The Kahuna™ Network

What is Kahuna™?

Kahuna is a new type of internet-based communication service that apps can use to exchange information in total privacy, safe from surveillance, identification or disruption. Kahuna is:

  • Secure, protected by strong and independently verifiable open-source encryption.
  • Anonymous, without using IP addresses for routing data.
  • Authenticated, with sender and recipient validation.
  • Guaranteed, by a network with an unprecedented resistance to all known types of attack.
  • Verified, with data delivery receipts.

Using Kahuna is entirely automatic; it's built into all apps that are Connected by Kahuna; it requires absolutely no configuration or settings.

Should I use my real name for my Kahuna™ ID?

It depends. If you are making a Kahuna™ ID for professional use (let's say, DrSmith), it's probably a good idea to create an ID that represents you well. On the other hand, if you are making a Kahuna™ ID for personal use, especially to join Merlin social media groups, you might want to chose something more colorful or anonymous. Each Persona in Merlin has its own Kahuna™ ID. That means you can create a Persona with your real name as its Kahuna™ ID, and another Persona with a nickname as its Kahuna™ ID.

Can I change my Kahuna™ ID?

Yes, you can rename your Kahuna ID to anything you like provided it meets minimum formatting rules and no one else is using it. To change to a new Kahuna ID, log onto your account on the Merlin website. When you change it the people you've given it to will no longer be able to share with you, nor you with them. To them it will seem as if the old ID has simply disappeared.

That may not be what you want, or it may be exactly what you are trying to accomplish by dropping your former Kahuna ID. If so, another better way of 'disconnecting' from people is to simply disable sharing with them one person at a time (in their Contact Window), without changing your Kahuna ID.

Please note that each Persona has its own Kahuna ID.

What are Kahuna™ Traffic Credits?

Kahuna Traffic Credits allow apps to use the Kahuna Network to communicate with one another. Credits are expressed in bytes of data that an app can send to or receive from another app via the Kahuna network. Kahuna Traffic Credits are purchased in gigabyte values ('GB'). One GB is enough to send 300–500 digital pictures, or tens of thousands of secure instant messages, or use encrypted voice for about 1,000 minutes (about 16 hours). Kahuna Traffic Credits can be purchased in many ways, including anonymously. They never expire.

How much Kahuna™ Traffic Credit do I need?

That depends on how you use your apps. A typical user of Merlin, for example, will exchange files, send secure instant messages and make encrypted voice calls with average data traffic of about 2.5 gigabytes per month. A 50 GB Kahuna Traffic Credit costs approximately $37 USD (it varies a little by currency and location), which is about 75 cents per GB, or roughly two dollars per month. KahunaTraffic Credits never expire. That's enough to send 800–1,100 digital pictures, or send about one hundred thousand secure instant messages, or use encrypted voice for over 2,500 minutes (about 40 hours) for a total cost of about $2 per month. Credits last forever, so you don't need to worry about them expiring.

How do I buy Kahuna™ Traffic Credits?

You can purchase Kahuna Traffic Credits using various identified or anonymous payment methods, including credit and debit cards, a huge range of gift cards, prepaid cards, Kahuna Traffic Cards, or for cash at various retail outlets. 

You can also purchase Kahuna Traffic Credits simply by sending your Kahuna ID and cash via snail mail. Simply write your Kahuna ID on a piece of paper and enclose it and cash in any major currency (listed below) in an envelope and mail it to us (Address list). One good way to ensure that the currency and your Kahuna ID are not visible through the envelope is to wrap it in three or four pages cut from a discarded magazine (check it against a bright light). The amount you send doesn't matter, we will calculate the correct amount of Kahuna Credit to the exact byte using the closest discount increment, and credit the Kahuna ID you specify (make absolutely sure you include it).

Note that because this is a completely anonymous payment method, if your envelope is lost in the mail there is no way for us to track it – you therefore assume complete responsibility for cash payments. When it arrives we will credit your account; if it doesn't arrive, there is nothing we can do. That said, such problems are very rare. Please note that postal regulations in some countries prohibit the mailing of cash. Do not violate local law.

Acceptable major currencies include:

Euros US Dollars Pounds Sterling
Japanese Yen Indian Rupee Chinese Yuan
Swiss Francs Canadian Dollars Australian / New Zealand Dollars
Brazilian Real Indonesian Rupiah South African Rand

Can I re-sell, transfer or trade Kahuna™ Traffic Credits

No, once redeemed they are forever linked to a given Kahuna ID. What you can do is purchase Kahuna Gift Cards at various retail outlets or via mail, and give those to other people before they have been redeemed.

What's a Kahuna™ Traffic Gift Card?

Kahuna Traffic Gift cards can be purchased at various retail outlets or via mail, and are available denominated in Euros or US Dollars in amounts ranging from €5 to €500 and $5 to $500. The back of the card has a scratch-off redemption number. The front of the card looks like this…

K.credits.front.E25_1.png          K.credits.front.-25_1.png

Do Kahuna™ Traffic Credits expire?

No. They are good forever.

Do I need to get a new Kahuna™ ID if I get a new computer or device?

No. Your KahunaID is always the same (for a given Persona) on every device.

Why isn't Kahuna™ advertising-supported, like many free services on the internet?

To attract advertisers we would have to collect information that would be of value to them, and we don't do that. Advertisers are interested in a wide variety of information including location, gender, age, and other forms of personally identifying information. We don't do that. Ever. Our services are anonymous by design. We collect absolutely no private information, and we do not accumulate usage data of any kind other than a single number that represents your current Kahuna Traffic Credit balance, expressed in bytes (as explained in detail in our Privacy Policy).

Therefore, we have nothing to offer advertisers. But running a network like Kahuna costs money, so we have to charge a little bit to use it. The cost to the average user is about €2 per month. That's a pretty small price to pay for automatic, always-on privacy and anonymity. Oh, and there are no ads to pester you.

What if a person has multiple Personas?

A KahunaID and the credits that attach to it are particular to a given Persona. If you operate two Personas, you must have two KahunaIDs, just as if they were totally different people (which, to the system, they are).

How can Merlin sync between devices or people if they are never on at the same time?

When you enable synchronization between your devices, Merlin periodically sends new and changed information from each device to every other device on your sync list using the Kahuna™ Network. This works the same way as when you share data, only then it's to a different person's device.  Kahuna™ stores the item to be synchronized until the destination device signs in (or an ultimate expiration is reached). This is perfectly safe because each item is encrypted using the public key of the device it's connected to…

Only your recipient has the keys for the data you send them (and likewise, only you have the keys for the data they send you). The same is true for your devices. Additionally, in order to protect even the metadata of each sync or share, the entire communication is wrapped in a second layer of encryption just before it enters the Kahuna™ Network.

If I have multiple Personas and I buy Kahuna™ Traffic Credits for one, can my other Personas use them?

Not directly, no. The reason has to do with keeping a very 'tall wall' between every Persona, such that there is no way to detect that two different Personas are in fact the same person. If we were to place all the Kahuna™ Traffic Credits you buy in a single 'pool' from which any of your Personas could draw, under certain extreme conditions it would be possible for an eavesdropper to determine that there was a relationship between those Personas. For this reason every Persona is absolutely separate from every other, including having separate Kahuna™ IDs and separate Kahuna™ Traffic Credits.

All that said, our philosophy is, it's your money and you should have the right to do something unwise with it if you want. What you can do is use the 'Transfer Kahuna™ Traffic Credits' function to transfer some credits from one of your own Kahuna™ IDs to another one, rather than give credits to someone else. But please note that we keep no record of such transfers, so once you confirm a gift we have no way to undo it.

Please note that the transfer of Kahuna™ Traffic Credits is not supported in the alpha or beta phases of this website.