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

Monthly archive: December 2013

Campaign Training – Sunday, Jan 5th, 1pm

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Nomination papers for the 2014 state & federal elections will be available in February, so now is the time to get prepared! Come learn about running campaigns and being a candidate from two-time candidate for Massachusetts Treasurer, James O’Keefe. What: Training for people interested in helping with campaigns or being candidates When: This Sunday, Jan 5th, 1pm-4pm Where: encuentro 5 (e5), 9 Hamilton Place, Suite 2A, Boston, near Park St. MBTA stop (Directions) Cost: FREE Topics include: Organizing your campaign Fundraising Getting on the ballot Identifying voters Running a Get Out The Vote (GOTV) campaign The training is better in person, but you can review an old set of his talk slides or view a video of his 2012 Conference talk:

published under Elections, Main Topic | Comments Off on Campaign Training – Sunday, Jan 5th, 1pm

cjd on Project Meshnet ( Monday 11AM Hall E #youbroketheinternet @ #30c3 )

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cjd on Project Meshnet ( Monday 11AM Hall E #youbroketheinternet @ #30c3 ) Contributed by Igel #30c3 is the 30th annual Chaos Communication Congress, a gathering of technologists, big thinkers and popes. The Congress offers lectures and workshops and various events on a multitude of topics including information technology and generally a critical-creative attitude towards technology and the discussion about the effects of technological advances on society. https://events.ccc.de/congress/2013/wiki/Main_Page In light of recent revelations, the 30c3 has organized a summit called #youbroketheinternet. #youbroketheinternet is calling for new protocols, new approaches and fresh ideas to build a (g)New Internet. Massachusetts native Caleb James DeLisle (cjd) recently spoke about his mesh networking protocol cjdns at South End Tech Center, Tent City Boston. The #CryptoParty event organized by Massachusetts’s Pirate Party covered a variety of concerns regarding surveillance, privacy and cryptography. The routing technology used by Project Meshnet is cjdns. On Monday at the #youbroketheinternet summit at 11AM in Hall E, Caleb will be describing the technological aspects of cjdns and the motivations behind the technology as well as demoing cjdns as well as hosting a peering party for those interested in joining Hyperboria and learning about how to use cjdns.

published under Issues, Main Topic | 2 Comments

What’s in Your File Part III: My NSA FOIA Request

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Long before I became a pirate, I had an interest in privacy, security, and digital surveillance, so I was completely floored when the Guardian published a National Security Letter to Verizon, compelling them to turn over phone records for a three-month period. National Security letters (NSLs) are very secretive. You can think of them as subpoenas that come with a gag order — a party that receives a NSL is forbidden from telling anyone about it — and very few recipients have managed to talk about them publicly (Calyx internet being a notable exception). Unless you’ve received an NSL, the guardian story was probably the first time you’d seen one of these things. I’m a Verizon customer, and my phone calls fit the description of “(i) between the United States and abroad; or, (ii) wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls”. So, I sent the NSA a FOIA request, asking for all telephony records that originated from my home phone number. Here’s my letter to the NSA: National Security Agency Attn: FOIA/PA Office (DJ4) 9800 Savage Road, Suite 6248 Ft. George G. Meade, MD 20755-6248 Dear NSA FOIA/PA Office: This is a Privacy Act request, as described in http://www.nsa.gov/public_info/foia/submit_privacy_act_request/index.shtml. I am seeking a list of all phone calls made from number 781-648-1083. 781-648-1083 is my home phone number, Verizon provides my phone service, and I am aware that Verizon has received national security letters compelling the company to provide telephony metadata created by Verizon for communications (i) between the United States and abroad; or, (ii) wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls. (The quoted text comes from the document at https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/709012-verizon.html, which was published by the Guardian newspaper in June 2013. I am seeing a copy of said “telephony metadata”, where the call originated from 781-648-1083. … Read more

published under Civil Liberties, Issues, Main Topic, Privacy, Secrecy, Security | Comments Off on What’s in Your File Part III: My NSA FOIA Request

Pirate Social & Platform Meeting This Sunday

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This Sunday at 2pm we will have a Pirate social. We meet 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 will be discussing our platform for the upcoming election year among other things. We hope you can make it. If you cannot, the next one will be Saturday, January 25th. Same place and time. We have also setup the draft platform at GitHub. You can get a copy from: https://github.com/masspirates/planks View Mass Pirates Places of Interest in a larger map

published under Issues, Main Topic | Comments Off on Pirate Social & Platform Meeting This Sunday

Three Short Blurbs, Courtesy of the EFF

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Have you heard of the Electronic Frontier Foundation? If not, you should check them out: they fight patent trolls, they support copyright reform, and they’ve been vocal opponents of the NSA’s surveillance programs. They’re good people, and kind of piratey in their own way. At any rate, I was skimming over the EFF’s web site this morning, and three articles caught my attention. (1) Awesome Privacy Tools in Android 4.3+. This posting, dated Dec 11th, talked about a cool new feature in Android: per-app permissions. Per-app permissions allows you to say things like App #1 gets access to my contact list, but Apps #2 and #3 don’t. This is a tremendously useful feature, and one that would give users a lot more control over how the information on their phones gets used. Unfortunately, it was too good to be true. (2) Google Removes Vital Privacy Feature From Android, Claiming Its Release Was Accidental. That really cool privacy feature for Android? “Oops”, Google says, “our bad”. And Google pulled the feature after a few days, with a new Android release. Bad Google. (3) NSA Turns Cookies (And More) Into Surveillance Beacons. This post outlines how the NSA uses Google ad cookies to track users on the internet. Lots of web sites make use of Google’s ad distribution network. When you visit one of these sites, your web browser makes a little call out to Google’s ad servers, and that call contains a “PREF” cookie (which identifies your ad profile). This cookie has a long lifetime, so that following a specific PREF cookie around the internet is equivalent to following a specific device around the internet. If the device is used by one person, then you’re following the person. I’m not surprised by the NSA’s adoption of this tactic, but it’s an … Read more

published under Main Topic, Privacy, Security | Comments Off on Three Short Blurbs, Courtesy of the EFF

The NSA’s Co-Traveler Program: Guilt by Proximity

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During the last five months, we’ve learned about a lot of previously-undisclosed NSA surveillance programs. To be perfectly honest, there have been so many that I have a hard time remembering them all. There’s been PRISM, X-Keyscore, and Boundless Informant. Stellar wind, Tempora, and BULLRUN . And earlier ones, like BLARNEY, Ragtime, and Pinwhale. A few days ago, the Washington Post added another program to this list: Co-Traveler. In June, we learned that the NSA was vacuuming up massive amounts of phone records from major telecommunications providers. Now, we know that the NSA is vacuuming up massive amounts of cell phone location data as well. How does this work? In order to route calls to your phone, your cellular provider needs to know what tower your phone is closest to. In other words, you cellular provider needs to know something about your current location. Your cell phone assists in this process by “pinging” nearby cell towers every few minutes. The ping itself is fairly harmless — something akin to “hello, I’m here”. But over time, these pings create a map of where you were, when you were there, and who you were with. The more cell towers there are, the more accurately “pings” depict your location. Co-Traveler takes this one step further. Once you have everyone’s location history, you can start to do comparisons, and find groups of people that were frequently in the same place at the same time. These groups are the Co-travelers. The Washington Post put together a nice illustration of the kinds of analysis that co-traveler does. Note who the Co-traveler is: someone who happens to be on the same bus as the “target”. Co-traveler goes well beyond guilt by association; it is a program based on guilt by proximity. The NSA’s responses to this disclosure … Read more

published under Civil Liberties, Main Topic, Privacy | Comments Off on The NSA’s Co-Traveler Program: Guilt by Proximity

Patent Troll Bill goes to Senate

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The EFF reported that the House of Representatives voted 325-91 in favor of the Innovation Act.  Thanks to everyone who told their Congress person to support this bill. As we mentioned yesterday, the Innovation Act would make life harder for patent trolls by: making it easier and cheaper to fight against the trolls in court; requiring trolls to make their cases for infringement publicly and with specifics; protecting end users and consumers when they face suits from patent trolls. This bill isn’t all that we want it to be, but it helps move us away from the patent insanity we have now. The White House supports this bill, so all we need to do is get it past the Senate intact (or improved). Please contact both Senators and urge them to support the Innovation Act: Elizabeth Warren – (202) 224-4543 / Email Form  Ed Markey – (202) 224-2742 / Email Form If you want to contact them on Facebook or Twitter, visit the Federal Office Holders page on our wiki for their info. Here are some other ways you can help fight patents: sign up to be a Pirate volunteer; donate to us on-line or by mail. Thanks!

published under Main Topic, Patents | Comments Off on Patent Troll Bill goes to Senate

NEW LOCATION: Cryptoparty, Dec. 14th, 1-3pm

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Pirates Steve and Kendra will hold a cryptoparty with Versus News on Saturday, December 14th from 1pm to 3pm. The main topic will be using PGP keys to encrypt your communications.  Steve and Kendra will also explore the encrypted text/audio/video chat software called Jitsi and some of the software tools mentioned at Prism-break.org.  It will be hands-on and participants will be encouraged to verify and sign each others keys. New Location: The cryptoparty will be held at Sprouts, 339R Summer Street, Somerville, MA.

published under Cryptoparty, Main Topic, Privacy | Comments Off on NEW LOCATION: Cryptoparty, Dec. 14th, 1-3pm

Tell Congress: Fight Patent Trolls

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The House of Representatives will vote on the Innovation Act of 2013 (H.R. 3309) this week.  As the EFF notes, this bill will make life harder for the trolls by: making it easier and cheaper to fight against the trolls in court; requiring trolls to make their cases for infringement publicly and with specifics; protecting end users and consumers when they face suits from patent trolls. While he have long viewed patents as barriers to innovation and have called for their elimination, this bill that makes it easier to fight patent trolls and deserves your support. Please contact your Representative by using EFF’s page or if you know who your Representative is, contact them by one of the methods listed below: 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 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, don’t forget the other ways you can help fight patents: sign up to be a Pirate volunteer; donate to us on-line or by mail. Thanks!

published under Main Topic, Patents | 1 Comment

Further information

June 10th, Boston LGBTQ Pride Parade

Save the Date: June 10th, Boston LGBTQ Pride Parade

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Help organize a local Pirate chapter

IRC Meetings Tuesday Night

The Mass. Pirate Party weekly chat is every Tuesday at 9pm, Eastern time. To get on:

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