Reddit will officially switch to an HTTPS encryption by default beginning June 29. The company made the announcement in a brief statement on its website Tuesday.
The self proclaimed “front page of the internet” has offered the complete site as an HTTPS encryption option since September of last year but made the decision to fully transition, company spokesperson told SCMagazine.com in a Thursday email correspondence.
“We genuinely value the privacy of the people who trust Reddit as a platform for open communication,” the spokesman said, noting that by “using HTTPS to communicate” Reddit will protect users “from someone watching their connection (such as a WiFi hotspot provider) [or] reading the plain-text contents of their browser communication.”
The company is the latest in a slew of major websites – in both the private and the public sector – that have announced they are making the switch to HTTPS encrypted connections. Earlier this month, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued an HTTPS-Only Standard directive for all publicly accessible federal websites and web services.
The collection of mass metadata has helped make encryption more important than ever.
Bill Budington, a software engineer at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), said that government collection of metadata and increasing concerns with online privacy have helped make encryption a priority for larger companies.
“After the Snowden revelations we’ve seen a lot of companies who want to protect their customers and they want the good publicity that comes with that,” Budington told SCMagazine.com.
“Without encryption, you can see what people are streaming and what they are watching, all of this is possible if you don’t have a secure HTTPS connection,” he said.
Budington also noted that transitioning websites to HTTPS formatting can be an expensive endeavor for larger companies and may have taken extensive planning for companies who may have wanted to make the transition sooner.