Nicholas Merrill, the owner of a small NY ISP that fought the patriot act and won, has launched an Indiegogo fund with the aim of starting a nationwide internet provider that will put users' privacy top of its agenda. Merrill's non-profit organisation, named Calyx, is developing a Virtual Private Network (VPN) solution that will encrypt data to and from the provider, which will make it difficult for agencies to spy on a user's internet activities. The actual internet service will be based on 4G data which the non-profit plans to buy and resell from a provider like Clear. Calyx is targeting a price of $20 per month for unlimited (and more importantly, unmonitored) data, but has a fair amount of fund-raising to do before it can hope to start a service.
At present, Merrill has raised $27,000 towards the ultimate goal of $1 million, although unlike Kickstarter projects, your funding will go to the service whether it reaches that target or not. In addition to a VPN, Calyx wants to develop a hosted email / cloud storage system that uses public key cryptography so no one, including the ISP itself, can read the data other than you. With $1 million Merrill says he can launch a bare-bones service, but he is also attempting to get venture capitalists and angel investors involved, and the ultimate goal is to hit $2 million, which would, unsurprisingly, "get things up and running quicker."