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Let's Encrypt Has Issued its First Million Certificates

By Jacob Hoffman-Andrews and Peter Eckersley
Published on 2016-03-08, on the EFF blog.

At 9:04am GMT today, the Let's Encrypt Certificate Authority issued its millionth certificate. This is an amazing success, coming only 3 months and 5 days since a beta version of the service became publicly available. We're very excited to be building a more secure and fully encrypted future for the World Wide Web.

Let's Encrypt certificate issuance growth

Let's Encrypt certificate issuance over time

A million certificates is in itself pretty good progress. But a single certificate can cover multiple domain names, and the million certificates Let's Encrypt has issued are actually valid for 2.5 million fully-qualified domain names, over 90% of which had never been reachable by browser-valid HTTPS before.

Much more work remains to be done before the Internet is free from insecure protocols, but this is substantial and rapid progress. It is clear that the cost and bureaucracy of obtaining certificates was forcing many websites to continue with the insecure HTTP protocol, long after we've known that HTTPS needs to be the default. We're very proud to be seeing that change, and helping to create a future in which newly provisioned websites are automatically secure and encrypted.

EFF co-founded the Let's Encrypt CA with Mozilla and researchers from the University of Michigan. Akamai and Cisco provided significant financial support for the launch, and many other organizations have stepped up to sponsor the project since launch. If you'd like to help, you can donate to EFF or ISRG, or if you're a coder, help us to improve the server or client software.

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