Privacy By Design For Everyone

Microgrants

The Calyx Institute Microgrants and Small Project Support program is designed to support digital security and privacy education and software development through low overhead financial support to external organizations and individuals. We aim to support between 7 and 20 projects in the 2020 calendar year while we pilot the program. Grants and project support are currently by invitation only.

We have or currently are providing financial support to the following projects:

The Tech Learning Collective (TLC), which provides a security-first IT infrastructure curriculum to otherwise underserved communities and organizations advancing social justice causes. TLC is developing an online intermediate-level digital security lab to teach users the basics of how to operate self-hosted digital infrastructure.

We coordinated with national security reporters Alexa O'Brien and Marcy Wheeler to ensure timely coverage of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. JOSHUA ADAM SCHULTE trial through the daily procurement of the trial transcripts to assist journalists and reporters in covering the court case of the accused Vault 7 leaker. The Vault 7 leaks were one of the largest leaks of information from the CIA, and understanding what happened and how the U.S. government responded is crucial for the public’s knowledge of the privacy and security vulnerabilities the world’s digital networks face. The transcripts are hosted with other related exhibits and court documents by Alexa O'Brien.

MuckRock Foundation’s Hacking History Freedom of Information Act project, which 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 is informing 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.

SignalBoost, an open source tool that lets activists, journalists, rapid response workers, and everyone else use Signal to send text blasts and receive hotline tips with minimal metadata exposure. It is designed for situations in which organizers need to spin up secure communications loops quickly for massive groups of strangers. Our support for SignalBoost goes towards improving its scalability, maintainability, and usability.

The Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (S.T.O.P.), a nonprofit that litigates and advocates for privacy while working to abolish local governments’ systems of mass surveillance. Our grant to S.T.O.P. will support their work studying the impact of legislation modeled on the Community Control of Police Surveillance (CCOPS) project, which has passed in over a dozen towns, cities, and counties. S.T.O.P. will examine the range of statutes that have been enacted to date, create a framework for evaluating the implementation of specific CCOPS laws in varying jurisdictions, and will then apply that framework to the first round of NYPD privacy and surveillance technology use policies from the recently passed POST Act.