Our History

In 2010, Founder and Executive Director, Nicholas Merrill had to stress the importance of cyber privacy and security. He didn't mind. Merrill had just been partially un-gagged from a National Security Letter received from the FBI in 2004 as the owner of a small Internet Service Provider. It was the first Constitutional challenge filed against the USA Patriot Act statute. The experience prompted him to found The Calyx Institute to increase awareness about online privacy, surveillance and acessability through software development, advocacy and outreach.

In seven years, working with a shoestring budget, we've set up our organizational structure including 501(c)(3) tax exempt status, assembled a stellar advisory panel, leading partner organizations, supporting foundations and a 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, inspired and continued ongoing litigation, attended conferences and generated press coverage. Take a look!