The Party of Open: Open Government, Open Culture, Open Innovation & People First

Monthly archive: August 2013

Don’t bomb Syria

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One might think that our interventions in Iraq, Libya, Somalia and Yemen would have convinced our leaders that poking our weapons into other countries is something we should do rarely and only with widespread international support.  With the recent war drums for attacking Syria, it is clear that our leaders seem not to have learned their lesson. We oppose calls for bombing Syria. The US has a long history of using chemical weapons, whether Agent Orange in Vietnam or depleted uranium ammunition in both of our wars with Iraq.  As recently released CIA documents show, we actively aided Saddam Hussein even though he used chemical weapons on Iranians during his invasion of Iran in the 1980s.  US calls for doing something about the Syrian government’s alleged use of nerve gas, is ironic at best. Yet throwing bombs that cost us $500,000 and missiles that cost us even more at the Syrian government forces will not help the Syrians in their struggle for freedom.  Indeed, it is likely to cause even more deaths. Make no mistake. We are democrats with a small d, and oppose authoritarian governments especially when they use force to keep themselves in power.  We cheered the Arab Spring whether in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen or Bahrain.  We cheered when Syrians used creative nonviolence to challenge their unelected government.  We continue to cheer their use of nonviolence even in the face of a violent and horrible civil war. The Syrian people have the right to find their own path.  US military intervention isn’t likely to help the Syrian people, end the civil war or ensure that the peace ends up any better than Iraq or Egypt. The civil war in Syria is a fight we need to stay out of. Please: join us and hundreds of others in rallying to oppose attacking Syria today, Saturday.  Details are at the No War with … Read more

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9/28 Cryptoparty – All about MESH networks

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Our September Cryptoparty will focus on MESH networking and how it can help you build a network your neighbors can use that is independent of ISPs.  We will also have key signing. When: Saturday, September 28th from 2:00-4:00pm, short and sweet. Where: South End Tech Center <>, 359 Columbus Ave., Boston, just across the street from the Back Bay Orange Line T-Station and a short walk from Copley. What to Bring: a laptop and yourself. Spread the Word: Tell your friends or put up a poster in your community or campus. ( PNG, print full, half, or 1/4 page)  RSVP and share our Facebook event. Tweet us up. We will focus on the MESH networking protocol called CJDNS – If you are interested in participating, just show up or contact William Fleurant (@wfleurant / or Steve Revilak (@Purple_Bandanna / Hope to see you there! Can’t make it on the 28th? Don’t worry, we’re doing another Cryptoparty at the Digital Media Conference, October 25-27th at Lesley University. Think we are too Boston centered?  So do we!  Find us a place outside of greater Boston and we will be happy to schedule our next Cryptoparty there.  Email us at, or make a comment below. This is a free workshop, but contributions to the South End Tech Center would be sincerely appreciated! Hope to see you there! Presented by the Massachusetts Pirate Party Open Government, Open Innovation, Open Culture, and People First

published under Cryptoparty, Freedom of Speech, Main Topic, Net Neutrality, Privacy | Comments Off on 9/28 Cryptoparty – All about MESH networks

“Be a Pirate” (A Little Levity)

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Here’s a little video thank you card to all the Pirates who have been out in the streets with us over the past year or so. See if you can spot yourself! See if you can spot your friends!

published under Fun and Games, Organizing, Out And About | Comments Off on “Be a Pirate” (A Little Levity)

Spread the MPP message at Freedom Rally! (9/14, 9/15)

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This will be our third year with a presence at Freedom Rally, the 2nd Largest Annual Gathering of Cannabis Supporters in the World!. It’s excellent exposure for the party and lots and lots of fun. Some of us dressed as Pirates last year, and some of us will again (myself included!). We currently have a skeleton crew set for tabling this event, but it’s a big job, especially this year. We need Pirates (and their friends!) to come help out for just an hour or two. Pop in, meet and greet, then go. Many hands make light work! **How to find your way there** This year Freedom Rally is a TWO DAY EVENT, so we need more help than ever to make it a success for the MPP. Before or after your shift you can enjoy the rally, which will feature live music and speakers, as well as alternative religion, philosophies, and politics, and a great variety of vendors selling nifty stuff you can’t find anywhere else. We really want to take full advantage of this opportunity to network and recruit new Pirates. Plus cannabis reform is a very critical civil liberties issue. Today we are very close to a tipping point and need to keep the pressure on to bring an end to the costly and time consuming war on hemp! We look forward to seeing you there!

published under Civil Liberties, Fun and Games, Issues, Main Topic, Organizing, Out And About, Privacy | Comments Off on Spread the MPP message at Freedom Rally! (9/14, 9/15)

Transparency Toolkit needs YOUR help

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We need information about governments, companies, and other institutions to uncover corruption, human rights abuses, and other problems. Unfortunately, the information provided by most transparency initiatives today (WikiLeaks, Project PM) is difficult to understand and/or incomplete. Transparency Toolkit (TT) is an open source web application that helps organizations and individuals collaboratively collect, analyze, and release actionable public interest information. The goal is to make it as accessible to the layman as possible. Meet MC McGrath. He’s the founder of Transparency Toolkit (TT). He has been with the Mass Pirates since the tender age of 16. He conceived of (and began creating) a web application that would make it so that anyone who can read and operate a digital device can access and understand the deluge of digital information being uncovered and shared on the internet today. TT will be an excellent tool for journalists, activists, educators and anyone concerned with the transparency of governments and corporations. Sounds useful, doesn’t it? It will be, but we need your help. If you would like to see this come to fruition, please volunteer. Your level of expertise does not matter. We *will* put you to work doing something useful. Your efforts will be greatly appreciated. Please review this outline to get an understanding of what needs doing. If there is anything you think you can do to help, then you can help. Please email (the TT discussion email list) your responses to the following questions: Procedure for helping Helpful things to do if you can’t program Helpful things to do if you can program Questions to answer I. Procedure for helping   The following is the procedure for helping with Transparency Toolkit/how the volunteer community will communicate, but you do not need to participate in every thing listed. Only the first 1-3 are necessary … Read more

published under Censorship, Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press, Main Topic, Secrecy, Transparency | Comments Off on Transparency Toolkit needs YOUR help

Quartermaster Steve talks about Security & Security Theater

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At the BRICnic last Sunday, Quartermaster Steve spoke about security & security theater and ran a short Cryptoparty. Video of his speech is below. He covered some of the points he mentioned in his How Likely is the TSA to Catch a Subway Bomber? Not very. post. Thanks to @kinetictheorist for the video.

published under Main Topic, Privacy, Security | Comments Off on Quartermaster Steve talks about Security & Security Theater

Defend the 4th Rally This Saturday

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We will join the Defend the 4th Rally this Saturday at 1pm. The rally will start on Boston Common at “Speaker’s Corner” (MBTA Park St).  We will rally to protect our protections guaranteed under the Constitution’s Bill of Rights, including the Right to be secure in our persons, houses, papers, and effects against Warrantless searches. We will focus on the positive, especially THANKING EDWARD SNOWDEN and that whistleblowing is not a crime. Revealing activities that subvert the US Constitution and our constitutional rights is something to be grateful for. You can find more about it at the Defend the 4th event. Know of another event we should support?  Suggest it in a comment below.  Thanks!

published under Main Topic, Out And About, Privacy | Comments Off on Defend the 4th Rally This Saturday

Cryptoparties: Now a regular thing

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NOTE: Encuentro 5 <>, is at 9 Hamilton Place, not 9 Hamilton St.  Sorry for the mixup. Do you practice safe sex? Learn the digital equivalent. The government routinely spies on us without warrants. Come learn how to protect yourself. You’re invited to our next Cryptoparty. When: Saturday, August 24th from 1:00-3:00pm, short and sweet. Where: Encuentro 5 <>, 9 Hamilton Place #2A, Boston,  just across the street from the Part St. T station. What to Bring: a laptop and yourself. Spread the Word: Tell your friends or put up a poster ( PDF | Scribd) in your community or campus. RSVP and share our Facebook event. Tweet us up. What we’ll be doing:  We’re going to focus on a piece of software called PGP (“Pretty Good Privacy”), which is commonly used for encrypting email. This will be a hands-on workshop; our goal is to help you set up PGP on your laptop, and get your hands dirty using it.  PGP Encryption is an excellent way to prevent folks from snooping on your mail, and we want to teach you how to encrypt! To get the most benefit from this workshop, you’ll want to download PGP software in advance. If you’re running Windows, download GPG4win from If you’re running MacOS, download GPG Tools from If you’re running Linux, use your distribution’s package manager to install GPG and a mail reader that supports PGP (such as Evolution, or Thunderbird + Enigmail) We’ll show you how to generate keys, upload them to a keyserver, sign each other keys, and encrypt/decrypt files. This is a free workshop, but contributions to Encuentro 5 would besincerely appreciated. If you are interested in participating, just show up or contact Steve Revilak via Twitter @Purple_Bandanna or email steve@srevilak.netHope to see you there! Can’t make it on the 24th? Don’t worry, we’re doing another cryptoparty on Saturday September 28th (time and location TBD), where we’ll cover a mesh networking protocol called CJDNS Presented … Read more

published under Civil Liberties, Cryptoparty, Freedom of Speech, Main Topic, Privacy | Comments Off on Cryptoparties: Now a regular thing

Welcome video for a corporate Stasi-on-steroids

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Tom Scott (who created the Welcome to Life: the singularity, ruined by lawyers video) has created a Welcome video for a future crowdsourced, corporate-run ubiquitous surveillance system. When we think about a future we want, such a Stasi-on-steroids is most definitely counter to our beliefs.

published under Civil Liberties, Freedom of Speech, Privacy | Comments Off on Welcome video for a corporate Stasi-on-steroids

BRICnic & Cryptoparty Today!

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Today various groups come together for a BRICnic, a protest and picnic in front of the Boston Regional Intelligence Center, or BRIC.  The BRIC is where local, state and federal law enforcement coordinate their surveillance of activities they deem threatening, whether terrorists or non-violent protesters. The BRICnic starts at 2pm and goes until 8pm. At 4pm, various people will speak on the issue of government surveillance. At 5pm, Quartermaster Steve will run a Cryptoparty. Since people will be outdoors, the plan is to keep things informal. Actors (like the NSA) have a lot of ways to surveil us. BRICnic attendees are encouraged to talk about what kinds of surveillance people are most concerned about, and strategies for thwarting those surveillance attempts. It will be held in the park across the street from the Ruggles street entrance to the Boston Police Department headquarters at One Schroeder Plaza, Boston.  The closest MBTA stop is the Ruggles Orange line station.  If you’re driving in, there is public parking nearby at the Northeastern University Visitor’s lot at 10 Gainsborough St – Boston, MA 02115. Also, we will be holding another Cryptoparty on August 24th at e5 in Boston.  Feel free to use the comments below to offer any topics you would like us to cover in future Crytoparties.  Suggestions for locations for future Cryptoparties are much appreciated.  

published under Out And About, Privacy | Comments Off on BRICnic & Cryptoparty Today!
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