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

Monthly archive: April 2014

Thursday – Shut Down The Spy Centers

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As part of a National Day of Action,  Digital Fourth, #MassOps, and the Defend the Fourth Coalition are holding a protest this Thursday to Shut Down Spy Centers across the country.  It starts at 2 and will be near the Boston Fusion Center, SW Corridor Park, 1201 Tremont Street, Roxbury, MA. As we have in the past, we fully endorse this event. As Digital Fourth noted: The New York Times revealed last week that the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) now has access to all data, not minimized for privacy in any way, that was authorized for collection via the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA. That includes the phone metadata dragnet on all US calls, and much else besides. The NCTC shares that data with all of the local (80+) fusion centers around the US.  Massachusetts has two of them.  The closest is at the Boston Police Department. The upshot is that all of the information that the NSA is unconstitutionally collecting on you: your emails, phone metadata, search history, Facebook posts and messages, and more are being shared with local law enforcement.  Feel safe now? Speakers include Nadeem Mazen and Chris Faraone. It would be great if you could circulate the information to your friends and colleagues. The EFF has a great new FAQ on the spy center issue. It will be fun, and we hope you will attend.

published under Civil Liberties, Main Topic, Privacy | Comments Off on Thursday – Shut Down The Spy Centers

Smile for the Camera: MBTA Policies on Surveillance Video

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According to Lt. Brooks of the Massachusetts State Police, there are over 1,800 surveillance cameras in Logan Airport. A few weeks ago, I stood in the office of Extraspace Storage on Somerville Ave and watched their surveillance display; a piece of software drew red boxes around the subject’s faces, and followed them around as they moved. Dining at Brownstone in the south end, I noticed a camera on the wall, peering over my friend’s shoulder. Surveillance cameras are now pervasive in both government and industry. In effect, we are becoming Great Britain Today I want to focus on the surveillance cameras used by the MBTA. A typical MBTA bus has two or three cameras on board; at Downtown crossing, you’ll see cameras lined up on the wall, facing in different directions; as you walk down the stairs to the Porter Square commuter rail, the camera is literally right in your face. And there’s my favorite spot of all: the Green Line platform at Park Street, where you can wave to the camera and see yourself on TV. It’s clear that the MBTA does an extensive amount of video recording, but where does all of their surveillance footage go? To find out, I submitted a public records request for the MBTA’s policies concerning retention of, and access to, surveillance video footage. MBTA Attn: Keeper of Records 10 Park Plaza, Suite 3910 Boston, MA 02116 Re: Massachusetts public records request Dear MBTA, This is a request under the Massachusetts Public Records Law (M. G. L. Chapter 66, Section 10). I am requesting that I be provided a copy of the following records: A copy of MBTA policies covering video surveillance footage recorded in MBTA buses, MBTA subway stations, and MBTA commuter rail stations. Ideally, I would like copies of policy documents that … Read more

published under Main Topic, Privacy, Security | 2 Comments
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