Privacy By Design For Everyone

Welcome to the Calyx Institute

Our mission is to educate the public about privacy in digital communications and to develop tools that anyone can use. By embracing "privacy by design," we help make digital security and privacy more accessible to everyone.

Mobile Internet

With an Internet Membership, enjoy truly unlimited internet connectivity via a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot.

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With a CalyxOS Membership, get a new Pixel phone with CalyxOS, the OS focused on usable security and privacy.

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Appreciating growth, embracing change, and maximizing our future

When Nick Merrill founded The Calyx Institute 13 years ago in 2010, the privacy landscape was very different. The iPhone was still a relative novelty, most of the web was still not encrypted, Edward Snowden had not yet made his heroic disclosures, and the scale of government and corporate surveillance was just a fraction of today's ubiquitous information over-collection and exploitation.

From our shoestring budget beginnings, we've grown into a bustling non-profit organization, with an incredible and committed team, advisory panel, partner organizations, and a strong network of supporters. With our members' generous support, we've developed new technologies, improved access to online privacy tools, published and translated educational materials, trained journalists and activists, while inspiring and continuing ongoing litigation in the fight for privacy and against surveillance. In short, The Calyx Instituate has grown steadily, and now enjoys strong revenue and a very sustainable program model as our growth accelerates.

Our founding aim was to increase awareness about online privacy, surveillance and accessibility through software development, advocacy and outreach. Looking to the present day, it is striking to reflect on how that has manifested. Through our mobile internet hotspots, we offer many of our over 11 thousand active members a more privacy-respecting way to be online. CalyxOS provides usable security and privacy without sacrificing essential mobile phone functionality. Additionally, the sustainability these programs have enabled is allowing us to experiment with programs like our Fusion Center Microgrants Fund

As we move into the next phase of the organization's growth, we are reimagining how leadership can best support and enable Calyx's ultimate impact. As founding Executive Director, Nick Merrill has provided vision, leadership, sacrifice, and heavy lifting to put the organization, and our community, in such a strong position.

In reflecting on how we can continue to grow, both Nick and the Calyx board are in agreement that we need to expand and fortify our leadership structure. To enable that growth, we plan to take an iterative approach to evolving Calyx. Nick will be moving into a newly-created role of President, enabling him to focus primarily on external advocacy, community engagement, creative vision, technology and fundraising.

In parallel with this transition, The Calyx Institute will be seeking an experienced Interim Executive Director to facilitate our next chapter and to serve as a bridge to our future leadership structure. The Interim Executive Director will have an active role in that planning process, and will have the option of applying for the permanent Executive Director position.

To quote Nick, "My passion will always be focused on the community and the work, and I'm looking forward to partnering with new team members to increase our capacity and our impact."

At this critical juncture, we want to express our gratitude on a number of fronts. First, to the Calyx staff, who have led brilliantly in their respective roles while weathering complexity and stress that come with the kind of organizational growth their work has enabled. We also want to thank our community and our members, without whom none of this would be sustainable or even possible. We are also indebted to the funders and major donors who have provided us with dedicated resources at many steps in our journey. And finally a heartfelt thank you to Nick, for his vision, his leadership, and his commitment to evolving alongside the organization.

We are all excited to see what lies ahead, and we welcome anyone reading this to join in collaboration and solidarity with Calyx as we help chart a course toward a more private and surveillance-free future.

- The Calyx Board

Quanta Hotspot Warranty Update

Your Quanta hotspot is eligible for a warranty replacement from our hardware provider, Mobile Citizen, for the first 9 months of its existence. If you experience difficulty with your hotspot, please give Mobile Citizen a call at 877-216-9603 to troubleshoot and get started on the warranty replacement process if necessary.

As well, your Quanta hotspot will be eligible through The Calyx Institute for an extended warranty replacement for the first 12 months of your membership, starting from the date your membership started. This extended warranty coverage is only available for Quanta hotspots at this time, as part of a pilot program to evaluate possible warranty alternatives. Quanta hotspots found to be in need of warranty replacement will be replaced with a Quanta hotspot unless no Quanta hotspots are available.

Warranty process for Quanta 5G hotspot devices:

1. Log into to ensure your mailing address is current.

2. Contact Mobile Citizen tech support at 877-216-9603 to have them attempt to restore function to your device or confirm the device is defective. They can tell you if the device is still under Mobile Citizen's warranty.

3. If your membership was started less than 12 months ago, and the device is no longer under warranty from Mobile Citizen, please contact to begin the extended warranty process. Include in your email the interaction number of your call with Mobile Citizen.

Mifi X PRO 5G Hotspots

We are excited to announce that Sustainer memberships will now come with a brand new device: the Inseego Mifi X PRO 5G (M3000B)! Like the Mifi M2000, this hotspot supports 5G connectivity, Wi-Fi 6, Advanced Carrier Aggregation, USB tethering, and has an internal 4x4 MIMO antenna. In addition, this new device features a 1 Gbps ethernet port and a battery preservation mode that allows the device to stay plugged in for longer. As with all Calyx Membership hotspots, wifi data is unlimited and unthrottled.

Sign up for a new Sustainer membership to get a Mifi X Pro 5G hotspot + a year of unlimited data. A new Sustainer membership is $750 for the first year and $500 to renew every following year.

If you are in the middle of your membership period, you also have the option to order the Mifi X Pro 5G as a replacement device for a $400 donation. Just log in to your account with us, click Devices, and then click Order Replacement Device.

Before you decide if a Sustainer membership is right for you, check your area on T Mobile’s map to make sure you have adequate 5G coverage. As with all our memberships, the Calyx Institute cannot offer test hotspots or offer refunds if service is inadequate or non-existent. Our wireless hotspots and data plans are offered as a thank you gift to member donors who support our research into privacy protecting communications technology, and are not a commercial transaction.

You can read more about the Mifi X Pro 5G hotspot here. If there are any other questions we can answer for you about our memberships or the hotspots we offer as membership premiums, please let us know at

Open Call: Fusion Center Microgrants Fund

The Calyx Institute is excited to announce an open call for applications for grants up to $10,000 from our Fusion Center Microgrants Fund. Details can be found here.

We are interested in supporting projects focused on a wide range of topics, including but not limited to: the disproportionate impact of fusion center surveillance; gang databases and other watchlists used by fusion centers; public records focused research to illuminate fusion center policies and practices; research on one specific fusion center or on fusion centers nationally; or other ideas we haven't even considered yet. You and/or your colleagues are the experts on this, so tell us what research needs doing!

The application deadline is March 17th, 2023. Please share with any colleagues or allied organizations that might be interested. We are prioritizing applications from smaller organizations that aren't receiving regular support from traditional funders in this space. Fusion Centers do a lot, but this fund is focused on online privacy and surveillance specifically.

Because our funding comes from our small donor members, we are not beholden to the reporting requirements of a larger funder upstream for this fund. That means that while there is paperwork and a final grant report required, we've tried really hard to minimize the amount of time spent on administering the grant. A list of previously funded projects is available here.

The Calyx Institute receives a generous grant of $1M from #startsmall

We are excited to announce a generous $1,000,000 grant from #startsmall, Jack Dorsey's philanthropic initiative, to support our work in 2023 and beyond.

We will be sharing more info soon. Have a great rest of 2022 and a Happy New Year everyone!

Calyx Institute Referrals are now live!

Attention Calyx Institute Members,

Do you know someone thinking about joining the Calyx Institute? Tell your family, friends, and neighbors because the Calyx referral program is now live!

Starting today, every person you refer to the Calyx Institute gets a free extra month of membership benefits - one more month to enjoy unlimited and unthrottled internet!

Even better, you also get one extra month per referral. If you refer three people, that’s three extra months! With no caps on the number of people you refer, you can help spread the word on unlimited and unthrottled internet while helping yourself to some extra membership time.

We are very grateful to our membership community who have greatly increased our membership base through word of mouth. Your support has allowed us to continue building CalyxOS, developing free digital privacy services, hiring more staff, and more! Make sure you take advantage of the referral program today!

To get started on referring future members, sign into your account and follow the instructions here:

Thank you for your membership and support,

The Calyx Institute

Gifting a Calyx Institute membership this holiday season? Order by December 12

Give the gift of privacy this season! Calyx Institute phone and hotspot memberships make amazing gifts, so don't wait. Complete your order by December 12 to make sure your gifts arrive by December 25, and check out our Holiday Shipping FAQs below.

Gift a CalyxOS Phone or Calyx Institute Hotspot Membership this holiday season!

Looking for the perfect gift this holiday season? Give the gift of privacy with a CalyxOS Pixel phone or Calyx Institute hotspot membership!

Our memberships are perfect for anyone who enjoys staying connected through the internet, and deserves the best digital privacy experience possible.

Every membership supports our nonprofit mission, and comes with cool Calyx swag like stickers, pins, hats and shirts as an extra thank you for supporting the work we do in making digital privacy accessible online.

When it comes to a great gift for mom or dad, your kids or your grandparents, a new hotspot with unlimited wifi or a new phone with custom privacy features is sure to please! Even techies with advanced gear and "that person who has everything" will love a Calyx Institute membership.

Introducing the CalyxOS Privacy Champion Membership with the Pixel 6a

We have big news: the Pixel 6a with CalyxOS is now available as a membership premium with our Privacy Champion membership. CalyxOS phone memberships are a great way to invest in a more private phone experience, as well as support our nonprofit mission to develop and distribute free online privacy tools. Plus, they make great gifts! You can learn more and sign up here

As a Calyx Institute member, you get the first opportunity to sign up for a new Privacy Champion membership and receive your new Pixel 6a with CalyxOS. A new Privacy Champion membership is $700 for the first year, and $10 to renew if you'd like to continue supporting our work maintaining and improving CalyxOS.

CalyxOS offers a suite of features inspired by our core principles of Privacy By Design, like encrypted backups, secure communications, control over when and how your apps communicate, and more. These pair perfectly with the Pixel 6a's excellent technological capabilities, including Google's Tensor chip--the same chip that powers Google's 2021 flagship 6 Pro--plus the Titan M2 security chip; 6.1-inch 1080p OLED HDR display with slim bezels-- the same display size as the Apple iPhone 13; and 18W Fast Charging Support.

Want to make your CalyxOS phone membership even better? Combine it with our unlimited wifi hotspot membership! Our CalyxOS phone memberships do not come with any wifi or data benefits included, and can be used with any phone or data carrier.

Thank you for your membership and support,

The Calyx Institute

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