Privacy By Design For Everyone

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The Calyx Institute is Proud to Sponsor Muckrock Foundation's Hacking History Project

The Calyx Institute is pleased to announce that we have awarded a grant to MuckRock Foundation. This grant will support the Hacking History project, run by journalist Emma Best.

The Hacking History project aims to educate the public on the cyber domain, government investigations, and hacktivism by identifying and filing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for the hundreds of thousands of pages of documents on hackers, hacking groups, and high profile hacks. With over 500 FOIA requests filed, this project will inform the public's understanding of the political and legal dimensions of online privacy, digital speech and political organizing, and criminal law relating to cybersecurity through the release and analysis of primary source documents.

MuckRock Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, helps file, track, and publish public records and Freedom of Information requests at all levels of government, leading to the release of millions of pages of previously secret documents.

Emma Best is well known for their FOIA work and co-founding the transparency collective Distributed Denial of Secrets. Filing over 1,000 FOIA requests a year, they consistently sit at or near the top of FBI's list of vexsome FOIA requesters and pushed CIA to make countless declassified documents readily available to the public.

The Calyx Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit working to educate the public about privacy in digital communications and to develop tools that anyone can use to build "privacy by design" into their internet access.

More information on the Hacking History project can be found at https://www.muckrock.com/project/hacking-history-419/

Contributor Membership Sign-Up Temporarily Unavailable

UPDATE 05/22/20: Our Contributor level membership sign-ups are open again! We have CoolPad Surf hotspots back in stock and more on the way, so if you are waiting for your Contributor level membership package or replacement CoolPad Surf hotspot, it will be on its way to you ASAP. Thanks so much for bearing with us!

Because of delays related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the CoolPad Surf hotspots offered as part of our Contributor membership are temporarily out of stock. We are currently working with out hardware provider to restock these hotspots as soon as possible, and we appreciate your patience as we navigate the unfolding situation.

New Contributor Plus memberships, which include the Mifi 8000 hotspot, are still being fulfilled without delay at this time.

If you have recently signed up for a Contributor level membership, we are doing our best to get your new membership benefits package, including the CoolPad Surf hotspot, to you as soon as possible. Your membership will be extended to reflect any delays you experience.

If you have any questions, please reach out to us at helpdesk@calyxinstitute.org

New Membership System

As you might have noticed, we recently changed the software we use to manage memberships. We built this new system, called Petal, in-house and we hope to share it as free software soon.

Petal is a big change for us, and has been a lot of work, but we believe Petal is in important investment in bringing better service to our members.

Some of the new features include:

  • An improved look and better user experience
  • Easier membership enrollment process
  • Support for additional cryptocurrencies
  • Quarterly membership periods
  • Multiple memberships and multiple devices under a single account
  • An easy path to upgrade memberships
  • Ability for members to view their contribution history
  • Ability for members to view and manage devices
  • Many improvements to the work flow for administrators
Under the hood, Petal also includes numerous security improvements, including:
  • A totally javascript-free web application
  • Memory-hard digests for passwords
  • Clean, modern code, written from the ground up with security in mind
  • A total separation between admin and user functions

Work on Petal is ongoing and we will continue to improve the membership experience. If you have any suggestions for features we should add, please let us know!

COVID-19 Update: Limited T-Shirt Supply

Hello members! The good news: we're still packing and shipping new member benefits packages every day! The bad news: our t-shirt supplier is not fulfilling new orders at this time, so we're currently limited to the supplies we have on hand. If your new member benefits package includes a t-shirt in a size that is no longer available, the package will ship ASAP without the t-shirt and we will provide you with a t-shirt in your size as soon as they are back in stock. If you have any questions or concerns, please email helpdesk@calyxnstitute.org.

COVID-19 Update: Donations by check are not being processed at this time

Safety measures related to COVID-19 are causing delays in our ability to receive postal mail. For this reason, we will not be processing any donations by check at this time. You can sign up for a new membership, pay membership dues, or donate to support our nonprofit mission by clicking the links at the left side of this page. If you have any questions or concerns, please email helpdesk@calyxinstitute.org for more information.

COVID-19 and Calyx Institute FAQ

We've received some questions about the impact of COVID-19 / the coronavirus on The Calyx Institute and our membership benefits program. Our top priorities are ensuring the health and well-being of our team and supporting our members and users of our tools.

To this end, we've implemented changes to our operations so that we stay healthy and can continue to support you. Unless you're interested in meeting us in-person, you won't notice any changes. We're monitoring the situation closely and will post an update if anything changes.

Q: I donated to become a member of The Calyx Institute. Will I still receive my membership benefits and wireless hotspot?
A: Yes. Wireless hotspots continue to go out the door Monday through Friday.

Q: Will COVID-19 / the coronavirus impact The Calyx Institute and its membership benefit program?
A: We're working hard to minimize any impact the pandemic will have. Despite this, we're a small team at The Calyx Institute. Whenever one of us is out sick, all our work slows down a little as we pitch in to cover the responsibilities of our teammate while they rest and recover.

Q: Will supply chain disruptions affect the wireless hotspots?
A: We have a stockpile of hotspots with more on the way, and we have not seen any indications that the devices will become unavailable in the near future.

Q: I have a question that isn't answered here.
A: Please email helpdesk@calyxinstitute.org.

Changes to Warranty Process

Effective April 1, 2020, our hardware provider Mobile Citizen will be changing its warranty replacement process to require that a defective hotspot be returned successfully to Mobile Citizen's facility before a replacement hotspot will be shipped. All the shipping labels and instructions necessary to return the defective hotspot will be provided by Mobile Citizen.

The warranty period offered by Mobile Citizen for mobile hotspots begins on the date that the hotspots are shipped to The Calyx Institute. Hotspots are covered under a 9 month warranty, and once the hotspots reach our office, we ship them to members as soon as possible - usually within a month of receiving them. In practice, this means that when your hotspot reaches you, it typically has 8 months left on its warranty period.

We recognize that this is an irregular warranty system, and we are currently working with Mobile Citizen to reduce the uncertainty regarding warranty length for our members.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to the Calyx Institute team at helpdesk@calyxinstitute.org, or the Mobile Citizen team at support@mobilecitizen.org.

Coffee and Circumvention's January Meetup!

Join us on January 30th for this month's Coffee and Circumvention Meetup! This month, we'll be discussing DNS for Journalists! Led by the ACLU's Senior Staff Technologist, Daniel Kahn Gilmor, the discussion will focus on DNS, a core component of the modern online world, to explain how it works, its importance on the global stage, and what repercussions specific changes will have for citizens worldwide. For more details, check out the event page!

Double the impact of your donation!

If you're a member of the Calyx Institute or have donated to us this year, did you know that you could double the impact with a corporate gift match from your employer? Many companies will match employees’ existing donations dollar for dollar, or even double or triple the amount of your gift, at no cost to you! Click here to see if your employer has a gift matching program, and how you can participate.

Here at the Calyx Institute, everything we do to protect privacy online is made possible by your generous membership donations. Many corporate gift-matching programs let you submit a gift-matching request before the end of the year - so time is running out! Check to see if your employer offers gift-matching by clicking here , and you'll help support privacy and online security for journalists, human rights defenders, and regular internet users around the globe.

We have big plans for 2020, and we can only do it with your support! If you have any questions about corporate gift-matching, please email us at helpdesk@calyxinstitute.org

Hackers Next Door Cybersecurity Conference

Join us at the Hackers Next Door Conference in NYC on December 14-15! On the 15th, Calyx Institute founder Nick Merrill will discuss cryptography, protecting confidential data, and confronting government surveillance in light of the NSA’s dragnet data collection program.

Check out the full schedule here: Hackers Next Door Schedule