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

Monthly archive: July 2014

Today: Tell the House to support the Electronic Privacy Act

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The legislative session ends at midnight tonight, and the Massachusetts House has not yet passed the Electronic Privacy Act (S.2299) giving warrant protection to your digital data. Put in a call today and urge them to pass this bill. The ACLU also has put up a site for you to send them an email.

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CIA: No, you may NOT FOIA our Intranet Home Page

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Have you ever wondered what the average CIA employee sees when the come into work and log into their computer? I was curious about this, so I sent the CIA a FOIA request for a screen shot of the agency’s intranet home page. I’d like to provide a report on the status of my request. The Request My FOIA request to the CIA: May 23, 2014 Information and Privacy Coordinator Central Intelligence Agency Washington, D.C. 20505 Dear Coordinator, Under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. subsection 552, I am requesting the following records: A screenshot of the CIA intranet home page. If there are any fees for searching for, reviewing, or copying the records, please notify me before processing if the amount exceeds $10.00. I am seeking this information for personal use. If you deny all or any part of this request, please cite each specific exemption you think justifies your refusal to release the information and notify me of appeal procedures available under the law. If you have any questions about handling this request, you may telephone me at … Thanks for your time and attention. The acknowledgment The CIA sent a written acknowledgment of my FOIA request on June 25, 2014. My FOIA request has reference number F-2014-01696. The Denial The CIA responded to my FOIA request on July 9, 2014, denying it in full. Here is the CIA’s response: 9 July 2014 Reference: F-2014-01696 Dear Mr. Revilak: This is a final response to your 23 May 2014 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for a screenshot of the CIA intranet home page. We processed your request in accordance with the FOIA, 5 U.S.C. Sec 552, as amended, and the CIA Information Act, 50 U.S.C. Sec 431. as amended. Our processing included a search for records as … Read more

published under Main Topic, Secrecy, Transparency | Comments Off on CIA: No, you may NOT FOIA our Intranet Home Page

Pirate Picnic, August 10th

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On Sunday, August 10th, we will hold the annual Pirate Picnic on Georges Island in Boston Harbor. It is our annual strategy social. It is a potluck and there are grills where we will be. Everyone is welcome to attend. The island is a great place to explore and fun for kids. We will leave on the noon ferry which departs from Long Wharf in Boston near the New England Aquarium. You can purchase tickets on-line. Hope you can make it and please invite your friends to it. Directions: Get off the ferry Take the path on the left around the island in a clockwise fashion Go past the anchor on your left and the white tent on the right. We will be around the group of trees on the left side of the path before the road forks. and a map: View Mass Pirates Places of Interest in a larger map Georges Island image used on the front page is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. Thanks to Haunted North America for making it available.

published under Fun and Games, Main Topic, Organizing | Comments Off on Pirate Picnic, August 10th

A Quick Report from HOPE-X

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Several of us attended HOPE-X (aka, the tenth Hackers on Planet Earth conference) this year. Of course, the main highlights of the conference were interviews with Daniel Ellsberg, and Edward Snowden (including a segment where Ellsberg and Snowden were interviewing each other). Of course, there were plenty of other talks to see. Ladar Levison talked about the National Security Letter that led him to close Lavabit. Nick Merrill talked about fighting a national security letter while serving as president of Calyx Internet Access. (Ladar is currently working on a project called Dark Mail and Nick’s latest project is the Calyx Institute — both are worth checking out.) There was a talk dedicated to making musical instruments out of scrap computer parts, and another dedicated to art as a vehicle for commenting on mass surveillance (see Surveillance Camera Man, and the Surveillance Camera Players’ production of 1984). Kevin Gallagher spoke about his work with the Free Barret Brown campaign, and folks from #nycmeshnet told us how they set up a mesh network in New York City. People learned to solder, and took Amateur radio exams. A panel demonstrated social engineering by making calls to the National Security Agency. Folks played games on an Atari 2600 and tinkered with old Apple computers provided by Mid-Atlantic Retro Computing Hobbyists. And that’s HOPE in a nutshell: a collection of hackers, makers, and activists getting together to teach, learn, share, and have fun. A great place to be if you’re a Pirate.

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US Marshals Seizure of Sarasota PD Stingray Documents

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May 27th was a rather unusual day. Or to put it more bluntly, May 27th kind of sucked. In the days beforehand, the ACLU had made a public records request to the Sarasota, FL police department, regarding their use of Stingray devices in law enforcement operations. Specifically, the ACLU asked for “any records made or received by [the Sarasota Police Department] related to the use of cell phone tracking equipment, including but not limited to, any device known as stingray or stingray II.” Source: Ars Technica Sarasota PD Detective Michael Jackson was the keeper of these records, and he scheduled an appointment for the ACLU to review them. The appointment was set for 2:30pm on the afternoon of May 27th. A few hours before 2:30pm, the US Marshals office deputized Detective Jackson, claimed that records in question were federal property, and seized them from the Sarasota Police Department. According to Boing Boing US Marshals swept into the offices of police in Sarasota, Florida to whisk away records related to operation of “stingray” surveillance tools that the ACLU had requested. The records detailed the farcically low standard for judicial permission to use a stingray (which captures information about the movements, communications and identities of all the people using mobile phones in range of them), and is part of a wider inquiry to their use without a warrant at all — at least 200 Florida stingray deployments were undertaken without judicial oversight because the police had signed a nondisclosure agreement with the device’s manufacturer and they decided that this meant they didn’t have to get warrants anymore. Source: Boing boing This is a disturbing chain of events on at least two levels. First, the US Marshals office seized documents from a local police department, in an effort to prevent the ACLU from … Read more

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Further information

Pirate Organizers Wanted

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:

  1. Go to https://webchat.pirateirc.net/
  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 http://pirateirc.net/servers.

Contact us

email: info@masspirates.org
call / txt: (617) 863-6277 (MAPP)

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