Are there reasons to block HTTPS?

Tejan Ausland's picture

Are there any valid reasons for blocking HTTP traffic? I heard someone mention that HTTPS was blocked on an airport's WiFi network?

WisTex's picture

Listening In

The most probable reasons for blocking encrypted communications (i.e. HTTPS), include:

  • Government & security related surveillance. It's easier for officials to intercept potential threats if they are in plain text. This is probably why the WiFi at the airport blocked HTTPS access.
  • Hacking / Man in the Middle Attacks. If your communications are not encrypted, plain text usernames and passwords can be intercepted by someone operating the hot spot. You often see these open WiFi hotspots in locations where the public is likely to login, like airports and coffee shops.

If they were simply filtering your traffic (blocking certain websites), the most direct way to do that is to simply block IP addresses or domain names. Blocking HTTPS most likely was used to ensure they could listen into your network traffic.

Scott M. Stolz
Complete Hosting Guide, Editor-in-Chief
WisTex, Director & CEO

Tejan Ausland's picture

Makes Sense

Makes sense they would do that at airports considering all of the terrorist attacks. But you'd think terrorists would know that and use other methods of communication instead.

Tejan Ausland
Author & Ghost Writer

No, Not If Your Google

Well, if Google has its way every site will eventually have to be https. They are already saying they will show better rankings for sites like this because they are more secure. If it's for terrorist reasons they always have many different ways of communicating.