Latest news and press coverage

Calyx Institute Recognized by IRS as Tax-Exempt Public Charity

We are pleased to report that the Internal Revenue Service has recognized The Calyx Institute as a public charity that is tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the tax code.

This means that contributions made to the organization, going all the way back to our date of foundation ( May 19, 2010 ) are tax deductible to the extent of the law.

A copy of our IRS determination letter is available here.


Calyx Institute's Executive Director participates in "Security and Freedom" panel discussion at the Turing Festival

Turing Festival The Calyx Institute's executive director, Nicholas Merrill participated in a panel discussion at the Turing Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland on August 25th, 2012 entitled "Security and Freedom". Other participants on the panel included:
  • Ross Anderson (Cambridge University)
  • David Allen Green (Reporter and Lawyer)
  • Dr Wendy Moncur (University of Dundee)

What It’s Like to Fight a National Security Letter

by Jennifer Valentino-DeVries The Wall Street Journal July 17th, 2012 The saga of Nicholas Merrill’s fight with the U.S. Justice Department began in 2004 with a strange phone call. “They just said this is so-and-so from the FBI and we’re going to send somebody by with a letter,” says Mr. Merrill, the founder of a small New York Internet service provider called Calyx. I didn’t really take it seriously. I just said, ‘OK, that’s nice,’ and went back to my work.” Then the FBI agent showed up at his office door. “The agent was wearing a trenchcoat and pulled out a huge wallet with a badge and then pulled out the letter,” Mr. Merrill says. “And then I realized it was serious.”

Calyx Institute participates in panel discussion entitled "Privacy as if Users Mattered" at PDF2012

On June 12th, 2012, The Calyx Institute's Executive Director Nicholas Merrill participated in a panel discussion entitled "Privacy as if Users Mattered" at the Personal Democracy Forum 2012 conference, held at New York University's Skirball Center.

Other participants in the panel included:

"An ISP promises to stand up to the government" - 'On The Media', National Public Radio

On The Media, National Public Radio Friday, May 04, 2012 Nick Merrill is building an internet service provider called Calyx. Calyx will be designed to encrypt user's data in such a way that it'll be inaccessible to anyone but that user. Which means that if the government asks for your browser history or emails, Calyx will be technologically unable to hand them over. Bob talks to Merrill about his plan. GUESTS: Nick Merrill HOSTED BY: Bob Garfield

This Internet provider pledges to put your privacy first. Always.

Step aside, AT&T and Verizon. A new privacy-protecting Internet service and telephone provider still in the planning stages could become the ACLU's dream and the FBI's worst nightmare.

by Declan McCullagh April 11, 2012 4:00 AM PDT

Nicholas Merrill is planning to revolutionize online privacy with a concept as simple as it is ingenious: a telecommunications provider designed from its inception to shield its customers from surveillance.

Merrill, 39, who previously ran a New York-based Internet provider, told CNET that he's raising funds to launch a national "non-profit telecommunications provider dedicated to privacy, using ubiquitous encryption" that will sell mobile phone service, for as little as $20 a month, and Internet connectivity.

National Public Radio: National Security Letters and Gag Orders

On The Media January 21, 2011 The most serious kind of subpoena - called a 'National Security Letter' - used to have a lifetime gag-order automatically attached. That is until Nicholas Merrill appealed his and won the right to talk about it. Despite 50,000 national security letters a year there are only three organizations who have ever won the right to say they got one. Nick Merrill explains why he's the exception and the rule.