HTTPS by Default Protects Wikipedia Logged-in Users

HTTPS by Default Protects Wikipedia Logged-in Users

The Wikimedia Foundation implemented HTTPS encryption for all traffic on Wikimedia sites to ensure that Wikipedia users can reach world’s knowledge more securely.

Why We Need HTTPS and How It Works

Mass surveillance is a serious threat to intellectual freedom, so the members of Wikimedia group believe secure browsing is essential for the safeness of users around the world. The need for encryption increases in amount and intensity.

Encryption is a good way to make the Web stronger for both experienced and inexperienced users. The HTTPS protocol builds an encrypted connection between Wikimedia sites and your computer to ensure the security and fairness of data you transmit. Encryption restricts governments and other third parties that try to monitor your traffic but not entirely, and it just makes it more difficult. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have restrict access to specific Wikipedia information.

Wikimedia About the Project

Since 2011, the Wikimedia team has been working on establishing the infrastructure and technical demands, understanding the policy and society implications of HTTPS for all Wikimedia traffic, with the aim to make it available to all logged-in users. Ryan Lane announced this project as the 2013 official roadmap of Wikimedia.

Two years later operations engineer Brandon Black, senior legal counsels Yana Welinder and Victoria Baranetsky affirmed that enabling HTTPS by default to encrypt all Wikimedia traffic went very well. They continue to work on the matter in response to the increasing recent concerns over the privacy and security of their user community, mainly concerned about government surveillance.

Implementation of HTTPS

The technical implementation consists of improving infrastructure and code base to support HTTPS as well as widely expanding and updating server hardware. The entire structure stack in-house until Wikipedia employ third side content delivery systems. Wikipedia’s blog also reports that HTTPS may have conduct implications for some logged-in users, who log and access Wikimedia sites from countries or networks with low throughput or poor connections.