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

Monthly archive: February 2015

The Pirate Council Needs You!

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We announced that we are looking for people to be on the Pirate Council and that we will hold elections for the Pirate Council at Pirate Con over a month ago.  Since then we made a few changes to its composition. Previously the Pirate Council was composed of a Captain, Quartermaster, 1st Officer and several members without specific responsibilities. Now, it is composed of a Captain, Quartermaster, 1st Officer as well as a PR/Media Director, Activism Director, Swarmcare Director and a Web/Info Director.  Additionally, we will be voting on our Arbitrator and our representative the the United States Pirate Party.  You can find out more about the Pirate Council or the Council of Arbitrators at our wiki. If you are interested in throwing your hat in for any of these positions, please tell us.

published under Main Topic, Organizing | Comments Off on The Pirate Council Needs You!

3-2 for Net Neutrality, and this is a Good Thing

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With yesterday’s FCC ruling, broadband providers are now classified as Title II common carriers. This is a Good Thing. To understand the importance of this ruling, it’s helpful to look at another industry that was affected by common carriage laws, and compare the situation then with the situation now. I’m talking about the US rail industry in the 1800’s. At that point in time, there were two ways of moving people and goods around: by boat and by train. Trains were the new-fangled technology of the time, and they provided efficient transit to places without navigable waterways. In short, if there wasn’t an ocean or large river nearby, you needed a train to move things around. This put the railway companies in a good position. Many places were served by a single rail operator, and that operator was free to charge whatever it wanted. Many could not resist the temptation of doing so. If a rail operator had a grudge against company A, then they could charge company A a higher rate. If company B had a high profit margin on a specific type of freight, the rail operator could charge more to ship that particular type of freight. This was price gouging at it’s finest, if you happen to be into that sort of thing. Common carrier laws leveled the playing field. A ton of freight became a ton of freight, and everyone paid according to a common pricing structure. In other words, these laws served the interest of the general public. Today’s new-fangled technology is the internet, and broadband carriers play a similar role to the railroads of the 1800’s; the internet is what moves `goods’ from companies to consumers. Common carrier rules level the playing field — they prevent carrier discrimination, so that a megabyte of data … Read more

published under Main Topic, Net Neutrality | Comments Off on 3-2 for Net Neutrality, and this is a Good Thing

Steve Revilak runs for Arlington Town Meeting

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Steve Revilak, long time activist as well as our quartermaster and champion FOIA submitter, will be running for Arlington town meeting on March 28th. He handed in his signatures at the beginning of February with plenty of time for the February 7th deadline. Four town meeting member positions are up for election in his precinct. At last count, he was one of four running and his chances of being the first Pirate elected in Massachusetts if not the US are pretty good. Most every municipality in Massachusetts has an election this year and we are looking for candidates. Contact us if you are interested. Good luck, Steve! May the wind be at your back.

published under Elections, Main Topic | 1 Comment

Net Neutrality and Community Broadband Pass at FCC

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We are very pleased that the FCC voted today to approve Net Neutrality and Community Broadband.   It was only due to the work of thousands of activists and millions of citizens like you.  While we are savoring this moment, we know a new administration could undo these important changes.  We will remain vigilant. The United States Pirate Party’s press release is below. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE USPP applauds FCC rules on Net Neutrality and Community Broadband The United States Pirate Party is overjoyed that both Net Neutrality and Community Broadband measures passed the FCC today. The Net Neutrality proposal comes from almost 8 years of wrangling with the FCC, starting from research in 2007 that showed Comcast to be interfering with people attempting to use the BitTorrent protocol, regardless of content. This research, conducted by US Pirate Party Chairman Andrew Norton for the news site TorrentFreak was later verified by both the Assosciated Press, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. These provisions make for a stronger step forward for citizens of the US,” states Norton. “Despite the plethora of lies and misrepresentations by the major players in the Internet Service Provider (ISP) industry, the FCC has today ruled to take away their ability to fleece consumers and line their pockets at the public trough without consequence.” The votes strengthen not just protections for consumers, but their ability to build their own community networks where they feel unserved, an activity pre-emptively banned by state laws, prompted by anti-competitive suggestions by incumbent ISPs. “With these two votes, the FCC has ensured that monopoly ISPs will not stifle competiton or prevent small businesses and new startups from accessing the Internet on the same terms as the previously-established companies,” stated Vice-Chair Lindsay-Anne Brunner. ### About the United States Pirate Party The United States Pirate Party is … Read more

published under Main Topic, Net Neutrality | Comments Off on Net Neutrality and Community Broadband Pass at FCC

Will Fleurant on Meshnets – March 4th

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On Wed. March 4th, Pirate Will Fleurant will give a presentation on Meshnets to the Boston Desktop Linux Users Group. This event will take place at Akamai’s Office, 8 Cambridge Center, Cambridge MA. You’ll find more event details here: What’s a meshnet? It’s a form of wireless networking where traffic flows from peer to peer, rather than through a central network provider. It’s pretty neat stuff. See for more details.

published under Main Topic, Net Neutrality | Comments Off on Will Fleurant on Meshnets – March 4th

Last day to remind the FCC you want Net Neutrality!

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The FCC will finally vote on Net Neutrality Thursday. It looks like they will vote to treat ISPs as common carriers just like the phone companies, but it won’t hurt to remind them that you support Net Neutrality: Chairman Tom Wheeler: Commissioner Mignon Clyburn: Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel: Commissioner Ajit Pai: Commissioner Michael O’Rielly: Mike.O’

published under Main Topic, Net Neutrality | Comments Off on Last day to remind the FCC you want Net Neutrality!

March Cryptoparty in Worcester

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The March cryptoparty will be in Worcester on Sunday, March 22nd. It starts at 2pm in the Banx room of the Worcester Public Library at 3 Salem Street, Worcester, MA 01608.  It ends at 4pm.  Parking is available outside the library. We are working on a cryptoparty for May in the Cambridge/Boston area.  

published under Cryptoparty, Main Topic, Privacy | Comments Off on March Cryptoparty in Worcester

March with us at the Boston Peace Parade

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On Sunday, March 15th, we will march in the Boston Peace Parade for the second year. We will assemble at 11am near D Street and West Broadway in South Boston. The parade starts at noon. Signup up if you plan to join us.

published under Main Topic, Out And About | Comments Off on March with us at the Boston Peace Parade

PirateCon 2015 will be Sat., April 25th

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We set Saturday, April 25th as the date for PirateCon 2015.  It will be at the Community Church of Boston at 565 Boylston Street #2, Boston, MA 02116. It will be all day and we plan to end at 6pm and go out for dinner afterwards. Cost is $10 and we will hold elections for the Pirate Council. Based on the feedback we received, our current line up of talks/panels (in no particular order) is: Using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Rethinking the City Net neutrality Income inequality Pirate Strategy Building 3rd party coalitions Running campaigns and time for Lightning talks We need help organizing the conference including finding panelists, setting up a robust network and live stream of the conference, and, of course, publicizing it.  Drop us an email at if you can help.

published under Fun and Games, Issues, Main Topic, Net Neutrality, Organizing, Out And About | Comments Off on PirateCon 2015 will be Sat., April 25th

Holyoke Cryptoparty This Saturday

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On Saturday, Feb 14th, we’re holding our first cryptoparty in Western Massachusetts, and we’re really excited about it! It will be 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. If you want, there is a Facebook event you can share. Afterwards, 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. Slides: GnuPG Tor

published under Cryptoparty, Main Topic, Privacy | 1 Comment

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