Rising Strategic Issues – NSA SIGDEV and FastMail

I was reading through the NSA SIGDEV Conference June 2012 slides and one caught my attention.

“Rising Strategic Issues”  which lists in bullet points the names of a number of services and applications, one of which is the email service, “FastMail“.


I remember when FastMail first put themselves out there as an alternative to the then gradually eroding group of encrypted email services.

I was interested in the claims that they were making and took a couple of screen captures at the time.

Why would the NSA be interested in a little startup email service on the other side of the world?  Perhaps they were concerned about a tsunami of dev-tech startup encryption services that would flood the internet.

Pics below are from early October 2013fastmailGuard-small

Two years later were the NSA’s analysts right?

In 2013 there was a 73% increase in encrypted traffic, and by 2014 there is some 700 million users of some type of encryption software.

However, this trend was already well entrenched in 2011.(here) when major concerns revolved around ‘data breaches”..not Government Oversight or Warrantless NSA intrusions.

I’d say the NSA got this right, as did every other dev-tech geek who waded into the security start ups and made some big cash..But in some other ways, corporate encryption, i.e. Google, has helped the machine do business.(here)