The election of Donald Trump as US president last week has caused a sharp surge in business for ProtonMail, the encrypted communications company recommended by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The company's co-founder, Andy Yen, claimed that new user sign-ups almost tripled the moment Trump's victory was confirmed, and remain twice the standard rate a week later.
"Many of our new users have voiced a few common concerns on Twitter and in emails to us," said Yen 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. As the NSA currently operates completely out of the public eye with very little legal oversight, all of this could be done in secret."
However, ProtonMail was keen not to blame Trump himself, describing that as "the easy way out".
"All Trump does is put a new face on the existing privacy problem, so now it concerns a segment of the population that previously didn't care as much," Yen said.
"ProtonMail users have always come from the left and right side of the political spectrum. 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.
"The same terror the political right has experienced is now being felt in liberal bubbles such as Silicon Valley for the first time."
Yen explained that the left is correct to be afraid of a Trump-led NSA spying on communications, especially since Silicon Valley companies like Google and Facebook can be forced to spy on users on behalf of the NSA.
"However, this precedent was not set by Trump - he hasn't even taken office yet. The first major incident of a US tech giant being complicit in US government spying actually took place in 2015 under the Obama administration," he said.
ProtonMail is based in Switzerland and claims to operate according to long-established Swiss principles of secrecy and strict neutrality.
"We do not take any position for or against Trump, nor any position for or against any particular country or government. We believe privacy is an universal value, so we do not take any sides," added Yen.
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