Obama issues HTTPS-only order to US Federal sysadmins

'Browsing should be private' says NSA overlord

Obama

Black Hat Barack has issued a Memorandum – an executive order in all but name, and an instrument the president has used more than any of his predecessors – to all Federal website sysadmins, informing them to deprecate HTTP and roll on with HTTPS.

The HTTPS-Only Standard was proposed by the US' Chief Information Officer Tony Scott, formerly of VMWare.

Though the standard has been criticised by a database admin at NASA as a "top-down solution", it has also been described as a "great first step" by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The Memorandum [PDF] itself states that "all browsing activity should be considered private and sensitive".

This Memorandum requires that all publicly accessible Federal websites and web services only provide service through a secure connection.

The strongest privacy and integrity protection currently available for public web connections is Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS).

The standard is intended to eliminate "inconsistent, subjective determinations across agencies regarding which content or browsing activity is sensitive in nature", Tony Scott said. ®

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