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How the EFF is securing your Android web surfing experience

Android users worried about the security of their mobile Internet browsing in light of all the advanced spying practices recently revealed by Edward Snowden’s leaked documents, should know the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is ready to help by providing its HTTPS Everywhere extension to the Firefox app for Android devices.

The EFF on Monday announced that its extension can be installed on Android devices that run Mozilla’s Android app in order to enjoy an encrypted mobile browsing experience. “With HTTPS Everywhere installed, Firefox for Android encrypts thousands of connections from your browser that would otherwise be insecure,” the EFF wrote on its blog. “This gives Firefox a huge security advantage over every other mobile browser available today.”

The extension, previously available on the desktop version of Firefox, switches “insecure HTTP connections to secure HTTPS connections whenever possible using thousands of URL rewrite rules,” thus securing the “confidentiality and integrity” of the data sent over HTTPS including emails, instant messages, syncing, web browsing and app downloads. Once installed the Firefox extension can easily be toggled on and off on Android devices (installing instructions are available here).

HTTPS Everywhere toggle for switching the extension on and off on Firefox Browser for Android | Image credit: EFF

Unfortunately, the EFF’s extension only works on Firefox for Android, with the Foundation taking a direct hit at Apple when announcing it. “[…] a quick note to iPhone users: we’re sorry we can’t help you to secure your mobile browsing experience,” the EFF said. “Apple’s policy of locking out Mozilla means you can’t have a more secure browser in your pocket.”

According to the Foundation, who fights for the digital rights of Internet users, HTTPS Everywhere encrypts “hundreds of billions of page views and over a trillion individual requests per year,” but reveals that the encryption is only possible if the visited site supports HTTPS.

A different application which aims to prevent Wi-Fi tracking is also available in beta, with another similar app also in the works.


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