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

Monthly archive: January 2015

Two Cryptoparties Coming up in February

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We’re planning not one, but two cryptoparties in February. Our first one will be held on Wed. Feb. 4th, 6:30 – 8:30pm, in conjunction with the Boston Desktop Linux Users Group. Steve Revilak and Al Willis will talk about packet sniffing and securing email (via PGP). This event is being held at Akamai’s facilities, 8 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA. On Saturday, Feb 14th, we’re holding our first cryptoparty in Western Massachusetts, and we’re really excited about it! This event will held at the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center, 100 Bigelow St. Holyoke, MA 01040, from 11am – 3pm. We’ll be in the multi-purpose public meeting space, on the first floor of the facility. Planned topics include PGP, Off the Record Messaging (aka “OTR”), and Tor. After the Feb 14th cryptoparty, we’ll head over to City Pizza (420 High street, Holyoke MA 01040) to grab a bite to eat, hang out, and meet folks. Think of it as a pirate social. If you’d like to join us, please RSVP, so we can give the restaurant a head count. As always, people are encouraged to bring laptops to our cryptoparties. That gives you the opportunity to test out the software we’re demonstrating, and if you get stuck, we can help you get it working. Hope to see you in February! Presentation slides Packet Sniffing (Feb 4th)

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Planning Meeting Saturday, 1/24

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We will have a planning meeting this Saturday, 1/24 at the Worcester Public Library. It will be in the Banx Room, which is near the entrance, and starts at 3:30pm. It will end at 5:30pm. We will review last year, including our campaigns, and brainstorm ideas for the rest of this year. The Worcester Public Library is located at 3 Salem Street, Worcester. There is a parking lot near by and buses are available. If you won’t be able to make it, please suggest any brainstorming ideas or agenda topics in the comments below.  Thanks!

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MLK Day 4 Mile March Today

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We will be marching in the 4 Mile March today. The mission of the 4 Mile March is two-fold: to bring awareness to America’s epidemic of racial profiling and police brutality, and to honor all those who have been injured or died as a result of police violence. We will meet at the site of the Boston Massacre at 1pm (Old State House, right near State St Station in Boston). The march route will be: Start at Old State House. Walk down Court St toward Tremont St. Left onto Tremont St. Right onto Boylston St. Right onto Charles St. Left onto Beacon St. Left onto Arlington St. Left onto Boylston St. Left onto Charles St. Right onto Beacon St. Go down stairs in front of State House. To find us, just look for the Pirate Party banner.  Hope you can make it!

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Welcome First Officer Noelani!

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We elected Noelani Kamelamela as our First Officer at last Thursday’s IRC Meeting.  You can reach her at1stofficer@masspirates.org. We have additional open positions. If you are interested in throwing your hat in for any of them, please tell us.

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Slides from Saturday’s Cryptoparty

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Here are the slides from last Saturday’s cryptoparty at the Somerville Public Library: Securing your Email with GnuPG Using Tor to Surf Anonymously Also, the Free Software Foundation‘s Email Self-Defense is a helpful tutorial to using GnuPG with your Email client.  It is available for Linux, MacOS & Windows.  This OpenPGP Best Practices document is also helpful. With Tor, be sure to never login to servers with an account that was created outside of Tor, it will reveal who you are if only for that session on Tor. A big thanks to the Somerville Public Library for hosting this cryptoparty as well as Kevin O’Kelly, Steve Revilak, Noelani Kamelamela and James O’Keefe for making it possible. If you missed this cryptoparty, we have three more coming up: On Saturday, Jan. 17th, 4-5:15pm, Captain James will show convention participants how to use GPG to secure your email at Arisia, New England’s largest science fiction and fantasy convention. It will be in the Independence room at the Westin Waterfront Hotel in Boston. The only cost is admission to the convention. On Wednesday, Feb. 4th, Quartermaster Steve and Al Willis will demonstrate packet sniffing and PGP at the Boston Desktop Linux Users Group. Finally, on Saturday, Feb. 14th, 11am-3pm, we will hold our first Cryptoparty in Western Massachusetts. It will be at the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center, 100 Bigelow Street, Holyoke, MA. The snow date is Feb 21st. After the Western Massachusetts cryptoparty, we will go to a restaurant and talk about building the Pirate Party in Western Massachusetts. If you have any suggestions for places to eat, please add them in the comments.

published under Main Topic, Out And About, Privacy | Comments Off on Slides from Saturday’s Cryptoparty

CISPA is Back

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The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) bill is back. We were able to kill it in 2012, but the recent Sony hack has given it new life.  You can be sure that we will work hard to kill it this go around. The Pirate Times recently published the bill’s text. They explain why we need to stop it: Under CISPA 2015 (HR 234), the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Attorney General, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Secretary of Defense would create the cyber threat information sharing program and also provide oversight for the program’s civil liberties protections. This is akin to allowing the foxes to guard the hen house. CISPA 2015 also mandates privacy and civil liberties reports, but allows government agencies to classify the annexes to the reports. In other words, CISPA 2015 does not intend to have any real oversight for civil liberties and privacy. Cyber threat information shared with the government would also be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act and would be a serious blow to transparency in government. Perhaps the worst thing about the CISPA 2015 bill is that it would give immunity from criminal prosecution and lawsuits to anyone sharing cyber threat information with the government. CISPA 2015 would provide for an even cozier relationship between Silicon Valley and the US government at the detriment of civil liberties and privacy for everyone else. Now would be a good time to contact our US Senators and your House Representative and tell them to oppose CISPA.  We have their contact info for you to use. You can also follow the bill’s status.  

published under Main Topic, Privacy | Comments Off on CISPA is Back

Aaron Swartz Vigil Today, 4pm

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We endorsed and will be at the Aaron Swartz Vigil today.  It starts at 4pm and will be at Dewey Square in downtown Boston.  South Station on the Red Line is the closest MBTA stop.  Dewey Square is across the street from the tall silver Federal Reserve building. Aaron was an activist dedicated to the Internet, freedom and transparency.  Hounded by the government and living with depression, he committed suicide. He died far too young with so much left to accomplish. We urge you to join us.

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What’s in Your DEA FOIA File?

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A couple of months ago, I filed a FOIA request with the DEA, for their user manuals and training materials, relating to the NSA’s ICREACH query system. DEA conducted a search, and concluded that the agency possessed no responsive documents. Afterwards, I did what any good FOIA requester would do — I filed a FOIA request for the administrative records generated by my previous FOIA request. (Yes, one can do such a thing, and its a fairly common practice.) November 8, 2014 Freedom of Information & Privacy Act Unit Drug Enforcement Administration 8701 Morrissette Drive Springfield, VA 22152 Dear FOIA Officer: Under the Freedom of Information Act, I am requesting a copy of the following records: Administrative records generated during the processing of FOIA request 14-00701-F. 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 making this request for personal, non-commercial 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 possible, I would prefer to receive responsive documents in electronic form, as .pdf files emailed to steve@…. Thanks for your time and attention. DEA responded with a 20-page dossier on the handling of FOIA request 14-00701-F. I was surprised to see the process documented in such detail, and I think it says a few things about DEA as an organization. First, DEA’s record keeping is impeccable, right down to scanning the envelope that contained my original FOIA request. Second, DEA seems to take FOIA requests very seriously. For example, each divisional search that DEA tasked was accompanied by a cover page. The cover page stated “The FOI/PA … Read more

published under Main Topic, Transparency | Comments Off on What’s in Your DEA FOIA File?

Join the Pirate Council!

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I am sorry to announce that Lucia Fiero and Kendra Moyer have decided to step down from their positions as First Officer and Arbitrator respectively. I appreciate all of the help they have given to make the Pirate Party run and grow. I know we would not be where we are without their help, effort and wisdom. We haven’t had an election for our Pirate Council in a while, so we will hold elections for them at Pirate Con 2015 in the Spring. If you are interested in throwing your hat in for any of these positions, please tell us. Personally, I hope there are multiple candidates for all positions, including Captain. In the meantime, Noelani Kamelamela has offered to serve as First Officer at least until the election at Pirate Con. Lucia has been our longest serving First Officer, and Noe will have some very big boots to fill, but I am sure she will do well. The election will be at the Thursday, Jan. 8th IRC meeting. If you would like to serve in any of the open positions until Pirate Con, please sign up. Here’s to a fantastic 2015! Captain James O’Keefe

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Aaron Swartz Vigil, Monday, Jan. 12th

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We voted to endorse the Aaron Swartz Vigil on Monday, January 12th. Aaron was an activist dedicated to the Internet, freedom and transparency.  Hounded by the government and living with depression, he committed suicide. He died far too young with so much left to accomplish. We will be there and urge you to join us.  It starts at 4pm.

published under Freedom of Speech, Main Topic, Out And About | 1 Comment
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