HTTPS Everywhere: ruleset updating without extension updates

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 4, 2018
Updated • Apr 4, 2018

A new version of the HTTPS Everywhere browser extension introduces a new feature that separates ruleset updates from extension updates.

HTTPS Everywhere is a security extension that is available for Firefox, Chrome, Opera and the Tor Browser. The extension enforces HTTPS connections on sites that support it to improve security and privacy.

We reviewed the first version of the extension released in 2010, and have followed it ever since.

Once installed, it checks whether any site the browser connects to is on the extension's ruleset file. If it is, HTTPS is enforced for the site.

The current version of HTTPS Everywhere includes a set of more than 23,000 rules for sites that support HTTPS.

Previously, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, makers of HTTPS Everywhere, had to release a new version of the extension whenever it wanted to distribute a new ruleset file. Even if the extension itself did not change at all, it had to be updated to distribute the new ruleset to all installations.

The process was impracticable for a number of reasons: a new version has to be created and uploaded to extension stores, extensions have to pass validation, and updates reach users only if they have not disabled extension updates.

The new system separates extension updates from ruleset updates similarly to how content blocker handle updating content blocking lists.

HTTPS Everywhere checks for ruleset updates periodically and downloads them if updates are available. Rulesets are signed by the EFF and verified using the Web Crypto API to make sure that they are legitimate before they are updated in the browser.

Users and administrators may disable the automatic updating of rulesets in the extension settings. Firefox users, for example, open about:addons in the browser, click on the options button next to HTTPS Everywhere, and remove the checkmark from "Auto-update rulesets" to do so.

The initial version of the feature transfers the entire ruleset file to the browser when updates happen. The EFF plans to improve the functionality so that only the changes between editions are transferred and not the entire ruleset file.

The new HTTPS Everywhere 2018.4.3 is available for download on all supported extension stores and as in-browser updates.

Now You: Do you use HTTPS Everywhere?

HTTPS Everywhere: ruleset updating without extension updates
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HTTPS Everywhere: ruleset updating without extension updates
A new version of the HTTPS Everywhere browser extension introduces a new feature that separates ruleset updates from extension updates.
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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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