Facebook Sponsors Let’s Encrypt Initiative

The Let’s Encrypt initiative has announced that Facebook is its newest Gold sponsor—just as it comes out of public beta.

Let’s Encrypt is a free, automated and open certificate authority developed by the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG). The public beta status means that invitations are no longer needed in order to get free certificates.

Anyone who has gone through the trouble of setting up a secure website knows what a hassle getting and maintaining a certificate can be. Let’s Encrypt was built to automate the process, so that site operators can turn on and manage HTTPS with simple commands. It requires no validation emails, no complicated configuration editing, and eliminates the issue of expired certificates breaking a website.

The most common certificate management functions can be carried out using the Let’s Encrypt client, but users can make use of any compatible client. Certificates are valid for 90 days; this both limits damage from key compromise and mis-issuance, and encourages automation, which is absolutely essential for ease-of-use.

“If we’re going to move the entire Web to HTTPS, we can’t continue to expect system administrators to manually handle renewals,” Aas said. “Once issuance and renewal are automated, shorter lifetimes won’t be any less convenience than longer ones.”

“It’s time for the Web to take a big step forward in terms of security and privacy,” said Josh Aas, ISRG executive director. “We want to see HTTPS become the default. Let’s Encrypt was built to enable that by making it as easy as possible to get and manage certificates.”

Facebook’s sponsorship will help the group produce a greater impact as it opens up its public beta and ushers in more participants over the coming months, Aas said. Overall, Let’s Encrypt issued more than 26,000 certificates during the limited beta period.

“We have more work to do before we’re comfortable dropping the beta label entirely, particularly on the client experience,” Aas said. “Automation is a cornerstone of our strategy, and we need to make sure that the client works smoothly and reliably on a wide range of platforms. We’ll be monitoring feedback from users closely, and making improvements as quickly as possible.”


SOURCE: Tara Seals | Infosecurity Magazine


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