Let’s Encrypt is an initiative of the Internet Security Research Group (ISRG) with the goal of providing free and automatic SSL certificate installation and renewal to all Web masters.
It started November 2014 and entered private beta several weeks ago. I actually received one of those invites, but I’m yet to install it on this server.
Come December 3 (2015), Let’s Encrypt will be thrown open for any Web master to beta-test. From the announcement:
Let’s Encrypt will enter Public Beta on December 3, 2015. Once we’ve entered Public Beta our systems will be open to anyone who would like to request a certificate. There will no longer be a requirement to sign up and wait for an invitation.
Our Limited Beta started on September 12, 2015. We’ve issued over 11,000 certificates since then, and this operational experience has given us confidence that our systems are ready for an open Public Beta.
It’s time for the Web to take a big step forward in terms of security and privacy. We want to see HTTPS become the default. Let’s Encrypt was built to enable that by making it as easy as possible to get and manage certificates.
So if you own a website and are willing to help make Let’s Encrypt better, mark your calendar for December 3 (2015). Meanwhile, read the complete announcement here.