The next time you look up the Wikipedia entry on the Zimbabwean dollar, it will be a lot harder for someone to snoop on you.
The Wikimedia Foundation announced that starting Friday, it has begun “the process of implementing HTTPS by default to encrypt all Wikimedia traffic.”
It will also use HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) “to protect against efforts to ‘break’ HTTPS and intercept traffic.”
As the group wrote:
We believe encryption makes the web stronger for everyone. In a world where mass surveillance has become a serious threat to intellectual freedom, secure connections are essential for protecting users around the world. Without encryption, governments can more easily surveil sensitive information, creating a chilling effect, and deterring participation, or in extreme cases they can isolate or discipline citizens. Accounts may also be hijacked, pages may be censored, other security flaws could expose sensitive user information and communications. Because of these circumstances, we believe that the time for HTTPS by default is now. We encourage others to join us as we move forward with this commitment.
The move comes just days after the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued the HTTPS-Only Standard directive, which mandates that all publicly accessible Federal websites and Web services use only HTTPS.