HTTPSThe US Government is pushing to have all publicly accessible government websites using HTTPS (hypertext transfer protocol secure) to secure website connections. The proposal, referred to as The HTTPS-Only Standard by the White House Office of Management and Budget, pushes to have all government websites using the secure protocol over the next two years.

By enforcing the websites to use HTTPS, they are protecting the person accessing the website by securing the connection between them and the website. This can significantly decrease risks of the user’s information being intercepted and even manipulated. Many websites currently use plain old HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol). These websites run the risk of having sensitive data collected without the user’s knowledge.

To sum it up, enforcing HTTPS on these websites will do two main things: 1) verify the identity of the website to prevent fraudulent sites from posing as government websites, and 2) encrypt the connection between the user and the website so that the information sent and received between the two cannot be read or altered over the internet.

This is definitely a step in the right direction by the government, and a good example for corporations to follow as well in an effort to protect user privacy. The public is encouraged to comment on this proposal and can do so by visiting the main HTTPS-Only Standard page.

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