Let’s Encrypt, an open certificate authority that gives digital certificates to websites to enable HTTPS, has extended Android compatibility for its certificates for older phones allowing for continued safe Web browsing. The development was shared on the official website of Let’s Encrypt. The certificate authority said it was able to come up with a solution to allow for older Android phones to visit websites that use Let’s Encrypt certificates for three more years. Originally, Let’s Encrypt partnered with another certificate authority, IdenTrust, to allow its certificates to work on older platforms, but the IdenTrust root certificate that would offer that functionality was set to expire next year.
Let’s Encrypt and IdenTrust partnered to provide support for older Android devices, but were supposed to part ways next year. This would have caused phones running on Android 7.1.1 or older to not be able to access HTTPS websites. But now the partnership has been renewed, which essentially means that things will keep running smoothly for another three years on older Android devices. Let’s Encrypt says on its website that some innovative thinking from the community and IdenTrust will allow the partnership to continue.
IdenTrust has agreed to cross-sign for Let’s Encrypt’s ISRG Root X1 certificate from its DST Root CA X3 certificate for the next three years. This allows Let’s Encrypt’s to provide its users “a chain which contains both ISRG Root X1 and DST Root CA X3, ensuring uninterrupted service to all users and avoiding the potential breakage we have been concerned about.”
This new chain will be implemented in late January or early February next year. It will not impact older Android OS users. This development comes as a great news as 33.8 percent Android users are still on Android 7 or older, as mentioned in a previous post by Let’s Encrypt.
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