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Fixing Python Requests Exception SSLError: Comprehensive Guide & Unique Insights

When using the Python requests module to scrape pages with untrusted SSL certificates, you may encounter a SSLError. This exception occurs when the SSL certificate of a website cannot be verified, which is a critical security measure to ensure data integrity and privacy. Encountering an SSLError can halt your web scraping projects, necessitating a reliable solution to bypass such security constraints without compromising on safety. To effectively address and mitigate these challenges, integrating a robust web scraping API into your scraping strategy could be immensely beneficial. These APIs are equipped to handle SSL verifications and other security protocols, offering a secure pathway to access and extract web data. By utilizing a comprehensive web scraping API, you can effortlessly navigate through SSL certificate verifications, enabling uninterrupted data collection and analysis.

import requests
response = requests.get("https://example.com/")
# raises: 
# SSLError: HTTPConnectionPool(host='example.com', port=80)...

# we can disable certificate verification (note: this is risky as it disables end-to-end encryption)
response = requests.get("https://example.com/", verify=False)
# or specify the certificate file explicitly (.pem)
cert_location = "certificates/example-com-certificate.pem"
response = requests.get("https://example.com/", verify=cert_location)

Although the SSLError exception is not commonly encountered in web scraping, the simplest solution is to disable certification verification (using the verify=False parameter) if no sensitive data is being exchanged.

If a manual fix is required, you can find the SSL certificates that requests is using with the requests.certs.where() method:

import requests
'/etc/ssl/certs/ca-certificates.crt'  # example on Linux

You can also override this value using the REQUESTS_CA_BUNDLE environment variable:

$ export REQUESTS_CA_BUNDLE="/etc/ssl/certs/my-certificates.pem" 
$ python -c "import requests;print(requests.certs.where())"

In conclusion, requests uses certifi to manage all SSL certificate-related operations. If you’re having issues, consider updating it: pip install certifi --upgrade