Wednesday, April 27, 2011

SOFTWARE: HTTPS-Everywhere, 'Cept Google Search

I haven't checked this out on Quincy, which runs Win7 and Firefox 4.0, but I have to admit to being a bit angry about a recent downgrade upgrade from The Electronic Frontier Foundation for the MUST-HAVE security add-on HTTPS-Everywhere. At least, I had to do some finagling to stop version 0.9.5 of the add-on for my Firefox 3.6x version running on Popeye, the WinXP machine from making my life miserable.

Seems this latest upgrade makes searching for images through Google Image Search an impossibility. I'd get a message saying no-can do in geek speak to any term I put in. I could put in "Montreal Canadiens" or I could put in some search term I REALLY should never be allowed to search for. Something that would shake your belief in me as a civilized man. Something like "Conservative Majority." EGADS!!!!!! Go Jack go! But I digress.

At any rate, I solved the problem by going into the options and deselecting Google Search from the list of stuff HTTPS-Everywhere forces into the SECURE version of HTTP. Seems Google is lagging in the area and the previous method v0.9.4 and earlier of the add-on now no longer works. In fact, it gets in the way in a major way.

Why don't I uninstall the whole thing altogether?

What, am I CRAZY!?!

The fact is, that I wouldn't run a full-time browser without NoScript, AdBlock and HTTPS-Everywhere. It's not safe out there on the Internet. Bluntly, every site SHOULD be running under HTTPS security rather than wide open with HTTP only. HTTPS-Everywhere was mainly developed to combat the problem of man in the middle attacks. There's where a felonious fink manages to insert a probe of some sort between the beginning and end points of an electronic communication. If the data isn't encrypted, the fink can read things like passwords. And the internet runs on passwords. Encryption throws a monkey wrench into that kind of attack. And every little bit of defence helps.

It took longer to figure out this situation than I would have liked. But at least I was able to 'fix' the problem. I hope a REAL upgrade (v0.9.9 is in the pipeline) will let me turn on the security feature for Google Searches again. After all, I want to be able to be secure when I search for things like... The Royal Wedding.

Can't believe I admitted that in public.

No comments: