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October 7, 2015

Wikipedia founder: “All major internet traffic will be encrypted”

News: Jimmy Wales tells London audience that 95% of fixed line traffic will be encrypted end-to-end within a few years and mobile even sooner.

By Alexander Sword

Increasing demands for internet privacy will soon lead to near-universal encryption of internet traffic, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales said in an IP Expo keynote.

"Global SSL traffic has been booming. Over 80 percent of traffic on mobile networks will be encrypted within twelve months," said Wales.

"In April 2015, 29.1 percent of traffic on the internet was encrypted, 65 percent was in the clear and 6 percent they weren’t able to determine. That will change by 2016 to 64.7 percent of traffic encrypted."

"The last 26 percent, my expectation is it is going to narrow. Over the next several years that’s going to end up being a 5 or 6 percent slice, with some very small websites that haven’t bothered to do it."

The Wikipedia founder said that state security agencies had "over-reached" in their approach to spying. He said that "the golden age of spying" was over.

"We really do need a safe and secure internet," said Wales. "It is a fundamental public good and something that every government should be diligently working on.

"Not all governments are working in the right direction on this and it’s a little bit concerning and surprising."

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He also singled out David Cameron’s stance for particular criticism.

"It’s too late, Dave," Wales said, claiming that the UK Prime Minister’s demands for encryption to be banned were not only wrong in principle but technically unworkable.

Wales also called on the press to encrypt their websites in the interests of freedom of speech.

"A lot of newspaper websites are not secure. They should be.

"It’s not a good thing to allow [governments] to profile people based on what news stories they are reading."

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