Renowned Cybersecurity Technologist Peter Eckersley Passes Away at 43

Colin Thierry
Colin Thierry Writer
Colin Thierry Colin Thierry Writer

Peter Eckersley, renowned technologist with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), passed away at age 43 last week following a brief illness. The EFF was a groundbreaking cybersecurity force that fought for online privacy and fairness.

Most notably, Eckersley founded Let’s Encrypt, which is an organization that’s responsible for the internet’s shift from insecure HTTP connections to HTTPS in order to protect users from threats at the network level. Currently, Let’s Encrypt is a certificate authority run by the Internet Security Research Group, a web infrastructure used and trusted by all major browser and Internet companies including Mozilla, Google, Meta, IBM, Amazon, and many others. The EFF estimates that around 90% of total webpage visits now use HTTPS.

Eckersley also contributed to the cybersecurity field by creating a tool called Switzerland. This tool alerts users when their ISP is interfering with Web traffic, advocates for net neutrality, and much more, according to Monday’s EFF announcement.

He most recently founded a firm called AI Objectives Institute which monitors the malicious use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). Large technology companies, civil society, and academia all collaborate together within this firm in order to ensure that AI is designed and used to benefit humanity.

“We’ll never forget the gleam in his eye as Peter started talking about his latest idea, nor his wide smile as he kept working to find a way to overcome obstacles and often almost bodily carry his ideas into being,” said the EFF announcement. “He had the gift of being able to widen the aperture of any problem, giving a perspective that could help see patterns and options that were previously invisible.”

“The impact of Peter’s work on encrypting the web cannot be understated,” the announcement added. “Peter’s vision, audacity, and commitment made the web, and the world, a better place. We will miss him.”

About the Author

About the Author

Colin Thierry is a former cybersecurity researcher and journalist for SafetyDetectives who has written a wide variety of content for the web over the past 2 years. In his free time, he enjoys spending time outdoors, traveling, watching sports, and playing video games.

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