Archive by month: November 2014

We scheduled two in-person planning meetings for the rest of the year. Hope you can join us. The first meeting will be Sunday, December 7th starting at 1pm. It will be at encuentro 5 (e5) near the Park St. MBTA station in Boston. The address is 9 Hamilton Place, Suite 2A, Boston, MA 02108. Little to no off street parking is available, but parking garages are near by. This meeting will be our election year review. The second meeting will be Saturday, December 13th starting at 3pm. It w...
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We decided to have two in-person meetings before the end of the year. One will be in the Boston area. The other will be in the Worcester area. The first one will be be an election year review. The second will focus on the 2015 budget and fundraising. PirateCon 2015 may be on the agenda as well. Both will discuss how we can open up decision making/participation to more people, our issue development process and include an tutorial on how to use our CiviCRM tool ( P...
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The watered down USA Freedom Act did not clear the Senate yesterday, though Senators Warren and Markey voted for its cloture motion. Back in May, Representatives, Kennedy, Lynch, and Tsongas voted for the even worse House version. We appreciate the effort that the EFF, ACLU and other civil liberties organizations put into getting this bill passed. Unfortunately, the likely final bill would have made mass surveillance more acceptable and wouldn't have done enough to end it. The Republican h...
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The original USA Freedom Act had some merit.  Then the House watered it down.  Now the Senate is considering voting on a less watered down version.  Either way, it isn't enough. The USA Freedom Act would give providers immunity, wouldn't stop bulk collection of data and will extend Section 215 and other major provisions of the PATRIOT Act for another two years.  What little transparency and oversight it requires just not strong enough. Now we hear that the felony streaming part of the SOPA b...
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Is open & accountable government important to you? Is the increasing militarization of police the 10th step too far? Tired of the same people in office election after election? Local government not meeting your needs? Be a Pirate candidate! Hundreds of municipal offices are up for a vote this year. Mayor, city council, select board, and school committee are just a taste of what voters will choose this year.  They oversee taxes, local government spending, contracts with ISPs & cable...
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We have an opportunity as Pirates to bring our own point of view and make a program about net neutrality at SCATV, to air on Monday, December 15th 6-6:30pm.  We'd love to hear from you (Pirates and non-Pirates alike) at, send us footage, and articles that you think would be good to show on a half-hour program in a few weeks.  Below are some ideas that Pirates have been expounding on in Massachusetts.  In theory, the show might be taped and aired before the FCC announces any...
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We skipped PirateCon in 2014 to focus on our candidates, but we are planning one for 2015. We need your feedback to make it even better than PirateCon 2013. We created a questionaire to get your feedback. Please submit your response by end of day on Monday, December 1st (midnight). If you aren't sure what happens at a PirateCon, take a look at the videos from our 2013 & 2012 conferences. Is there a survey question you feel we missed? Suggest it in the comments below and we will work ...
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In August 2014, the Intercept published a story about ICREACH, a distributed query system developed by the NSA, and used by the FBI, CIA, DIA (defense intelligence agency), and DEA (drug enforcement agency). According to the article, ICREACH houses and provides access to over 850 billion metadata records. Of course, one of my first reactions was "gosh, this would make a great FOIA request", and I proceeded to write to every agency named in the Intercept article. Not every agency has gotten ...
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On Nov 5th, the Eagle-Tribune published an article titled Minimal showing earns Falchuck's party a spot on future ballots which prompted me to write a letter to their editor. The Eagle-Tribute never published my letter, so I'm posting it here instead. Hello Eagle-Tribune, I recently read the article "Minimal showing earns Falchuck's party a spot on future ballots" from the Nov. 5th edition of the Eagle-Tribune, and was very puzzled by Sec. Galvin's remarks. Secretary Galvin states "The ...
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After Obama came out for net neutrality as a result of our protests last Thursday, we are working to keep the pressure on the FCC.  There will be protest parties for Internet freedom nationwide. In Boston, Fight for the Future is organizing with the "Break the Chains" dance party. Gather outside the event at 6:30pm and we'll grab a photo op with the dance party participants in support of net neutrality. WHAT: Protest for net neutrality! No compromise! No delay! WHERE: Outside "Break...
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