Donald Trump’s election as the 45th President of the United States seems to have a few people worried. We’ve all heard about the Immigration Canada website crashing and flocks of protesters lining the streets, but a less well known story has just emerged regarding a massive uptake in new subscribers to encrypted email services since the election result.
Interestingly enough, the story comes from those perennially neutral types in Switzerland, so at the very least a political angle to the story seems out of the question. ProtonMail, the world’s largest encrypted email provider, has reported a 100 percent increase in new user sign-ups in the last two days.
According to ProtonMail, the surge of interest likely comes from Democrats wary of a Trump-controlled NSA. Of course, exactly how President Trump plans to utilize the NSA’s domestic surveillance capabilities will probably never be fully known, but it seems like at least a few folks are erring on the side of caution.
As outlined in a ProtonMail blog post:
Many of our new users have voiced a few common concerns both on Twitter and also in emails to us. 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. As the NSA currently operates completely out of the public eye with very little legal oversight, all of this could be done in secret.
Regardless of how you feel about the election result, taking privacy seriously is something we should all be interested in. Whether you have something to hide or not, any warrantless invasion of privacy is an infringement on your Fourth Amendment rights. So if you’ve found yourself thinking about signing up for an end-to-end encrypted email account, you’re apparently not alone.
Do you use an encrypted email service or chat app? Do you plan to?