[Updated] HTTPS Everywhere disappears from Chrome Web Store

By Saturday, August 17, 2013 0 , , , Permalink 0

Update 18 August, 18:54 GMT
We have received an official statement from EFF:

On Friday evening we released an HTTPS Everywhere update for Chrome. But overnight we realized it had a critical bug that made many popular websites never finish loading.

In order to make sure less existing users updated to it and less new users installed it, we decided to temporarily unpublish the extension from the Chrome store until we could get an update out.

We released another update that fixed the bug late Saturday morning, and HTTPS Everywhere is back in the Chrome store again.

Original Story
HTTPS Everywhere, an extension available for Firefox as well as Chrome, which allowed users to encrypt communication with major websites has suddenly disappeared from the Chrome web store.

The extensions are a result of the collaboration between the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the Tor Project and were developed out of need to secure the communication between users’ browsers and web servers.

As EFF notes there are multiple websites that offer very limited support for encryption even though they are HTTPS based websites. There are cases when such sites would by default communicate using the unencrypted HTTP protocol or would fill HTTPS web pages with links that would be going back to the unencrypted version of the same site. This is where the extensions would come in handy as it would “rewrite requests to these sites to HTTPS.”

HTTPS Everywhere was itself not responsible for making the browsing secure for the users. The extensions were responsible for activating security aspects of websites which supported such communication. Using HTTPS Everywhere, users can protect themselves from eavesdropping and tampering of contents that they are sending out or receiving. For the extensions to work websites should support encryption; this was the bottom line.

There has been no official communication from EFF regarding this removal. We have reached out to EFF for comments.