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Pornhub, YouPorn Promise Increased Internet Security Amid Congress Privacy Protection Repeal

1 April 2017, 7:47 am EDT By Carl Velasco Tech Times
Both Pornhub and YouPorn have beefed up their internet privacy protection with HTTPS encryption. The switch comes at a time of mounting outrage against the recent repeal of internet privacy rules the FCC set last year.   ( Sean Gallup | Getty Images )

Two of the most popular porn websites want its users to feel secure when watching their videos, and it's taking steps to do so — a gesture of reassurance in the mounting outrage toward the imminent repeal of internet privacy rules set by the FCC last year.

Pornhub And YouPorn Now More Secure With HTTPS

Pornhub announced Thursday, March 30, that it has successfully transitioned to HTTPS, which means that it now supports encryption sitewide by default. The move follows the hotly contested Congress vote on halting internet privacy rules, which would have prevented internet service providers from collecting consumer data and then selling them to advertisers without consent from subscribers. Enabling HTTPS won't bar ISPs from knowing that a person visited Pornhub, but it can prevent them from knowing what videos are watched.

As per Google's most recent transparency report, just three out of 11 adult industry portals in the world's top 100 sites support HTTPS encryption. Pornhub and YouPorn, the former's sister site, have now joined that list. YouPorn is poised to get HTTPS encryption come April 4.

"Here at Pornhub, with more than 70 million daily visitors, we wanted to continue our concerted effort to maximize the privacy of our users, ensuring that what they do on our platform remains strictly confidential," said Corey Price, Pornhub's vice president.

For the uninitiated, HTTPS leverages encryption to secure the connection between the browser and the server. While it won't ensure that user behavior will be entirely invisible, it will at least conceal any form of traffic beyond the top domain level, as noted by Engadget. In addition, HTTPS encryption can also boost loading times, prevent malware attacks, and combat forceful ads from hijacking whole pages. Sites without HTTPS don't foster these protections.

As you can imagine, extremely private data, even when not tied directly to a specific name, can be very revealing. The sexual preferences and the type of porn sites a person visits can ultimately land repercussions if made available. This threat to privacy is why Pornhub has beefed up its encryption.

PornHub's Commitment To Privacy

"Privacy is paramount to us — it always has been," says Price. "With HTTPS, users can rest assured that their browsing data is encrypted, not visible to anyone and, therefore, cannot be sold." Price adds that plans to add HTTPS encryption predate the Congress vote, although according to him, the timing was apropos.

The switch to HTTPS is just another example of both porn sites' commitment to ensuring user privacy. Last year, both companies launched their own bug bounty programs encouraging security researchers to seek and shut down backdoors on their websites.

Congress Votes To Repeal Internet Privacy Rules

It's no secret that internet privacy is under threat, even more so when the U.S. Congress voted to roll back FCC-set internet privacy rules on March 28, leaving President Donald Trump's signature the only requirement before the repeal can go into effect. The White House has already announced its support of the bill prior.

The backlash has, of course, been vocal, with predominant ill-feelings expressed toward the potential scenario in which ISPs can purchase internet browsing data willy-nilly and shop them off to advertisers. Retaliative campaigns to buy the Congress's internet data, in effect, have also been launched, spurring a community of staunch deterrents trying to take a different approach.

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