The election of Donald Trump has lots of Americans worried about their privacy, and they’re turning to encrypted communication platforms to protect themselves. During an interview yesterday, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden encouraged those concerned about the ramifications of Trump at the helm of the NSA to use encryption — and it seems like people are listening.
ProtonMail, an encrypted email service headquartered in Switzerland, announced today that it’s seen an influx of new users since the election.
“Since Trump’s victory, the number of new users coming to ProtonMail has doubled compared to the previous week,” CEO Andy Yen wrote in a blog post. “Given Trump’s campaign rhetoric against journalists, political enemies, immigrants, and Muslims, there is concern that Trump could use the new tools at his disposal to target certain groups.”
However, Yen is quick to note that the mass surveillance apparatus that Trump will helm expanded and flourished under President Obama.
“Today, we are seeing an influx of liberal users, but ProtonMail has also long been popular with the political right, who were truly worried about big government spying, and the Obama administration having access to their communications. Now the tables have turned,” Yen wrote. “The same terror the political right has experienced is now being felt in liberal bubbles such as Silicon Valley for the first time.”
Like Snowden, Yen argues that Trump is just an example of how quickly governments can change and his rise to power demonstrates the importance of privacy, no matter who sits in the White House. Yen recommended his own service for those looking to avoid surveillance, as well as the encrypted messaging app Signal.