Google’s popular email service, Gmail, has opted into encrypting emails by default. Not only has Google opted into encrypting email’s server side, Google has also forced HTTPS:// on all Gmail connections.
Google announced they will be updating their encryption settings, and starting to force HTTPS on all logins. Since the start of Gmail in 2004, the HTTPS protocol has always been available. In 2010, Google utilized HTTPS by default. And now in 2014 HTTPS will be forced and not have the ability to be disabled via user settings. HTTPS is a secure protocol that encrypts the connection, making hackers and government snoops unable to see what you are doing on the network. With HTTPS Google can secure your logins and emails from these snoops wherever you go.
Not only is HTTPS completely forced, emails inside Google servers will be encrypted by default. Before, on Google servers, emails were left in their default mode. This means anyone on the server could read or intercept emails. Now with all emails begin encrypted while moving through Google’s servers, emails can be secured from snoops and hackers.
In Google’s official blog post, they stated
In addition, every single email message you send or receive—100% of them—is encrypted while moving internally. This ensures that your messages are safe not only when they move between you and Gmail’s servers, but also as they move between Google’s data centers—something we made a top priority after last summer’s revelations.
Last summer, Edward Snowden released documents that the NSA could intercept emails as they moved between servers using their PRISM data mining program. Google has finally put email encryption in place, making communications encrypted and secure.
As Google has updated their security and encryption, this does not make Gmail invincible from the NSA, government, or other third party entities. Gmail still holds the encryption keys and can access or decrypt emails whenever needed.
Google has finally noticed that there is no sense in not forcing HTTPS. Google’s new security measures are a step towards enhancing users privacy and security.