The Internet is an amazing invention. We marvel at how it connects people, connects ideas, and makes the world smaller. But the Internet isn’t perfect. It was put together piecemeal through publicly funded research, private investment, and organic growth that has left us with an imperfect tapestry. It’s also evolving. People are constantly developing creative applications and finding new uses for existing Internet technology. Issues like privacy and security that were afterthoughts in the early days of the Internet are now supremely important. People are being tracked and monetized, websites and web services are being attacked in interesting new ways, and the fundamental system of trust the Internet is built on is showing signs of age. The Internet needs an upgrade, and one of the tools that can make things better, is cryptography.
Every day this week, Cloudflare will be announcing support for a new technology that uses cryptography to make the Internet better. Everything we are announcing this week is free to use and provides a meaningful step towards supporting a new capability or structural reinforcement. So why are we doing this? Because it’s good for the users and good for the Internet. Welcome to Crypto Week!
A more trustworthy Internet
Everything we do online depends on a relationship between users, services, and networks that is supported by some sort of trust mechanism. These relationships can be physical (I plug my router into yours), contractual (I paid a registrar for this domain name), or reliant on a trusted third party (I sent a message to my friend on iMessage via Apple). The simple act of visiting a website involves hundreds of trust relationships, some explicit and some implicit. The sheer size of the Internet and number of parties involved make trust online incredibly complex. Cryptography is a tool that can be used to encode and enforce, and most importantly scale these trust relationships.
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