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'Let's Encrypt' project issues its first free certificate

Mariella Moon, @mariella_moon
September 15, 2015
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Last year, the Electronic Frontier Foundation along with Mozilla and Cisco launched an initiative called "Let's Encrypt" that promised to hand out free certificates anyone can use. Today, the team has released its first one -- it's only available to beta testers for now, but everyone can see it in action on the group's website. The project aims to make HTTPS implementation easier for website and online shop owners, in order to ensure the safety of customers' data. According to the EFF, participants can forget "muddling through complicated programming to set up encryption on a website, or yearly fees." The team did mention when the project launched that all users have to do to use the free certificate is to run a program.

Folks who want to participate in the beta testing phase can sign up and submit their domains for consideration. Major browsers still don't recognize Let's Encrypt's certificate as a trusted authority, though, so beta testers will have to do much more than "run a program." Thankfully, the team's already working with Google (for Chrome), Mozilla (for Firefox), Apple (for Safari) and Microsoft (for Edge) to make that happen. If all goes well, the certificate will be available for everyone to use on the week of November 16th, 2015.

[Image credit: Jorg Greuel]

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