Archive by month: March 2015

Steve Revilak, our quartermaster, was elected to Arlington town meeting Saturday night. He is the first elected Pirate in Massachusetts. Four town meeting member positions were up for election in his precinct. He tied for second place in the five way race. His success was due, in part, to his door-to-door efforts. Noelani Kamelamela and Kendra Moyer lent a hand. Most every municipality in Massachusetts has an election this year and we are looking for candidates. Contact us if y...
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A friend recently showed me a press release from the House Judiciary Committee, titled "at the flick of a switch". The press release is a little (shall we say) odd, and my first reaction was "wow, somebody hacked the Judiciary Committee's website". After clicking around, I realized that it was an honest to goodness press release. All I can say is ..., well, wow. The kind of wow that generally follows an uncomfortable period of silence and awkward stares. The house majority and our preside...
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One of last year's prominent stories was a Senate subcommittee investigation into allegations of CIA torture. A Guardian article mentioned a document called the Internal Panetta Review. I submitted a public records request for the Internal Panetta Review on March 16th, 2014. March 16, 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 a cop...
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The Massachusetts Pirate Party's next cryptoparty is Sunday March 22nd, from 2pm-4pm at the Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Street, Worcester, MA 01608. The event will take place in the Banx Room. What's a cryptoparty? It's a gathering where people learn about cryptography, and how to keep their digital communications private and secure. It's useful to bring a laptop, so that you can try out the tools we're presenting. (Bringing a laptop isn't a requirement though; it's purely optional). ...
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We have had some interesting discussions on IRC about Boston's bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics.   Some of us point to the lack of transparency of the private bid, the fact that most recent Olympics have been wildly over budget usually at government expense and the resulting increase in police power and loss of freedom of speech.   Others think there may be a silver lining to it if it yields needed infrastructure spending (hello MBTA) and it shouldn't be dismissed out of hand. What...
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The Stingray: Another Fine Product from Harris Corporation During the last few months, we've started to learn more about IMSI catchers, more commonly known as Stingrays. Essentially, a stingray is a device that announces "Hello ... I'm a cell tower"; mobile phones in the area respond with "hello tower, ... I'm a cell phone". This allows law enforcement to (for example) obtain a list of all cell phones in a particular area, or to capture individual conversations. Here's what a Stingray look...
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UPDATE: Sadly, this year's Peace Parade has been cancelled :( This Sunday, the 15th, forty organizations and thousands of marchers are expected to participate in the Saint Patrick's Day Peace Parade in South Boston. We will join them and march for Manning, Snowden, open government and personal privacy. Join us. Bring your banners, signs, and friends! Tell us if you plan to join us. We will assemble at 11am near D Street near Cypher St. in South Boston. The parade starts at noon. We m...
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(Updated (Oct 18th 2015): we have since withdrawn support for the We The People Act.) Dollars are not votes. Last fall, the Massachusetts Pirate Party helped gather signatures for PassMassAmendment. This was an effort to amend the Massachusetts constitution, adding language that (1) Corporations are not People, and (2) Money is not speech. The effort gathered over seventeen thousand signatures; unfortunately, that wasn't enough to trigger the amendment process. Work on this issue cont...
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