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

Monthly archive: April 2014

Noe will be on the ballot, lets make sure Joe is too!

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After the latest pick up from Somerville city hall, we know that Noelani has 168 valid signatures.  She easily crosses the 150 voter requirement and will be on the ballot in November. Now we have to make sure Joseph Guertin is on as well! A group of us, including Noelani, will be heading out Sunday to help Joseph’s team gather signatures. If you have anytime between now and 2pm on Tuesday, April 29th, please contact Joseph Guertin or Lucia Fiero. If you need a ride from the Boston area on Sunday, then contact James O’Keefe and he will make sure you have a ride. With all hands on deck we can do it!

published under Elections, Main Topic | Comments Off on Noe will be on the ballot, lets make sure Joe is too!

Security Theater at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center

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A week or two ago, I attended an event at the Boston Conference and Exhibition Center (BCEC). The BCEC had a series of tables set up outside the entrance, and each table was staffed by a security guard, who was responsible for checking bags. The first time I went through bag check, I handed my backpack to the security officer, who began rifling through it with a wooden dowel. I smiled cheerfully and asked “So, what kind of contraband are we looking for today?”. “Well,” the security guard replied, “we’re not looking for contraband, so much as we’re looking for weapons. Knives, scissors, that sort of thing. We’ve found quite a few of them.” Eventually, the guard convinced himself that I wasn’t carrying a knife, a pair of scissors, or any similar sort of thing, and I was almost allowed to go through. Because of a small conference badge issue, I’d have to head over to another line, get the badge issue resolved, and come back through bag check. During my second trip through bag check, I got a security guard who was more thorough than the first. In addition to prodding through my backpack with a wooden dowel, he asked me to take out my laptop case and open the main compartment, so that he could verify that it did in fact contain a laptop. I complied, which convinced security guard number two that I was not in possession of knives, scissors, or similar implements of destruction. From there, on to the conference. Now, I’d like to spend a few minutes looking at what the two security guards missed. First, they missed the knife sheath that was prominently hanging from my belt. Normally, my knife sheath contains a Buck Multi-tool. It’s got screw drivers and pliers, but it’s also … Read more

published under Issues, Main Topic, Security | Comments Off on Security Theater at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center

$2 billion for JOBS, not JAILS!

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There’s a very important event happening this weekend: the Jobs Not Jails rally, which is taking place Saturday, April 26th, 1pm on Boston Common. Join us, and a list of participating organizations, to rally for an end to mass incarceration. The Massachusetts Pirate Party stands for Open Government, Open Innovation, Open Culture, and People First; ending mass incarceration and funding job creation are fundamental People First issues. (Quoting from The Patrick Administration has estimated that, if current criminal justice policies are not changed dramatically, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts will have to spend $2 billion in the next seven years, to build 10,000 new prison units, as well as $150 million more each year to fill them. Massachusetts already has one of the highest rates of incarceration in the world – on par with French Guiana and Kazakhstan. There are so few opportunities, and so many barriers to successful re-entry, that most (>60%) of prisoners released from DYS, county jails, and prison recidivate within 3 years. Meanwhile, we are sliding quickly away from a full-employment economy. Businesses are shedding entry-level and middle-class jobs at an alarming rate, as many functions such as check-out clerk and warehouse operator are automated. Massachusetts has lost 100,000 manufacturing jobs just in the last six years. Other states – including New York, Washington and Texas – have overhauled their criminal justice systems using practices that are proven effective, and so reduced their prison populations that they have closed prisons, saving taxpayers billions of dollars. Massachusetts can do the same, by ending practices that are proven ineffective, and implementing the best of what other states have already proven can work. For example: Ending mandatory minimum drug sentences; Diversion of low-level drug offenders to treatment even before trial; Eliminating counter-productive “collateral sanctions” such as an automatic driver’s license … Read more

published under Issues, Main Topic | Comments Off on $2 billion for JOBS, not JAILS!

Pirates: Discovering the Planet

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Dear Pirates of US; I am a self-funded independent scientist and working as an Asst.Prof (holding a PhD in Informatics under Journalism) near Syrian Border of Turkey, also head of the departments of Journalism and Communication Informatics. I have two projects named as Pirates: Discovering The Planet and Flying Editor and supported by pirates whole over the world. This project was selected by for supporting at PPI Open Space Conference and General Assembly April 2014 and also there is a news on Pirate Times. For now 11 countries (Belgium, Croatia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Tunisia and Turkey) and Pirate Parties International are the supporters of the project by networking and spreading it to find contributors. A brief description of the projects: It’s a scientific book project about realizing, explaining the 21st century that we lived in internet age, you can find the details in the websites and How it works? This book will be created with chapters by authors from anywhere in the world and this chapters/articles will be examined by referees and here my second project Flying Editor’s travels start for the final editorial revisions and approvals for all chapters and I will travel to visit the author and make final approvals and do some interviews. The interviews with authors will be published in . By that editorial round the world travel, there will be some interviews with the representative(s), MP(s) of pirate party that visited countries and add them as a chapter into scientific book project. Thanks for your interest. Best Regards. Dr. Arif YILDIRIM, PhD Assistant Professor and Head Departments of Communication Informatics and Journalism Faculty of Communications Gaziantep University Gaziantep, Turkey

published under Main Topic, Organizing | Comments Off on Pirates: Discovering the Planet

4th Anniversary Party, May 9th

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Friday, May 9th we will celebrate the Massachusetts Pirate Party‘s fourth anniversary. You can register on-line. Noelani Kamelamela and Joseph Guertin, two Pirate Party candidates for State Representative, Captain James O’Keefe, First Officer Lucia Fiero and Quartermaster Steve Revilak will be there.  Joshua Chance Scafidi will MC.  Music will be by Mr. Precision. It will be at the Democracy Center, 45 Mt Auburn St., Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA 02138. The party starts at 7pm with a social hour.  From 8-9pm, we will discuss the Pirate Party’s next four years.  Music and dancing will be from 9pm-11pm. This event is also a fundraiser.  Preregistration is $20 ($10 for students).  Door registration is $40 ($10 for students). You are welcome to give more. We are not bankrolled by wealthy corporations, and we hope you’ll be kind enough to register in advance. Thanks! Image above is DSC06155_DXO by Luke and Kate Bosman used under a Creative Commons By-Nc-Nd 2.0 license.

published under Fun and Games, Main Topic | Comments Off on 4th Anniversary Party, May 9th

Nine more days to get Joe & Noelani on the ballot!

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Joe Guertin and Noelani Kamelamela are running for State Representatives as Pirates. Joe is running for the 8th Worcester district which includes the towns of Bellingham, Blackstone, Millville, and Uxbridge.  Noelani is running for the 27th Middlesex district which contains most of Somerville. Each has to get 150 voters in their districts to sign their nomination papers.  April 29th is the last day for them to gather signatures to get on the ballot. Both are working very hard to get on the ballot, but they can always use more help. If you have time between now and then to help, please contact Lucia Fiero for Joe and James O’Keefe for Noelani.  Both campaigns can certainly use your help once they get on the ballot.

published under Elections, Main Topic | 1 Comment

Cryptoparty, Monday, April 21st

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We will be holding a cryptoparty, this Monday, April 21st.  It is sponsored with the Boston IWW chapter. It will be from 7-9pm and will be at Encuentro 5 which is at 9 Hamilton Pl, Suite 2a, Boston. Encuentro 5 is very close to the Park Street MBTA station, next to the Orpheum theater and across from the Suffolk University law school. We are also helping to organize an all day cryptoparty on May 18th as part of the Together Boston festival.  It is sponsored by General Assembly.

published under Cryptoparty, Main Topic, Privacy | Comments Off on Cryptoparty, Monday, April 21st

TSA FOIA Strikes Out Again

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A few weeks ago, I wrote a short post about my experience making a FOIA request to the TSA. To summarize in a sentence: the TSA’s website lists an address where FOIA requests should be sent; the post office won’t deliver mail to this address. Or more specifically, letters to this address are returned as undeliverable. I used the TSA’s Contact Page to let them know that the post office had returned my FOIA request as undeliverable, and to ask for the correct mailing address. Here’s the response I got (notice that there is an return address; apparently the TSA doesn’t handle their own service inquiries). Date: 28 Mar 2014 15:06:12 -0400 From: Subject: In Response to your inquiry. Thank you for your email message concerning the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Privacy Act (PA) requests can be made by e-mail to or by facsimile at (571) 227-1406. Requests may also be submitted by postal mail. If mailing a request, please prominently mark “FOIA Request” on an envelope addressed to: The Transportation Security Administration Freedom of Information Act Office, TSA-20 11th Floor, East Tower 601 South 12th Street Arlington, VA 22202-4220 FOIA PA requests must: Contain the requestor’s name, address, telephone number, and, if applicable, an e-mail address. Specify whether the request is a FOIA or Privacy Act request. Explain in detail the information about the records being sought. Specify the preferred format the requested information should be provided; if in a format other than paper. State the requestor’s willingness to pay fees and the amount to be paid as advance authorization to process. The FOIA PA office will send an acknowledgement letter within 4-5 business days that the request is received. This letter will contain a … Read more

published under Main Topic, Transparency | 3 Comments

Net Neutrality & Future of Internet Access Panel Discussion on-line

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On March 25th, Somerville Community Access Television (SCATV) organized a panel discussion on the topic of Net Neutrality & Future of Internet Access.  It was hosted at Tufts University and was co-sponsored by Wicked Local Somerville, Arlington Community Media, Inc., Cambridge Community Television, Boston Neighborhood Network, and the Massachusetts Pirate Party. SCATV posted the video which is embedded below. Panelists included: Candace Clement, Advocacy & Organizing Manager, Free Press Daniel Lyons, Assistant Professor, Boston College Law School Cara Lisa Berg Powers, Co-Director, Press Pass TV David Talbot, Chief Correspondent, MIT Technology Review Moderator: Nina Huntemann, Associate Professor, Suffolk University We hope you find it helpful in thinking about why net neutrality is important for a free and open society.

published under Main Topic, Net Neutrality | Comments Off on Net Neutrality & Future of Internet Access Panel Discussion on-line

Cryptoparty at PAX East this Saturday

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We are holding an informal cryptoparty at PAX East this Saturday, April 12th.  PAX East is the largest computer gaming convention on the Eastern seaboard.  72000 people are expected to attend. If you bring your laptop we will show you how to use various applications to communicate in private.  If all you have is your smart phone or tablet, we will help you as best we are able considering some of those devices limit what applications you can use. We will setup in the Level 1 SE Lobby by noon and be there into the afternoon.  This area is on the entrance level and is a common area.  You should not need a registration to access that part of the building.  Here is a map for how to get there: The convention is at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center at 415 Summer St. in South Boston.  You can get there by taking the MBTA Red Line to the Silver Line to the World Trade Center Station.  From there just walk to the Convention Center.  There is ample parking within walking distance of the Convention Center especially along Seaport Boulevard. Also, on Sunday, May 18th from noon to 6pm, we are helping General Assembly and the Together Boston Music Festival put on a cryptoparty.  More details soon.  

published under Cryptoparty, Main Topic, Out And About, Privacy | 1 Comment
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