Millions of old phones, laptops, and smart gadgets could stop working later this week for a weird reason

The internet connectivity on older tech devices and smart gadgets could stop working on Thursday after a key digital certificate required to access websites safely expires.

Let’s Encrypt, a nonprofit organization that is the largest issuer of digital certificates — which encrypts and protects the connection between devices and websites on the internet — will be forced to expire one of its most popular digital certificates, the IdentTrust DST Root CA X3, on Sept. 30.

This means several phones, computers, video game consoles, smart gadgets, and “Internet of Things” devices bought before 2017 that use the Let’s Encrypt digital certificate in question, and haven’t updated their
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