Feeds

Google grabs Gmail-using HTTPS refuseniks and coats them with SSL

You'll take this mandatory encryption even if the NSA can crack it

Boost IT visibility and business value

Google has announced that from Thursday all connections to its Gmail website will be encrypted in transit using HTTPS – and messages will be encrypted when being moved around the web giant's data centers.

"Every single email message you send or receive - 100 per cent of them - is encrypted while moving internally," wrote Nicolas Lidzborski, Gmail security engineering lead, in the company's Enterprise blog today.

"This ensures that your messages are safe not only when they move between you and Gmail's servers, but also as they move between Google's data centers— something we made a top priority after last summer’s revelations."

Those revelations being the Edward Snowden-sourced leaks that the intelligence agencies NSA and GCHQ are intercepting and monitoring data center connections and the backbones of the internet worldwide. (It's feared the NSA has been able to compromise encryption systems such as SSL in some way or another, but every little helps.)

Gmail has always supported HTTPS connections, and turned them on by default in 2010. But users have, until now, had the option to switch the encryption off. Today's announcement doesn't just cover Gmail: Google Apps will also be HTTPS-only from now on.

Some Google customers have been avoiding encryption in case it slowed down the in-browser webmail service, but people familiar with the matter said that this is a tiny percentage of the user base. Google engineers have been working on making HTTPS more efficient and there should be little change in service speed as a result of today's change.

Google said in the blog post that it was also working on maintaining uptime and claims a 99.978 per cent uptime record, meaning that during the year, the average user suffered just two hours of screaming at their defunct browser before deciding to go down the pub. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft: We plan to CLEAN UP this here Windows Store town
Paid-for apps that provide free downloads? Really
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Hear ye, young cyber warriors of the realm: GCHQ wants you
Get involved, get a job and then never discuss work ever again
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?