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

Monthly archive: November 2013

What’s in Your File: Part II, Acxiom

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I was listening to the radio the other day, and heard a passing reference to Acxiom. Unless you work in marketing, you’ve probably never heard of Acxiom; they’re a data broker, and one of the bigger ones out there. According to their last annual SEC filing: Acxiom is an enterprise data, analytics and software-as-a-service company. For over 40 years, Acxiom has been an innovator in harnessing the powerful potential of data to strengthen connections between people, businesses and their partners. We focus on creating better connections that enable better living for people and better results for the businesses who serve them. In short, Acxiom builds marketing profiles on individuals, and sells this information, typically to corporate customers. Acxiom recently launched a new web site, where you can view and edit your marketing profile. I’m not a big fan of data aggregators, but I have to applaud Acxiom for providing this level of transparency. Of course, I was curious to see what my marketing profile looked like, so I logged on to to have a look. Acxiom will ask for a lot of personal information the first time you retrieve your marketing profile: your name, address, date of birth, and the last four digits of your social security number. That’s a lot, but keep in mind that they’re using it to locate your profile; in other words, Acxiom already has this much information about you. Acxiom’s profile consists of six categories: Characteristic Data. Your name, age, gender, level of education completed, marital status, and political party affiliation. Home Data. My profile contained no information in this category. Household Vehicle Data. My profile contained no information in this category. Household Economic Data. This category contains your estimated household income, whether you have credit cards, and the number of credit card … Read more

published under Main Topic, Privacy | Comments Off on What’s in Your File: Part II, Acxiom

Mass. House Passes On-Line Voter Registration

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Thanks to the efforts of the Election Modernization Coalition, the Massachusetts House has passed a bill that bring voting into the 21st century.  The two major improvements are  early voting and online voter registration. Early voting is a feature that other states have and will make it easier for busy citizens to vote.  As Pirates, it isn’t hard to see that allowing citizens to register to vote online is a significant improvement. The bill still has to clear the Massachusetts Senate next.  Visit this Common Cause page and tell your State Senator to support it. While you are at it, please go tell your Mass. House Rep. and State Senator to support Instant Runoff Voting (IRV).  IRV would ensure that the winning candidate in any election has to get a majority of the vote, even when there are three or more candidates on the ballot.  It is a 20th century election reform we badly need. Thanks!

published under Elections, Main Topic | Comments Off on Mass. House Passes On-Line Voter Registration

Justice for Army Spc. Denis Reynoso!

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We hope you will join us in supporting the family of Army Spc. Denis Reynoso on  Thursday December 5th. For more information on the necessity of this rally, the Mass Pirates are pleased today to welcome a guest post from Alex Marthews of Digital Fourth: by Alex Marthews on November 13, 2013 We like to think that we’re safe in our homes, and that if we need the police, we can call on them to help protect us. That’s what we tell our children – I have two – and I’d like to think it was more consistently the truth than it is. Today’s story comes from Lynn, MA, which in September saw an Army reservist shot to death in his home by police in front of his five-year-old son. (Army Spc. Denis Reynoso) Police were called after Spc. Reynoso yelled at a man, who then drove away. Two police officers arrived at the Reynoso home on Newcastle Street in the King’s Lynne housing complex, and they appear to have entered the home without either a warrant or the permission of the residents, which would clearly violate the Fourth Amendment. The police version of events is that during the ensuing argument, Spc. Reynoso lunged for one of the police officers’ weapon, and fearing for their lives, the police fatally shot him. The family point out that there is no way to confirm that Spc. Reynoso did lunge for an officer’s gun, and no public information as to why he might do so; that he was unarmed, that they shot him anyway, and that they then searched the house for any drugs or contraband that would provide justification for their actions, without a warrant and without finding anything. The excuse used by the police – that he “lunged” for the gun – is inherently … Read more

published under Civil Liberties, Issues, Main Topic, Transparency | Comments Off on Justice for Army Spc. Denis Reynoso!

All day Cryptoparty, This Saturday, Nov. 23, Lowell

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This Saturday, from 10am to 6pm, Lowell Makes, a new makerspace in Massachusetts, will be hosting an all-day cryptoparty. It is free though they request that you get a ticket. There is also a Facebook event you can sign up to. The current schedule is below. The first half is set, but the second half may change. 10am – Start 10:30am – What digital fingerprints do you leave? – James O’Keefe 11am – Free Software Software – Zak Rogoff, FSF noon – Web Surfing with Tor – Steve Revilak 1pm – Lunch 2pm – Communicating with Jitsi – Kendra Moyer 3pm – Bitcoin & Cryptocurrencies – Al Willis 4pm – Securing your email with GnuPG – Steve Revilak 5pm – Mesh Networking – William Fleurant Some of the sessions are hands on so please bring a laptop to take full advantage of them. Also, it helps if you download the software prior to the cryptoparty: Tor Jitsi Bitcoin GnuPG – Linux, Window, Mac Lowell Makes is at 47 Lee St, Lowell, MA. You can find directions via the map below: View Mass Pirates Places of Interest in a larger map

published under Cryptoparty, Main Topic, Out And About, Privacy | 2 Comments

First Platform Meeting Today

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Today is the first meeting to write our platform.  It starts at 2pm and goes until 4pm. We are holding it at the Pizzeria Regina at 353 Cambridge St, Allston in Boston near the MBTA and just off the Mass. Pike. There is a Facebook event.  A map is below. We encourage all Pirate supporters to attend.  If you cannot, please vote on the date for the December meeting.  We have also setup the draft platform at GitHub. You can get a copy from: View Mass Pirates Places of Interest in a larger map

published under Issues, Main Topic | Comments Off on First Platform Meeting Today

A specter is haunting the West

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Yesterday, Jeremy Hammond was sentenced to thirteen years for hacking corporate and government computers  as part of LulzSec including the Stratfor emails.  We planned to write a statement, but found journalist Alexa O’Brien’s eloquent statement on Hammond’s conviction.  We have her to thank for providing the only available transcripts of  Chelsea Manning’s closed trial.  You can find more of her work as well as how to support her work at   By Alexa O’Brien on November 15, 2013 3:21 PM ‘I did this because I believe people have a right to know what governments and corporations are doing behind closed doors. I did what I believe is right.’ – Jeremy Hammond Today, Jeremy Hammond was sentenced to ten years in prison and three years of supervised release for hacking into the computers of the private intelligence firm Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor). Stratfor emails published by WikiLeaks revealed that private security contractors with ties to the US Government were “specifically asked to connect” a campaign finance reform group that I helped found “to any Saudi or other fundamentalist Islamic movements.” The email was part of a number of submissions to the Court in the case Hedges v. Obama against indefinite detention of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. Section 1021(b)(2) of the NDAA FY2012 allows for the indefinite detention without charges or trial of anyone, including American citizens, who are deemed by the US Government to be terrorists or terrorist sympathizers. U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest permanently enjoined Section 1021(b)(2) in September 2012. We are making an application to the Supreme Court after the Second Circuit overturned Forrest’s ruling. Today, I was asked to give a statement after Hammond’s sentencing hearing, which I did. I was also asked to publish it online. My statement is below.       A specter is haunting the West– A specter of what some call dissent– This specter … Read more

published under CFAA, Transparency | Comments Off on A specter is haunting the West

Tell Neal & Capuano to Oppose Fast Tracking TPP

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Congress is waking up to the problems of the secret Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) treaty.  Already 22 House Republicans and 151 House Democrats have stated that they oppose allowing the Obama administration to fast track the TPP and other harmful trade treaties.  Granting fast track authority to the US Trade Representative (USTR) would force the Congress to vote for the TPP in a single up or down vote.  Doing so would ensure that treaties like the TPP are passed. The Congress has the constitutional authority to manage our trade policy and shouldn’t cede that authority to the President. Six of the Eight Representatives for Massachusetts have sided with 145 House Democrats opposing fast track authority.  Two Mass. House Democrats, Neal and Capuano, have not yet signed up.  We need their support! Please contact Neal and Capuano TODAY and urge them to sign the DeLauro, Miller letter opposing fast track authority: 1st CD Representative Richard Neal – Facebook / @RepRichardNeal / (202) 225-5601 / (413) 785-0325 7th CD Representative Michael Capuano – Facebook / @mikecapuano / (202) 225-5111 / (617) 621-6208 Additionally, please contact all of the Representatives who signed on to the DeLauro, Miller letter and tell them thanks: 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 6th CD Representative Jonathan Tierney – @RepTierney / (202) 225-8020 / (781) 595-7375 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, don’t forget the other ways you can help stop the TPP: sign this petition to oppose the TPP; spread the word about the TPP by sharing this page; sign up to be a Pirate volunteer; donate to us on-line or by mail. Thanks!  

published under Main Topic, TPP | Comments Off on Tell Neal & Capuano to Oppose Fast Tracking TPP

TPP IP Chapter Leaked: Internet Beware!

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Yesterday, Wikileaks released the entire text of the secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Intellectual Property Rights Chapter.  It has everything we feared: Criminalization of copyright infringement; Stronger DRM and “technological protection measure” regimes; ISPs to be made liable for copyright infringement on their networks; A “take it down first, argue later” DMCA-like process for notifying copyright infringements; Patentable plants and animals. Banning you from selling a product you bought abroad if the copyright holder objects. Combined with granting rights to corporations to challenge our laws if they at all hinder their profits, it is a dream for corporations and our worst nightmare. Of course it is being negotiated in secret with input from governments and mega corporations. The EFF has the info on the IP Chapter of TPP, as does Public Citizen. Help stop the TPP by: signing this petition to oppose the TPP; spread the word about the TPP by sharing this page or the video below; signing up to be a Pirate volunteer; donating to us on-line or by mail. Our future depends on your help!

published under Main Topic, TPP | Comments Off on TPP IP Chapter Leaked: Internet Beware!

First Platform Meeting, Sunday, 2-4pm

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This Sunday is our first meeting to write our platform.  It starts at 2pm. We are holding it at the Pizzeria Regina at 353 Cambridge St, Allston in Boston near the MBTA and just off the Mass. Pike. There is a Facebook event.  A map is below. We encourage all Pirate supporters to attend.  If you cannot, please vote on the date for the December meeting.  If you want to help us setup a way for Pirates to collaborate on-line, email us. View Mass Pirates Places of Interest in a larger map

published under Issues, Main Topic, Out And About | Comments Off on First Platform Meeting, Sunday, 2-4pm

Our own election!

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We invite you to join us this Thursday for a special IRC meeting. I plan to nominate (and the Captain plans to 2nd) Kendra Moyer for the position of Massachusetts Pirate Party Arbitrator. Kendra comes to the Pirate Party with plenty of prior activism experience with Occupy Boston, the Boston Occupier, Socialist Alternative, and Industrial Workers of the World. Her interpersonal and organizational skills and connections in the activist community have proven to be a big plus for the party. Her experience in investigative journalism would give her an edge in researching any conflicts of interest, personal conflicts. If you would like to have a chance to hear Kendra’s pitch, ask her any questions, and ultimately vote on the matter, please join us Thursday at 9 pm for MPP IRC. Thank you!

published under Main Topic, Organizing | Comments Off on Our own election!
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