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Google Aims To Lock Down SSL Encryption On Developer APIs


As of September this year, Google says it will demand that all developers use SSL connections for requests through Google Documents List, Google Spreadsheet, and Google Sites APIs. The company says that insisting on SSL technology improves security by encrypting data communications between users and Google itself — and so, in theory, better protects that data from being intercepted by a malicious third party.

This means that from September 15, the chosen Google APIs will only function through requests made via HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure). If a developer makes a request to an old HTTP address, it will result in a non-functioning action.

According to the Google code developer blog, "For most APIs, our technical documentation, client libraries, and code samples already use SSL. Many new APIs and versions will be SSL only. Further, the Google Maps API, which previously offered SSL only to Premier customers, is offering SSL to all developers starting today."

The search giant says that this change should be transparent if a developer is using the most recent version of the Google Data client libraries, since they already use SSL for all requests. If ,on the other hand, a developer is not using those libraries, then he or she will have to change all HTTP URLs in the code base to HTTPS.

"If you're not using our client libraries, then simply change any use of an HTTP URL to its corresponding HTTPS version in your code. Your existing OAuth and AuthSub tokens will continue to work using the HTTPS URLs, even if they were requested with a scope that uses an 'http://' scheme," says the company.

Google's Mountain View headquarters is already working towards the steady migration to SSL encryption: the company's Gmail service now defaults to SSL, the company's core web search provides an option for SSL, and the online word processor Google Docs now requires SSL to operate.


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