One of the things that I believe to be unnecessary this day and age are unencrypted sites. When certificate authorities offer free certificates for personal use there are no real barriers left preventing the adoption of HTTPS on every website. Google may agree as it appears that it is looking into prioritizing websites that use HTTPS in its search results:
In a move that experts say could make it harder to spy on Web users, Google is considering giving a boost in its search-engine results to websites that use encryption, the engineer in charge of fighting spam in search results hinted at a recent conference.
The executive, Matt Cutts, is well known in the search world as the liaison between Google’s search team and website designers who track every tweak to its search algorithms.
Cutts also has spoken in private conversations of Google’s interest in making the change, according to a person familiar with the matter. The person says Google’s internal discussions about encryption are still at an early stage and any change wouldn’t happen soon.
I hope that the person familiar with the matter is correct. The information leaked by Edward Snowden demonstrated to all of us that an insecure Internet is no longer a viable option. We need to move to an Internet where all information is encrypted. Doing so wouldn’t just make it harder for organizations like the NSA to spy on our communications but it would also make it more difficult for malicious hackers to intercept user authentication information. By prioritizing encrypted sites Google could help convince more site administrators to use HTTPS for their sites.