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

Monthly archive: September 2013

TONIGHT – Cambridge Surveillance Camera Community Meeting

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From 6 to 8 pm tonight, Thursday, September 26, the City of Cambridge is hosting a community meeting to discuss a draft surveillance-camera policy proposed by the Cambridge Police Department. The draft policy poses significant risks to privacy. It would: Use “preventing terrorism” as a justification, when there’s no evidence that cameras like this deter terrorism, or even that they deter crime at all. Allow other cities’ police to monitor public activity on Cambridge streets Provide few protections for how the data will be stored or used Please attend this meeting today at 6 pm at 795 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA We’d love it if you could prepare your own testimony, or simply express your concerns about government surveillance on public streets in your neighborhoods. You can also submit comments online to Cambridge City Manager Richard Rossi and the Cambridge City Council.  Digital Fourth and the ACLU of Massachusetts are both turning people out for it. Here’s Digital Fourth’s prior coverage of the issue:

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September 28th Cryptoparty – Mesh Networks and CJDNS

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Join us for a Cryptoparty on Saturday September 28th, 2:00 – 4:00 pm, at the South End Tech Center, 359 Columbus Avenue in Boston. We’ll focus on Mesh Networks in general, and on CJDNS in particular.  We will also have key signing. Have you heard of a mesh network? Mother Jones reports on a mesh net in Athens: It’s actually faster than the Net we pay for: Data travels through the mesh at no less than 14 megabits a second, and up to 150 Mbs a second, about 30 times faster than the commercial pipeline I get at home. (They) can send messages, video chat, and trade huge files without ever appearing on the regular internet. And it’s a pretty big group of people: Their Athens Wireless Metropolitan Network has more than 1,000 members, from Athens proper to nearby islands. Anyone can join for free by installing some equipment. “It’s like a whole other web […] [i]t’s our network, but it’s also a playground.” Imagine, no telecom bill, no NSA spying on your online activity. Heck, don’t just imagine it, do it! What the Greeks have built out of necessity, we can do to free ourselves of centralized monopolies. Our afternoon of mesh networking will come with a special bonus — we’ll be joined by Caleb James DeLisle, the “CJD” in “CJDNS”. Caleb will speak about various threat motives behind network attacks, common methods used to attack networks, the specific challenges to mesh networking and the defenses which cjdns brings to bear on the problem. We’re planning on a 30 minute talk, followed by Q & A, and a hands-on networking workshop. Of course, there will be key signing, too. It’s a great opportunity to get your hands dirty with the technology! This is a free workshop, but contributions to the … Read more

published under Civil Liberties, Cryptoparty, Net Neutrality, Organizing, Privacy, Security | 3 Comments

Boston Prelim. Election Tuesday, Vote Seamus Whelan

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Boston will hold its preliminary election this Tuesday, September 24th. If you are a voter in Boston, we urge you to vote for Seamus Whelan who is running for a Boston City Councilor at-large position. We endorsed him earlier. Polls are open from 7am to 8pm. Click here to find your polling place. We do not have any further endorsements in this election, but Francisco L. White did speak at our 2013 conference, and a number of us met him during the Boston Pride Parade. He deserves a look since Boston voters can vote for up to four City Councilor at-large candidates.

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Quartermaster Steve Presents at Boston Software Freedom Day

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Boston Software Freedom Day will be this Saturday, September 21st from 9:30am to 5:30pm. It will be at Cambridge College, 1000 Mass Ave, Cambridge. A map is below. Steve Revilak, our quartermaster, will present the first talk, Protect Your Privacy in the Digital Age, at 10am. Presentation slides: protecting-privacy.pdf We will also table and are looking for volunteers. View Mass Pirates Events in a larger map

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Pirate Party endorses Seamus Whelan for Boston City Council

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The Pirate Party is proud to announce our endorsement of Seamus Whelan for Boston City Councilor. Seamus Whelan is an Irish immigrant and long-time Boston resident who is active in the local nursing union. As a nurse at Cambridge Hospital, Whelan has advocated for safe staffing ratios of patients to nurses to assure the highest quality of medical care. Whelan stands with the Pirate Party in supporting government transparency, open innovation, and open culture. Most importantly, Seamus Whelan is a candidate who puts the needs of the people first before the demands of corporate America. Several angles of the Whelan platform include the 5 for 15 campaign demanding an increase in the state minimum wage to $15 per hour. Whelan’s jobs plan includes creating 50,000 public sector union jobs that would bring jobs to Metropolitan Boston and strengthen our community’s services, economy and infrastructure. Whelan’s campaign seeks an end to union busting in and privatization of tax funded public schools. Programs like No Child Left Behind have created questionable testing standards for students that are not always viable under reduced funding. Affordable quality housing is another campaign point. Boston needs a rent cap and to be made affordable for people of all income levels. Whelan also call for a moratorium on foreclosures and that banks be accountable for their role in the housing crisis. The Whelan campaign seeks to stop race and ethnicity based discrimination against city residents and new immigrants, particularly the aggressive deportations of undocumented workers. Finally the campaign believes that the attacks on public transportation including fare hikes, lay-offs and service cuts should not come at the expense of the working tax payers to the benefit of big business interests. These seem to be lofty and often insurmountable goals that cannot be realized without a clear cut … Read more

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Celebrate Constitution Day Today!

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We are joining with the ACLU of Massachusetts, Digital Fourth, and other Fourth Amendment activists in Boston on Constitution Day, Today, September 17, at the Boston Public Library. Together we will call for privacy legislation and educate the public about the surveillance state. Where: Boston Public Library, Copley steps When: 5-7 PM, Tuesday, September 17 What: Educational speakout for Constitution Day and 21st Century Privacy Rights Come talk to your neighbors and fellow Massachusetts residents about critical issues affecting our privacy in the 21st century, and solutions for our most vexing problems. We will be on the steps of the Copley library from 5-7 with educational materials, a megaphone, lots of energy, and plenty of information. As luck would have it, there’s a Boston mayoral forum at the library on the same night. Interested in joining us? Bring signs addressing Fourth Amendment issues and mass surveillance, or simply come with your energy. We will be collecting signatures to support privacy reform in the state of Massachusetts. If police want to spy on us, they should be required to get warrants first. The Fourth Amendment was born in Massachusetts; let’s make sure we protect our rights for the next generation.

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Pirates’ two day sail at Freedom Rally

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We had a great time tabling at Freedom Rally last weekend and signed up many new Pirates. Freedom Rally was two days this year, which gave us an opportunity to meet more people and tell them about the Pirate Party and the revelations about the US government’s mass. surveillance. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to talk with us or who helped table especially First Officer Lucia, Quartermaster Steve, Jason, Kendra, Master Gunner Garret, Joe, Brian and Captain James. Here are a few pictures we or others took of us at Freedom Rally: Saturday: one, two, three Sunday: one, two, three

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Freedom Rally this weekend!

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We are looking forward to tabling at the 24th Freedom Rally, this weekend, Saturday & Sunday, September 14th & 15th. Freedom Rally will be on Boston Common and we hope you will join us or stop by. We are at space 18 near the Crafts Tent on the map below. It is right next to one of the entrances to the underground garage and on the path to Park Street. Or you can use this Google Map: View Mass Pirates Events in a larger map We encourage you to dress in your favorite pirate gear, be loud and show your support for the Internet, civil liberties and Bradley Manning. Please, invite your friends and family and help us find more Pirates to join us! If you need to reach us on the day, then call/txt us at (617) 863-6277 (MAPP). If you want to help at our table, fill out the sign up form embedded below, or just show up. Thanks!

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And if you didn’t hear us, we’ll shout a little louder!

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  NO WAR ON SYRIA! The People have spoken. They don’t want military intervention in Syria. The Mass Pirates made their voices heard along side other activists in the streets of Boston last Saturday. We even marched to John Kerry’s HOUSE. But powerful, monied interests have out leaders’ ears, and those interests are salivating for war. Money talks. We need to talk louder. Persistently. Until they hear US. From MPP “Master Gunner” Garret Kirkland: President Obama has put military options before Congress, regarding how/when/where to strike Syria. The Senate is drafting approval for “limited” attacks in Syria, constrained to a 60 day deadline. No ground troops. 60 days of bombing? 1 single bomb?: Totally unacceptable. NO WAR WITH SYRIA! No bombs! Cease intervening! How many Syrians must die in order to punish the regime for crimes that Washington DC hasn’t proven it committed against the Syrian people? Why do we have no support from our staunchest NATO allies in Berlin and London? Why is Washington marching firmly forward to War in spite of broad resistance? Can the People stop Congress before we inflict the suffering of Iraq and Libya upon Syria? It is entirely up to you, the People to turn out and make a statement that cannot be ignored. On Saturday, Sept 7, nation- and world-wide, a second week of demonstrations against War w/ Syria will be commencing in your local cities and towns, and will culminate in a national march on DC, Monday, Sept 9. Boston, MA. Boston Common, MBTA “Park St” Schedule of event: 10AM: Pre-event sign making, outreach, sign waving. 1PM: Rally and speakers. 2PM: March from Boston Common to Faneiul Hall Please check back frequently, ( and feel free to contact me (Garret) or the other organizers (“hosts”) directly. Garret Kirland: Matthew Kravitz: What to … Read more

published under Freedom of Speech, Main Topic, Out And About, Secrecy, Transparency | Comments Off on And if you didn’t hear us, we’ll shout a little louder!

Tell Congress: Don’t Bomb Syria!

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Last week we took a stand against bombing Syria and joined with others in protest on Saturday.  In the past we have steered clear of such statements, but it made sense based on our values and the increasing surveillance we all are under. President Obama has asked Congress for a resolution allowing him to bomb Syria, but not limiting the attacks to only Syrian government forces or even to Syria.  Reports are that the Senate will vote on this resolution today. Please contact our Senators and House Representatives TODAY and urge them to vote against this resolution.  Their contact information is below: Senator Elizabeth Warren – Facebook / @elizabethforma / (202) 224-4543 Senator Ed Markey – Facebook / @MarkeyMemo / (202) 224-2742 1st CD Representative Richard Neal – Facebook / @RepRichardNeal / (202) 225-5601 / (413) 785-0325 2nd CD Representative James McGovern – Facebook / @RepMcGovern / (202) 225-6101 / (508) 831-7356 3rd CD Representative Niki Tsongas – Facebook / @nikiinthehouse / (202) 225-3411 / (978) 459-0101 4th CD Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III – Facebook / @joekennedy / (202) 225-5931 / (617) 332-3333 5th CD Representative – Vacant 6th CD Representative Jonathan Tierney – @RepTierney / (202) 225-8020 / (781) 595-7375 7th CD Representative Michael Capuano – Facebook / @mikecapuano / (202) 225-5111 / (617) 621-6208 8th CD Representative Stephen Lynch – Facebook / @RepStephenLynch / (202) 225-8273 / (617) 428-2000 9th CD Representative William Keating – Facebook / @WilliamKeating / (202) 225-3111 / (617) 770-3700 Also, there is a rally this Saturday opposing bombing Syria we hope you will attend.

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