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StartSSL - Free certificate, not worth the time · Nov 27, 11:45 by Shannon Wynter

So today I discovered that Karen at StartSSL has a confused definition of “commercial in nature” and “financial transaction”

I attempted to grab a ssl certificate for one of my subdomains on one of my servers so I could have an upcoming chrome plugin securely communicate with it.

In fact their website specifically highlights this feature: “The StartSSLâ„¢ Free certificates are intended for web sites which require protection of privacy and prevent eavesdropping.” – Sounds perfect doesn’t it.

According to their policy

Class 1 certificates are limited to client and server
certificates, whereas the later is restricted in its usage for
non-commercial purpose only. Subscribers MUST upgrade to Class
2 or higher level for any domain and site of commercial nature,
when using high-profile brands and names or if involved in
obtaining or relaying sensitive information such as health
records, financial details, personal information etc.

I should be good to go right?

This site clearly isn’t commercial in nature, nor is the domain I was attempting to get the certificate for (flatus.fremnet.net) I have no intent to make money off the chrome plugin or the data that’s being transferred.

I also have no intention of obtaining or relaying sensitive information such as health records, financial details, personal information etc

Having a paypal donate button in the top right hand corner of a site doesn’t make the site commercial, it’s giving others a chance to contribute to keeping the information here online – some of it is quite useful. Hosting isn’t free, it’s coming out of my pocket.

Having a paypal donate button indiciates that the financial transactions I do conduct (however few and far between) clearly won’t be run over the StartSSL free certificate as I already have a method that doesn’t involve them.

The kicker, I’ve had certificates from StartSSL before and this hasn’t been an issue.

I’m an open source coder and tinkerer, almost everything I do is given away, either under GPL or completely free without license or constraint.

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