Great story with tremendous implications – read the whole thing. Bottom line…internet service providers currently provide your information to government agencies pretty much at will. We’re talking about a very close relationship here. But privacy matters to people…and Nicholas Merrill is betting that people are willing to leave the big players if they have their form of a Swiss bank when it comes to protecting personal information and communication. This is a libertarian’s dream and a technological game changer for the telecom industry. And – it’s going to be non-profit.
CNET has the story:
The ISP would not merely employ every technological means at its disposal, including encryption and limited logging, to protect its customers. It would also — and in practice this is likely more important — challenge government surveillance demands of dubious legality or constitutionality.
A decade of revelations has underlined the intimate relationship between many telecommunications companies and Washington officialdom. Leading providers including AT&T and Verizon handed billions of customer telephone records to the National Security Agency; only Qwest refused to participate. Verizon turned over customer data to the FBI without court orders. An AT&T whistleblower accused the company of illegally opening its network to the NSA, a practice that the U.S. Congress retroactively made legal in 2008.
By contrast, Merrill says his ISP, to be run by a non-profit called the Calyx Institute with for-profit subsidiaries, will put customers first. “Calyx will use all legal and technical means available to protect the privacy and integrity of user data,” he says.
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