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

Monthly archive: February 2014

Democracy Calling. Will You Answer?

Publiced at

In 2012, 61% of all Mass. State Rep. candidates had no opponent. Let me repeat that.  3/5ths of all State Rep. districts had only one person running! Democracy is only as healthy as the choices voters have.  Based on our past options, it is ailing and only the Pirates can fix it. We need Pirates to get on the ballot and bring democracy back.  Can we count on you? Feels daunting, right?  State Representative candidates only need to get the signature of at least 150 valid voters by April 29th. April 29th is 68 days away.  5 signatures a day for 60 days is 300 signatures.  Easy right? Joe Guertin will run.  We likely have another in my home of Somerville.  Four others are considering running.  Will you join them? We don’t expect you to have lots of campaign experience.  We will be happy to teach you how to get on the ballot and run a successful campaign. We aren’t asking you to dedicate your life to winning.  We simply ask that you get on the ballot to give voters a choice besides the incumbent. Restoring democracy to Massachusetts will take many years.  Getting candidates on the ballot is the first step we need to take to bring democracy back. Democracy needs your help!  Will you answer? Captain James PS: Sunday, the 23rd, is our February Issue meeting and Phone Bank/Pizza Party. We will call our mailing list to tell them about all the events we have lined up in March and ask for their help.  We will also work on our platform and socialize. It will be at 111 Sunnyside Ave, Arlington MA and runs from 2pm to 4pm.  You can sign up at the Facebook event or just show up.  Hope you can make it. Sign up to be a candidate * indicates required First Name * Last Name * Email Address * Phone … Read more

published under Elections, Main Topic | Comments Off on Democracy Calling. Will You Answer?

Ring, ring: Pirates calling!

Publiced at

A week from today we will hold our February in person meeting. Our Quartermaster, Steve, was kind enough to offer his home to meet in. (Thanks!) This month we a kicking it up a notch, doing something proactive with all those phone numbers we have been collecting. We will be calling you passive supporters to see how we can help you to become active supporters. Of course, you could also just donate some scratch. We need that, too. We will have some pizza and discussion, but mostly we will be making calls, and we need you. A calling *party* makes the work fun. So please come out and join us! When: Sunday, February 23, 2014 from 2-4 pm Where: 111 Sunnyside Ave, Arlington MA. We would appreciate an RSVP to our Facebook event, but we are just happy if you show up.

published under Main Topic, Organizing | Comments Off on Ring, ring: Pirates calling!

What’s in Your File, Part IV: Verizon

Publiced at

A couple of months ago, I sent a FOIA request to the NSA, asking for a copy of my call detail records. The NSA denied my request, and I’ve since filed an appeal. While the appeal process runs its course, I decided to reach out to Verizon, to see if they were willing to provide a copy of my call detail records. Here’s the letter I wrote to Verizon on January 18th: Earlier this year, the Guardian published a copy of a national security letter, which compelled Verizon to produce all call detail records or “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. I would like to request a copy of my call detail records, for calls originating from my home phone number 781-648-1083, for the one-month period 12/1/2013–12/31/2013, in the same record format that you would have been compelled to deliver, under the national security letter mentioned above. I’d prefer to receive this information in electronic form. If it’s not possible to deliver an electronic copy, I’d be willing to accept a paper copy; it shouldn’t be more than a page or two. Thanks for your time and attention. Here is Verizon’s response, dated January 30, 2014. In a sentence: we’re not going to respond to you in writing, but please call our customer service line during normal business hours. I called Verizon’s customer support line (800-837-4966) on February 7th. While navigating the support system menus, the automated attendant informed me Your privacy is your right, and our responsibility. Let’s see if Verizon stands up to the claims of their automated voice attendant. The customer service fellow I spoke with was very helpful, and diligently tried to locate a database containing my … Read more

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

Feb 11th – The Day We Fought Back

Publiced at

Today was the Day we Fight Back, in Honor of Aaron Schwartz, in commemoration of the SOPA blackout, and in a firm stance against massive NSA surveillance. In particular, today was about building legislative support for the USA Freedom Act. I called my congressional representatives, and here’s what their offices had to say. Katherine Clark (202-225-2836). Representative Clark’s office tells me that she supports the USA Freedom Act. Ed Markey (202-224-2742). Senator Markey’s office points out that he was one of the first co-sponsors of S.1599, the senate version of the USA Freedom Act. Elizabeth Warren (202-224-4543). When I called Senator Warren’s office, I got their voicemail system, and left a message voicing my concerns about NSA surveillance. Senator Warren is also a co-sponsor of S.1599. In Massachusetts, we have unanimous support among our senators, and good (but not unanimous) support among our Congressional representatives. In particular, Representatives Richard Neal (202-225-5601), and Niki Tsongas (202-225-3411) have not come out in support of the USA Freedom Act. It’s not too late to call your representatives (besides, they might actually enjoy hearing from someone who’s not a lobbyist!). If you have called, let us know what you heard — particularly if you’re in Representative Neal or Representative Tsongas’s district.

published under Main Topic, Privacy | 1 Comment

Call Your Legislators: Oppose TPP!

Publiced at

In a few days, Congress will decide whether to “fast-track” the TPP — the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. This is a massive trade agreement that will impact our laws covering the environment, intellectual property, copyright, and our ability to regulate corporations. So far, the agreement has been negotiated in secret, save for a small army of “corporate advisers”. Fast track effectively means that Congress will pass the agreement as the executive branch has negotiated it, without debate, and without giving the public the opportunity to weigh in. Since the negotiations have been conducted in secret, there’s no way our legislators could possibly know what they’re agreeing to. It’s critically important to stop the TPP’s fast track. Please call or write your legislators. In Massachusetts, start with Senators Warren (202-224-4543) and Markey (202-224-2742). To find your house representative, go to, plug in your address and find their contact information 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 5th CD Representative Katherine Clark – Facebook / @KClarkCongress / (202) 225-2836 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 Here are a few points that you may want to bring up when you contact your legislators: * * *Hello [Legislator], My name is [your name] and I live in [your city]. I’m calling about the TPP — the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, and I’d like to ask [Legislator] to oppose a fast-track for the TPP. One of the things I’m concerned about is amount of secrecy behind the TPP negotiations; I’m afraid that congress is being … Read more

published under Issues, Main Topic, TPP | Comments Off on Call Your Legislators: Oppose TPP!

Feb. 11th Fight Against Mass Surveillance

Publiced at

On February 11th, we will join with the Fight for the Future, EFF, the ACLU, Reddit, Mozilla and thousands of other groups and individuals in calling for Congress to stop the NSA’s unconstitutional mass surveillance efforts. We urge you to help by: If you’re in New England: Attend and spread the word about the February 9th Cryptoparty we are helping to organize as well as everything we urge folks in the US to do; If you’re in the US:  Host a banner urging people to call/email Congress and ask legislators to oppose the FISA Improvements Act, support the USA Freedom Act, and enact protections for non-Americans; If you’re not in the US:  Urge appropriate targets to institute privacy protections.

published under Main Topic, Privacy | Comments Off on Feb. 11th Fight Against Mass Surveillance

Cryptoparty, Feb. 9th, noon-6pm, Northeastern Law School

Publiced at

Come learn how to encrypt your email and files, browse the internet anonymously, use secure chat systems, and more. This event is free and open to the public, and we especially encourage journalists, lawyers, and law students to attend. WHERE: Northeastern Law School, Dockser Hall, Room 230 and the Moot Court Room (map) WHEN: Sunday, February 9, 12-6 PM WHO: Co-sponsored by the ACLU of Massachusetts, National Lawyers Guild–Northeastern University School of Law Chapter, the Massachusetts Pirate Party, the Tor Project, Free Software Foundation, Digital Fourth, and Restore the Fourth Boston Schedule: 12 PM – Why Encrypt? Talk, discussion, and free lunch! 1:15 – Room 1 – GnuPG | Room 2 – Tor on Raspberry Pi 2:30 – Room 1 – Free Software | Room 2 – File encryption 3:45 – Room 1 – Using Jitsi | Room 2 – Tor on Raspberry Pi 5:00 – Room 1 – GnuPG | Room 2 – Enigmabox Presentation Slides GnuPG Free Software presentation, handout Disk Encryption and OTR

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

Further information

Join Our Mailing List

Holyoke Meetup June 22nd

Holyoke Pirate Meetup

Sign the Moratorium on Boston Sex Worker Arrests Petition

Sign the Moratorium on Boston Sex Worker Arrests Petition

Help Build the Pirate Party

Help organize a local Pirate chapter

IRC Meetings Wednesday Night

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

  1. Go to
  2. Fill out the web form with the Nickname of your choice and enter #masspirates in the Channel box next to it, then click the Connect button
  3. Start typing and reading

You can also connect via your IRC client at one of the servers listed at

Contact us

call / txt: (617) 863-6277 (MAPP)

Pirate Gear

Keep in Touch

Sign up for the Mass Pirates Newsletter.