Not backhanded at all. Two different stories connected to each other.
Travelling the world a lot one realizes quickly, that people all over the planet are very much the same. The “small” people all over the planet - no matter where you look at (be it the Americas, Russia, Africa, Asia, Arabian countries, Down Under, Europe, …) are usually very nice, warm, welcoming. The authorities quite often act the opposite.
As for freedom, privacy and harmony in the whole world (edit - more precise: mass-surveillance, (secret) military operations, regime change, wars and the like don’t count as harmony), unfortunately during the last decades there was no country stirring up as much as one special. Unfortunately that (edit: longterm) draws a wrong picture about the overall people which generally - as mentioned - are very nice. It’s mostly the authorities and a bunch behind that’s causing trouble.
As for privacy and so trust there was more than enough evidence that the US-authorities act in a pattern lot of people in other countries don’t show much sympathy for to say at least. Regarding that connected to a privacy-topic the “Made in USA” (edit: together with other topics mentioned further up) unfortunately doesn’t activate the most positive associations in many people in other countries.
Stories like Ciscos tampered hardware (edit: hardware-wise, willingly & proven!) or modified letters, post-packages and the like it could mean only a question of time until an official makes a stupid decision. It doesn’t have to be. But as the old saying (don’t know the english equivalent): One that already lied, won’t be trusted in the future.
I’m really happy that a company like Purism exists and that they put such a lot of effort and good will into their work and products. I wish them all the bloody very best for the future.
Btw - OT: The most friendly, hospitable and overall best-educated as also reflected people i met on all of my journeys - and i met amazing people all over the planet - were the Iranians in Iran (the ones i least anticipated).