The HTTPS divide

Saturday, 11 Aug 2018

Eric Meyer:

I saw a piece that claimed, “Investing in HTTPS makes it faster, cheaper, and easier for everyone.” If you define “everyone” as people with gigabit fiber access, sure. Maybe it’s even true for most of those whose last mile is copper. But for people beyond the reach of glass and wire, every word of that claim was wrong.

Someone who goes by Roy called this quite a while ago: an HTTPS-only web is a web without intermediaries, built on a costlier protocol, and that has real costs. This (as opposed to the likes of Dave Winer’s barely-sensical paranoia) is why I am skeptical about the move to HTTPS, albeit acknowleding the necessity given the lack of better solutions in the near term. Non-benign network operators and universal surveillance are real problems that need to be addressed. We are not in a great place right now.

There are better options beyond the horizon, though. Don’t miss Eric’s comment section: several people mention ideas and proposals currently in the works. There is hope for… someday.