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[liberationtech] Some non-technical questions about Haystack

Matt D. Harris mdh at
Thu Sep 16 16:08:27 PDT 2010

Howdy folks,
I have a few non-technical questions about Haystack that I'd like to 
see answered in the open.  In Daniel's resignation, I took note of the 
fact that he mentioned he and Austin quitting their jobs to pursue the 
Censorship Research Center's goals and the Haystack project in 
specific.  I also noted that on the fundraising link on their website, 
a total of under $700US was shown as having been donated to the CRC.  I 
asked Daniel about this off-list, as I was curious, and the financials 
of a 501(c)3 organization are a matter of public record in the US, but 
never received a response from him.

I did a little bit more digging and found that the CRC is a registered 
California corporation as of 09/2009, but I can't find a 990 for the 
organization from 2009, nor can I find any record of their IRS 1023 
(which is the application for 501(c)3 status.  I plan to make contact 
with the IRS directly tomorrow regarding this issue to see if they can 
clear up the facts surrounding the CRC's status as a charitable 
non-profit entity in the US, but it might be nice if someone involved 
in the project came out with the facts here first.  Now, it's 
completely possible that the CRC uses a skewed FY and hence has not 
filed a 990 yet, but my inability to find them listed as a 501(c)3 
seems odd in and of itself.  Furthermore, I'm curious what the 
financial situation of the CRC is currently, and has been over the past 
year during which it's been in operation.

Specifically, I'm curious how much money came in, and where it went.  
Beyond that, a statement on the 501(c)3 status of the organization 
might be nice - since the website claimed that the organization was in 
fact a 501(c)3 charitable non-profit.  Any light that can be shed on 
these issues by folks at the CRC would be much appreciated.

Thanks, Matt

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