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[liberationtech] Internet privacy provider

Fran Parker lilbambi at
Thu Apr 12 04:28:25 PDT 2012

--/snip from the Declan's CNET article/--

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 and, for as little as 
$20 a month, Internet connectivity.


I would assume that Nick would need to lease at least part of the 
'piping' along the way rather than laying that 'piping' all over again?

Such as backbones, fiber optic cabling, other cdma/gsm/3g/4g connections 
along the way till it gets to Nick's mobile phone and wireless Internet 
connections at the local level for users.

Even so, with the (I hope robust, and can it be robust enough?) 
encryption Nick would be using, it would still protect his user's 
content from the lessors along the way?

I am very excited about what Nick is wanting to do. I just hope our 
'laws of the land' will continue to give him the legal backing he needs 
to do it.

Constitutionally, Nick should always have that backing in the USA, but 
that can work out better in theory than actuality where fear and 
politicians, etc. are concerned .. as we here in the USA and other 
countries have found out over time as our rights and privacy are further 
eroded every day.

Even so, I am especially encouraged by those like Shava Nerad and other 
well known privacy and freedom advocates on the Nick's company's 
Advisory Board.

We will definitely be talking about this on our show (JimmyLee and Bambi 
Show, on on Saturday night. Just trying to understand all 
the implications along the connection routes for that discussion.

On 4/11/12 7:19 PM, Shava Nerad wrote:
> Well, there's managing expectations, and there's also outright lies, like
> saying you won't sell information and then charging admin fees for
> compiling it for law enforcement requests even when they don't present
> warrants, as AT&T has for cell phone data according to the ACLU.
> So do you want to go for someone with an ACLU lifetime achievement award
> for resisting and fighting a National Security Letter in his 30s as a John
> Doe, with good intentions (with all the possible limitations thereon) ---
> or go with, you know, AT&T?  Or Google?  Or...  hmmm...  Dunno, what's a
> better alternative.
> What's a better test of the system here, possibly as much to the point?
> I think it's worth getting behind the effort and seeing what's possible
> which is why I joined Nick's advisory. ;)  But if you know my history I
> have a weak spot for David and Goliath situations.  Most of us do.  It's
> the business of most of us on the list.
> Either doing that work, or sniping at it (either bitterly or to improve the
> breed or both).
> Carry on! :)
> Shava Nerad
> shava23 at

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