The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is partnering with DuckDuckGo to include the latter’s HTTPS dataset in its HTTPS Everywhere browser extension.
The EFF and DuckDuckGo are closely aligned in their commitment to protecting user privacy. DuckDuckGo’s privacy browser extension for the desktop, and its standalone privacy browser for iOS, rely on the company’s Smarter Encryption technology.
Smarter Encryption upgrades a standard unencrypted (HTTP) website connection to an encrypted (HTTPS) connection where possible. Smarter Encryption is more advanced than many competing options, since DuckDuckGo crawls and re-crawls the web to keep its dataset current.
The EFF is now adopting DuckDuckGo’s Smart Encryption dataset for use in its own HTTPS Everywhere browser extension. Like Smart Encryption, HTTPS Everywhere is designed to help upgrade insecure connections. The EFF’s solution previously used “a crowd-sourced list of encrypted HTTPS versions of websites,” a less efficient and less comprehensive solution than DuckDuckGo’s.
“DuckDuckGo Smarter Encryption has a list of millions of HTTPS-encrypted websites, generated by continually crawling the web instead of through crowdsourcing, which will give HTTPS Everywhere users more coverage for secure browsing,” said Alexis Hancock, EFF Director of Engineering and manager of HTTPS Everywhere and Certbot web encrypting projects. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with DuckDuckGo as we see HTTPS become the default protocol on the net and contemplate HTTPS Everywhere’s future.”
“EFFs pioneering work with the HTTPS Everywhere extension took privacy protection in a new and needed direction, seamlessly upgrading people to secure website connections,” said Gabriel Weinberg, DuckDuckGo founder and CEO. “We’re delighted that EFF has now entrusted DuckDuckGo to power HTTPS Everywhere going forward, using our next generation Smarter Encryption dataset.”