Archive by month: January 2014

Over the past few months, several Tech companies have issued strong condemnations of the NSA's mass surveillance programs. This is a good first step, and I applaud those companies for taking it. However, there's one industry group that's been noticeably silent on this issue: the telco companies. Verizon, Sprint, AT&T -- the folks who are handing your call detail records to the NSA -- they've issued little in the way of public positions, and even less in the way of condemnations. My phone se...
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I only got to meet Aaron Swartz once.  It was a great conversation and I feel lucky to have had that brief time to talk with him. When I heard he died nearly a year ago, like many I was shocked and saddened.  His death was not only a loss for his family and friends, but was our loss. Yet, I feel I have a special bond with Aaron.  You see on that January day, I realized that his death was on the birthday of one of my children.  Later I discovered that his birth date was the same as that of ...
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We knew it was coming.  Finally, the Senate is considering a Fast Track Trade bill that would make secret trade treaties such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) easier to get through Congress. The TPP, along with its Atlantic counterpart, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are scarcely about trade.  Whether with copyright, patents, DRM or corporate rights, they are simply tools to increase the power and profits of corporations at our expense. Now more than ever, ...
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Ars Technica reported that AT&T plans to charge companies for the right to send video and other media to AT&T Wireless customers without chewing up consumers' monthly data limits. AT&T effectively raised its middle finger at net neutrality. As long-time tax reporter David Cay Johnston notes, US communication companies are nothing more than cartels that raise prices on Americans, yet provide inferior service compared to many other nations.  In 2012: On average, for instance, a ...
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Congress will soon vote on granting the President Fast track Trade Authority (FTA). If FTAA passes, the Congress will only be allowed to vote up or down on secret trade deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). As the Wikileaks release we reported over a month ago noted, secret trade agreements such as the TPP and TTIP will implement the most draconian anti-sharing laws we have seen.   It would criminalize of copyright ...
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The Somerville Pirates met last month to chart a course to enter Somerville politics. Their next meeting will be 6pm, next Thursday, January 9th at the Blue Shirt Cafe, 424 Highland Ave., Davis Sq. Pirates from Somerville and the surrounding cities and towns are invited to attend. You can find them on twitter at @villepirates or email The Medway Pirates will next meet 7pm, Thursday, January 23 at REDACTED. Pirates from Medway and the surrounding towns are invited to attend. You can find them ...
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