A novel initiative launched by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG) called Let’s Encrypt has just signed its first free certificate, signifying a milestone and marking the start of the project’s beta program.
As a project that aims to bring awareness and the increase of the implementation of encryption, Let’s Encrypt has achieved a significant milestone – the free release of its first certificate.
Let’s Encrypt is an automated and free open-source certificate authority (CA) that encourages the transit of shifting to encryption entirely from the plaintext web. The initiative is backed by big hitters such as Mozilla, Cisco, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), Akamai Technologies, among others.
Encryption, in general, has strong backers from industry behemoths such as Google, Facebook, Apple and other companies who wrote an impassioned plea to President Obama, asking for encryption to be supported.
Essentially, Let’s Encrypt facilitates any website on the Internet to protect and safeguard its visitors with free SSL/TLS (Secure Socket Layer/ Transport Layer Security) certificates. SSL certificates encrypt all streams of data communicated back and forth between the website and the user accessing the website.
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The initiative is also geared to make the HTTPS implementation onto any website to be a seamless experience for website owners.
“Forget about hours (or sometimes days) of muddling through complicated programming to set up encryption on a website, or yearly fees,” explains a gushing Rainey Reitman, the EFF’s activism director.
“Let’s Encrypt puts security in the hands of site owners.”
SSL/TLS certificates count for significant costs as they don’t come cheap, and they expire over a period of time. These costs usually keep away website owners from implementing encryption on their websites. However, changes are afoot.
“(Let’s Encrypt aims to) revolutionize encryption on websites, making HTTPS implementation a seamless, no-cost option for anyone with a domain,” added Reitman.
Related article: Reddit Is Switching to Total HTTPS Encryption
The first-ever free certificate was issued for helloworld.letsencrypt.org, a domain owned by the EFF and presumably one to showcase the feasibility of the certificate besides proving that it actually works.
In a blog post, Josh Aas, ISRG’s executive director explained that more certificates will be issued to domains participating in its beta program before a wider roll-out to more websites in the next few months.