CNNIC issued a statement calling Google’s move “unacceptable and unintelligible,” and has asked the web giant to consider its users.
Internet authorities around the world issue certificates of trust to websites, as this then verifies their authenticity when visited by a web browser.
Hackers can impersonate unverified websites and intercept data.
A video on what certificates of trust are:
CNNIC, which calls itself a “constructor, operator and administrator of infrastructure in Chinese information society,” responded in the statement on its website that Google should consider user rights and interests.
Google said on its official security blog that it would no longer recognize the China Internet Network Information Centre (CNNIC) certificate authorities, following an investigation into a potential security lapse. MCS Holdings attributed a security lapse that took place on a test network to human error.
The move by Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox may disrupt users in from accessing a broad range of Chinese websites.
As a result of Mozilla’s step, users of Firefox may get a warning when attempting to visit sites certified after April 1 by the CNNIC, said Reuters.
“For the users that CNNIC has already issued the certificates to, we guarantee that your lawful rights and interests will not be affected,” the agency announced.
Google and Mozilla have said they would allow CNNIC to reapply so its certificates could be recognized again.
It will be interesting to see how this all works out; China is not known for backing down, but it may be forced to under these circumstances.