Mozilla has begun phasing out support for websites that don’t use HTTPS encryption, with new features in Firefox to be limited to secure websites and access to existing browser features to be slowly phased out on non-secure websites.
In a post on the Mozilla official security blog, Firefox security lead Richard Barnes warned the move will “likely cause some [non-secure] sites to break”. A PDF is available explaining what the changes will mean for website owners.
The news is the latest in a string of moves by tech industry heavyweights to push website owners to switch to HTTPS, following revelations by intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden of mass-surveillance programs by the US National Security Agency.
Google has switched to requiring HTTPS to access its Gmail service and is known to give higher search rankings to encrypted websites. Meanwhile, last month, both Google and Yahoo moved their ad networks over to HTTPS in a bid to reduce bot traffic and other types of ad fraud.
The news highlights the growing importance for small businesses to make sure their websites are set up to use HTTPS encryption.