Wired reports: The Heartbleed bug crushed our faith in the secure web, but a world without the encryption software that Heartbleed exploited would be even worse. In fact, it’s time for the web to take a good hard look at a new idea: encryption everywhere.
Most major websites use either the SSL or TLS protocol to protect your password or credit card information as it travels between your browser and their servers. Whenever you see that a site is using HTTPS, as opposed to HTTP, you know that SSL/TLS is being used. But only a few sites — like Facebook and Gmail — actually use HTTPS to protect all of their traffic as opposed to just passwords and payment details.
Many security experts — including Google’s in-house search guru, Matt Cutts — think it’s time to bring this style of encryption to the entire web. That means secure connections to everything from your bank site to Wired.com to the online menu at your local pizza parlor.
Cutts runs Google’s web spam team. He helps the company tweak its search engine algorithms to prioritize certain sites over others. For example, the search engine prioritizes sites that load quickly, and penalizes sites that copy — or “scrape” — text from others.
If Cutts had his way, Google would prioritize sites that use HTTPS over those that don’t, he told blogger Barry Schwartz at a conference earlier this year. The change, if it were ever implemented, would likely spur an HTTPS stampede as web sites competed for better search rankings. [Continue reading…]