using HTTP to using an encrypted HTTPS environment. Let’s Encrypt simplifies the cumbersome—and potentially expensive—process of obtaining and installing a Transport Layer Security (TLS) certificate from a trusted authority in order to encrypt web traffic. TLS is the updated version of the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption model, an earlier method for encrypting web traffic that has since been deprecated and is no longer in widespread use. On Sept. 14, 2015, Let’s Encrypt issued its first certificate, marking a major milestone in the project, which is now run by the newly created nonprofit organization ISRG (Internet Security Research Group). Major sponsors offer support, including Mozilla, Akamai, Cisco, EFF, IdenTrust, Automattic, Shopify, and the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.