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Technology 2 March 2020

The Week in Internet News: Let’s Encrypt Hits One Billion Certificates

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossGuest AuthorTechnology Reporter

Encryption wave: Let’s Encrypt, the website encryption project supported by the Internet Society, has issued 1 billion web security certificates, ZDNet reports. About 81 percent of the world’s websites now are secured with Transport Layer Security (TLS) encryption, and Let’s Encrypt, which offers free TLS certificates, now serves nearly 200 million websites.

Even more encryption: In other encryption news, the Firefox browser has begun turning on DNS over HTTPS (DoH) by default for users in the U.S., The Verge says. The encryption tool secures Internet traffic, including browsing histories.

No more WiFi: Google is shutting down a free Wi-Fi service called Station that has served parts of India, Indonesia, South Africa, Mexico, Thailand, Nigeria, Philippines, Brazil and Vietnam. TechCrunch reports. Google says the service is no longer needed because of falling prices for mobile broadband service. Google also struggled to find a business model.

Keep your hands off the network: Employees are increasingly connecting their personal Internet of Things devices, like smart watches and fitness trackers, to corporate networks, according to research by Zscaler, detailed at ZDNet. These unauthorized connections undermine network security. The most connected personal devices included digital home assistants, TV set-top boxes, video cameras, smart-home devices, smart TVs, smart watches, and automotive multimedia systems.

The honeymoon is over: Big tech companies have long had a love affair with India, but it’s coming to an end as the country moves to regulate multinational tech firms, CNN reports. “India is now making changes to the rules of operating in the country that could make the next decade much tougher for those global tech firms trying to profit from its massive market. A raft of regulations in the works will affect how companies — particularly foreign ones — collect and store data, sell products online and protect their users’ privacy.”

Fined for sharing: U.S. mobile carriers are facing hundreds of millions of dollars in fines for sharing customers’ location data without permission, The Hill says. The fines were proposed after Last year, Motherboard was able to track a mobile phone’s location by giving a bounty hunter the phone number and $300 to purchase location information from a data broker.

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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