Those using the version of Android 7 Nougat may not be able to access the internet next year. So why won’t pages load out of nowhere?


There are tons of unfamiliar things happening behind the scenes in the internet world. One of these is the Let’s Encrypt certificate of the internet pages. Hundreds of thousands of websites using Let’s Encrypt certificates will not be opened on phones and tablets running Android 7 Nougat in 2021. In other words, entering the internet on Android 7 would not make much sense as the pages would not open.

This was due to an expired partnership with IdenTrust, which cross-signed the company’s keys for legacy platforms. Fortunately, a solution has been found. In other words, it seems that sites using Let’s Encrypt certificates will continue to open on Android 7 in 2021.

This is a very technical issue. But in short, Let’s Encrypt relies on a cross-signed certificate for some devices that do not have a root certificate (such as Android devices running versions prior to Android 7.1.1 Nougat). Two months ago, Let’s Encrypt announced that this arrangement will expire next September.

Therefore, its cross-signed certificate would stop working on these devices. This means that sites and services that use Let’s Encrypt to secure HTTPS connections can be hacked. Therefore, it would be preferable not to open the pages in order not to be hacked.

Fortunately, the partnership between IdenTrust and Let’s Encrypt has been renewed. However, the new solution works a little differently. It also cross signs the root certificate of Let’s Encrypt.

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Both old Android device owners and Let’s Encrypt subscribers will not need to do anything for this workaround to work next year. Some developers may need to check that their certificates are not encoded.

This won’t be a solution forever, as the cross-signing arrangement is only good until 2024. So if you have a device that uses Android 7.1.1, do not forget to change your phone / tablet by 2024.


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