As more Americans join nationwide protests following the killing of George Floyd, they’re turning to encrypted messaging apps to communicate with each other.
Downloads of mobile apps like Signal — a secure messaging app which offers end-to-end encryption — have skyrocketed, getting nearly 40,000 downloads over last weekend alone according to data from industry tracker Apptopia.
Likewise, police scanner apps and community safety apps like Citizen have seen a major spike in downloads as protesters and bystanders alike look to track any crimes or dangerous incidents in their area. Citizen has seen nearly a quarter of a million downloads in the past week since protests began.
The top police scanner apps were downloaded over 200,000 times over the weekend as protesters looked to follow the movements and direction of law enforcement during their protests. The number represents a 125 percent jump from the prior weekend, according to Apptopia.
Protesters have taken to the streets in cities across the country to protest police brutality in the wake of Floyd’s death, with some descending into violence and looting and leading New York officials to impose a curfew on the city. .