genius Nicholas Merrill


iGenius: Nicholas Merrill

 

freedom hero 

Wish you lived in a Real Free Democracy,
where the cell phone & internet are not tapped?
Where SOPA could not exist due to its unconstitutionality – without politically correct b.s.?

Rejoice in 39-year old Merrill then!
No! Not as in Lynch. As in Nicholas.

 

concept 

•  privacy-protecting telephony + web
• ubiquitous encryption
• 
national non-profit every technological & legal means
to challenge gov (incl. FBI / NSA) on dubious legality/constitutionality
• Merrill will run it through non-profit called the Calyx Institute, but with for-profit subsidiaries
• no data caps
• $20/mth? 

see the Cnet article article 2012 Apr 11
“This Internet provider pledges to put your privacy first. Always.”

 

inspiration 

 Merrill’s interminable legal wrangling with Feds (2004-1010)

 

history 

• FBI warned Congress about “Going Dark” problem
AT&T + Verizon handed billions of customer phone records over to gov without court orders!

• Anti-hero US Congress retroactively made it all legal in 2008
• the only real hero besides Merrill is Qwest
– which refused to budge to Feds – it’s not an act of rebellion but true patriotism!

(the Patriot Act‘s expanded police powers are not exactly protecting your freedom
– they’re totalitarian/tyrannical tactics)

American Civil Liberties Union

• a federal judge barred the FBI ; )
he was convinced by the ACLU (Am. Civil Liberties Union) to help Merrill win the case against the Feds
on grounds of unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment,
since the FBI not only tried to persuade Merrill from disclosing all client info
but even forbid him to disclose their tactics

• Louis Tordella (longest-serving NSA deputy director, who died 1996)
admitted that ALL big int’l telcoms were involved in spying
incl. Western Union with 1970s telegrams
and all did it for free!


• ACLU org. admits they could not win big earlier

as they depend on the availability of companies to partner with them in the fight

• pres. George W. Bush launched the Partriot Act for eavesdropping – 911 or not

• for a history of US spying on its citizens read the book
“State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration”
by James Risen
2006 Jan 3 / ISBN-10: 0743270665 / Free Press / 256p / $18/$26 @Amazon

State of War book by James Risen, 2006

 

effectiveness 

 will all of the technical & legal efforts by Merrill really make a long-term difference?

for sure, for the short term.

here’s the tough part to reach & sustain this goal:
the gov. might not have direct access anymore as through other falsely patriotic & cojones-free Carriers/ISPS
but the gov. can still:
1. remotely install spyware on citizens’ PCs
2. install keyloggers (requires breaking in!)
3. physical surveillance

still,
until Congress changes the law
privacy-first ISPs like Merrill/Calyx will be legal

 

support 

forces on board:
advisory board:

•1• former NSA technical director (Brian Snow)
•2• Tor Project (Jacob Appelbaum)
•3• New America Foundation (Sascha Meinrath)


• late April Merrill visits San Fran for VCs/AIs
who ARE interested due meaning


“I am getting a lot of stuff for free since everyone I’ve talked to is crazy about the idea.
I am getting all the back-end software written for free by Riseup using a grant they just got.”

 

crowd fund 

largely self-funded till now

:

Kickstarter?
a long Reddit thread suggested Merrill should raise funds there

but Kickstarter wouldn’t as it’s not
a) a physical product
b) arts-related

:
Merrill started own $1M (needs 2 to launch) Fund Raiser @ IndieGogo.com
http://www.indiegogo.com/calyx



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