This shouldn’t be surprising because Google has frequently hinted of this in the past. Back in 2010, the company made HTTPS the default standard for all Gmail users. However, the company allowed users to opt out of it if they wanted to. One of the reasons users may want to opt out of HTTPS is simply that it may slow down the email a bit.
Commenting on this fresh decision to make encryption mandatory for all users, a Google spokesperson said, “The team has been working hard to mitigate any performance costs, which now puts us in a position where it no longer makes sense to allow HTTP connections. The large majority of users already use HTTPS connections, so this is the final step in the journey.”
It is interesting to note here that Google had internally implemented encryption on all Gmail communications since Edward Snowden’s leaks. This means that when parsed through Google servers and data centers, all emails from and by Gmail users are encrypted.
Over time, the company has also mitigated any adverse consequences of using HTTPS. This means that HTTPS is now both secure and as quick as HTTP. There is a huge possibility that now that Gmail has made this huge decision, other major email vendors would follow suit.