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Increased encryption will help keep porn browsing private

Like many media pages, adult websites have mostly avoided using HTTPS everywhere, but that's changing.
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Thanks to boosts in visibility when it comes to search and web browsers, you've probably noticed more websites (like Engadget) switching to HTTPS, which uses encryption to secure the connection between browser and server. Despite benefits to privacy and security most adult sites, even larger ones, haven't rolled it out across their domains, but the Washington Post points out there's a new industry push to change that.

The Center for Democracy and Technology, as well as the adult industry trade group Free Speech Coalition issued a brief (PDF) explaining why now is the time for members to switch to HTTPS. using secure connections can help your Google ranking, prevent others from changing the content on your site (like ads), increase privacy for readers, help pages load faster and make censorship harder to implement. (Of course, like with Netflix, anyone watching the connection could still see what site you're connecting to, just not exactly what data is being transferred.)

Industry giant Mindgeek is an FSC member, and its streaming site Pornhub says it is working on enabling secure connections (in a forum post dating back to 2014, one admin suggested privacy-conscious browsers access the site's videos via Thumbzilla.com which does use HTTPS) Still, the majority of porn sites don't use the technology everywhere, and FSC communications director Mike Stabile told me that legacy systems can be part of the problem. Although porn distribution has often pushed forward internet technology like secure credit card payments, "it also means that older companies that rushed into online distribution and sales early may still be using legacy systems that are still functional, but need updating."

As Stabile put it, "Because we're such a unique industry, made up of both well-known older brands and bootstrapped performer start-ups, and everything in between, we'll need different systems and flexibility. It's wonderful that CDT is not only lending an assist, but doing so without stigma."

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