Sustainer Membership Sign-Ups Paused Temporarily
Apologies for Any Delay!
We are currently waiting on a shipment of hotspots to reach our office so we can resume filling orders. The ongoing T-Mobile transition has slowed down our hardware provider's ability to provision new SIMs for our hotspots, so this has created an unforeseen delay in our usual shipping timeline. Any memberships affected by this delay will of course be extended to make up for all the hassle. Your patience and support means the world to us!
For more details on the T-Mobile transtition, please see our previous news update: T-Mobile Network Transition May Interrupt Hotspot Connectivity
T-Mobile Network Transition May Interrupt Hotspot Connectivity
At this time, we do not have more concrete details about which members will be affected, and the timing of the transition process. We will be updating our website with more info as soon as we have updated info. We hope that this process will be concluded shortly, and that we can improve communication with T-Mobile to minimize any inconvenience to our members in the future.
We will be happy to extend your membership to make up for any time lost because of the network transition's effect on your hotspot. Please email us at help@ calyxinstitute.org if your membership benefits have been affected by this transition.
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
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 https://members.calyxinstitute.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Open Call: Fusion Center Microgrants Fund
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 will be sharing more info soon. Have a great rest of 2022 and a Happy New Year everyone!