About SSL

Dear Squat!net users,

We would like to inform you about our decision to buy a recognized SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate. Most users will be unaware about SSL certificate problems, until they are visiting a website hosted on Squat.net or elsewhere which uses httpS, not http. For example, if you go to https://mail.squat.net you will face a certificate error message in your browser. It took a long time before we finally could make a decision due to the politics behind SSL, which are worth looking into.

Basically, the much needed extra layer of security provided by SSL certificates is currently mainly in the hands of a few governments or for-profit corporations. It is possible to use self-signed, home-rolled certs like Squat!net have been doing until now and like the fine folks at https://www.autistici.org/en/ssl.html explain.

However, due to changes of policy of some widely used browsers like Mozilla, many users were faced with warning messages and eventually failed to even reach the pages they wanted to see, because CACert did not buy their way in the rather closed world of Certificate Authorities companies. http://wiki.cacert.org/InclusionStatus and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CAcert.org are worth a read for a start.

At Squat!net we have chosen the path of least resistance and chosen to buy certificates since we want as many people as possible to see our hosted sites and read news about squatting. Also we are aware that for many squatters who are on the move and more busy with the day-to-day housing struggles, understanding the technical implications of proper use of self-made certificates may not be a priority.

We believe that our decision is the “best of the worst” for now. Within short term you should be able to enjoy your favourite squat!net services without annoying warning messages. Our SSL certificates will be valid up to three years. In the coming weeks the new certificates will be implemented. If you disagree with our decision or you have something else to share with us, please mail us at tech@@@squat.net.

In solidarity,

Squat!net system administrators

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