Saturday, October 16, 2010

Search engines ponder encrypting results, and looking for encrypted versions of sites

Electronic Frontier Foundation has an important analysis by Seth Schoen, “Search Engines Protect Privacy with Outbound HTTPS links”, link here.

The main point is that while searching itself can be encrypted, and engine can return an unencrypted version of a site, particularly if an encrypted one is available. (The article discusses Wikipedia, and I wasn’t aware it could be encrypted.) It also proposes that all browsers offer automatic encryption, which now only Firefox can do. (Some wireless servers, as at universities, may be starting to do this.)

I wonder if this could become an issue for webmasters who offer information only (as with my site) and don’t offer logons or expose visitors to revealing PII at all.   Would search engines stop indexing us?  What about simple blogs?  Will we all be expected to encrypt our sites, no matter what?

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