|What It’s Like to Fight a National Security Letter||
by Jennifer Valentino-DeVries
The saga of Nicholas Merrill’s fight with the U.S. Justice Department began in 2004 with a strange phone call.
“They just said this is so-and-so from the FBI and we’re going to send somebody by with a letter,” says Mr. Merrill, the founder of a small New York Internet service provider called Calyx. I didn’t really take it seriously. I just said, ‘OK, that’s nice,’ and went back to my work.”
Then the FBI agent showed up at his office door. “The agent was wearing a trenchcoat and pulled out a huge wallet with a badge and then pulled out the letter,” Mr. Merrill says. “And then I realized it was serious.”
|"An ISP promises to stand up to the government" - 'On The Media', National Public Radio||
On The Media, National Public Radio
Nick Merrill is building an internet service provider called Calyx. Calyx will be designed to encrypt user's data in such a way that it'll be inaccessible to anyone but that user. Which means that if the government asks for your browser history or emails, Calyx will be technologically unable to hand them over. Bob talks to Merrill about his plan.
GUESTS: Nick Merrill
Original URL ( with full audio recording ) : http://www.onthemedia.org/2012/may/04/isp-promises-stand-government/
|This Internet provider pledges to put your privacy first. Always.||
Step aside, AT&T and Verizon. A new privacy-protecting Internet service and telephone provider still in the planning stages could become the ACLU's dream and the FBI's worst nightmare.
by Declan McCullagh April 11, 2012 4:00 AM PDT
Nicholas Merrill is planning to revolutionize online privacy with a concept as simple as it is ingenious: a telecommunications provider designed from its inception to shield its customers from surveillance.
Merrill, 39, who previously ran a New York-based Internet provider, told CNET that he's raising funds to launch a national "non-profit telecommunications provider dedicated to privacy, using ubiquitous encryption" that will sell mobile phone service, for as little as $20 a month, and Internet connectivity.
|National Public Radio: National Security Letters and Gag Orders||
On The Media
The most serious kind of subpoena - called a 'National Security Letter' - used to have a lifetime gag-order automatically attached. That is until Nicholas Merrill appealed his and won the right to talk about it. Despite 50,000 national security letters a year there are only three organizations who have ever won the right to say they got one. Nick Merrill explains why he's the exception and the rule.
|Twitter Shines a Spotlight on Secret F.B.I. Subpoenas||
By Noam Cohen
THE news that federal prosecutors have demanded that the microblogging site Twitter provide the account details of people connected to the WikiLeaks case, including its founder, Julian Assange, isn’t noteworthy because the government’s request was unusual or intrusive. It is noteworthy because it became public.
|Calyx Institute Founder Nicholas Merrill speaks at 27th Annual Chaos Communications Congress in Berlin||
|VIDEO: Gagged for 6 Years, Nick Merrill Speaks Out on Landmark Court Struggle Against FBI’s National Security Letters||
For six years, the FBI has barred a New York man from revealing that the agency had ordered him to hand over personal information about clients of his internet start-up. Finally allowed to speak, Nick Merrill joins us in his first broadcast interview to talk about how he challenged the FBI’s use of national security letters. We also speak with Connecticut librarian George Christian. He and three other librarians also sued the US government after receiving a national security letter demanding information about library patrons. [includes rush transcript] ...
|‘John Doe’ Who Fought FBI Spying Freed From Gag Order After 6 Years||
|ACLU's archive of court filings regarding the Doe v. Ashcroft / Doe v. Holder case, 2004-2010||
|My National Security Letter Gag Order||
published Friday, March 23, 2007 in
It is the policy of The Washington Post not to publish anonymous pieces. In this case, an exception has been made because the author -- who would have preferred to be named -- is legally prohibited from disclosing his or her identity in connection with receipt of a national security letter. The Post confirmed the legitimacy of this submission by verifying it with the author's attorney and by reviewing publicly available court documents.
The Justice Department's inspector general revealed on March 9 that the FBI has been systematically abusing one of the most controversial provisions of the USA Patriot Act: the expanded power to issue "national security letters." It no doubt surprised most Americans to learn that between 2003 and 2005 the FBI issued more than 140,000 specific demands under this provision -- demands issued without a showing of probable cause or prior judicial approval -- to obtain potentially sensitive information about U.S. citizens and residents. It did not, however, come as any surprise to me.