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HTTPS (SSL) Google Search
Stage Complete
Status In progress
Release target Firefox 14
Health OK
Status note `


Product manager Sid Stamm
Directly Responsible Individual Sid Stamm
Lead engineer Sid Stamm
Security lead Curtis Koenig
Privacy lead Sid Stamm
Localization lead `
Accessibility lead `
QA lead `
UX lead `
Product marketing lead `
Operations lead `
Additional members `

Open issues/risks

  • Responsiveness: HTTPS connections have a longer handshake time than HTTP connections. If we deploy Open Search right, we can cut a redirect out of the search submission process which will counteract any handshake-caused slowdown.
  • Availability: HTTPS is potentially not available to all locales for Google search.

Stage 1: Definition

1. Feature overview

Update Google search in Firefox, Fennec and B2G (search box, location bar, context-menu, about:home) to use encrypted (SSL) search by default.

2. Users & use cases

This feature increases secrecy of the search queries submitted by users (by hiding them from network eavesdroppers).

3. Dependencies


4. Requirements

  • Must be reasonably responsive/fast (users must not notice a meaningful difference)
  • Search suggestions must also be transmitted via HTTPS
  • Service availability must be on par with today's HTTP search


  • This will not update other search engines to be HTTPS
  • This will not change how users are presented search interfaces

Stage 2: Design

5. Functional specification

Google searches from the context menu, awesomebar, and search box will all go to HTTPS URLs. Search suggestions will also go to HTTPS endpoints.

6. User experience design

No change in UX.

Stage 3: Planning

7. Implementation plan

Land on nightly, then update other Google search plugins (other locales, etc) to use HTTPS as well.

8. Reviews

Security review


Privacy review


Localization review




Quality Assurance review


Operations review


Stage 4: Development

9. Implementation

see bug 633773

Stage 5: Release

10. Landing criteria

  • Google servers ready for traffic
  • Test implementation is acceptably responsive

Feature details

Priority P1
Rank 1
Theme / Goal HTTPS By Default
Roadmap Security
Secondary roadmap Platform
Feature list `
Project `
Engineering team Privacy

Team status notes

  status notes
Products ` `
Engineering ` `
Security sec-review-unnecessary `
Privacy ` `
Localization ` `
Accessibility ` `
Quality assurance ` `
User experience ` `
Product marketing ` `
Operations ` `