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

Monthly archive: May 2015

TODAY: Phonebank for #Sunset215

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Restore the 4th is organizing a phone bank to call people to urge their Senators to support sunseting Section 215. They are meeting at 3:30pm at the Starbucks on 755 Boylston St, Boston. This Starbucks is between the Lenox and Mandarin Hotels and across from Lord & Taylor.  Ask for Chris Buell.  Here is a map to find it. The Senate goes into session at 4pm. If you haven’t called Senators Warren or Markey, please do so now.

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Tell your Senator to #Sunset215 Today!

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After the Senate rejected two Patriot Act Section 215 renewals, it will return today at 4pm to consider how to renew these provisions. Six months ago very few thought that Section 215 could expire tonight, but through your effort we are very close to ending it. Now is the time to remind Senators Warren and Markey to let these portions of the Patriot Act expire.  Call them before 4pm at: Senator Elizabeth Warren – Facebook / @SenWarren / (202) 224-4543 / (617) 565-3170 & (413) 788-2690 Senator Ed Markey – Facebook / @MarkeyMemo / (202) 224-2742 / (617) 565-8519 Senators Warren and Markey both voted against a straight renewal.  However, they voted for the House approved USA Freedom Act, which would: expand what meta data may be collected from phone calls to other communications technologies; ensure that all data is shared with the NSA, CIA and FBI.  Based on what we know already, the data wouldn’t stop there.  While the CIA and NSA would need to report the number of back door searches they carry out, the FBI would be exempt. Expect the FBI to be the conduit to other agencies such as the DEA and ATF; allow the government to launder data from its mass surveillance program for use in criminal cases; extends the maximum sentence for someone convicted of material support for terrorism from 15 to 20 years.  Due to past court rulings, speech qualifies as material support. With your help part of the Patriot Act will end today!

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TODAY: Pirates speaking at Left Forum

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Today, Pirates from the Massachusetts and New York Pirate Parties will be speaking at Left Forum at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice of the City University of New York. The panel is The Pirate Party: Navigating the Seas of Surveillance.  It will be from 3:40 – 5:40pm in room 1.119. Speaking will be Lindsay-Anne Brunner, US Pirate Party First Officer, James O’Keefe, MAPP Captain, and Steve Revilak, MAPP Quartermaster. Halley Murray, MAPP PR/Media Director, will moderate.  

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Jan 2014: a Month in MBTA Surveillance Video Requests

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If you’ve a regular rider of the MBTA, you’ve undoubtedly noticed a proliferation of surveillance cameras during the last few years. Maybe you’ve watched yourself in the video monitors over the northbound E-Line platform at Park Street. Maybe you’ve played “count the surveillance cameras” while walking through Downtown Crossing. Maybe you’ve stood on the railing and went eyeball to eyeball with the camera on the stairs leading to the Porter Square commuter rail platform. Or, maybe you just politely wave as you walk by. Last spring, I requested a copy of the MBTA’s polices for the use of surveillance camera footage. According to the MBTA/MassDOT, video footage is (generally) kept for 30 days, and (generally) stored in the MassDOT’s two data centers. Access is granted on a strict need to know basis, and all requests not relating to criminal activity are logged and archived for later reference. I was interested in seeing what kinds of not-related-to-criminal-activity requests were being made, and I asked MassDOT for a months worth of request forms (those filed in January 2014). There’s nothing terribly special about that month. I made the initial request in 2014, and January is the first month of the year. Here’s the general timeline for how my request was processed: 11/29/2014. I submitted a public records request to MassDOT, asking for copies of Video Access Request Forms submitted during Jan 2014. 12/6/2014. I received MassDOT’s acknowledgment of my public records request. MassDOT has assigned this case #14-0785. 1/15/2015. I received a letter from an MBTA attorney, informing me that the fee for processing my request would be $81.40. 1/17/2015. I sent the MBTA a check for $81.40, to cover processing fees. 2/24/2015. MassDOT sent the responsive documents. In my experience, a three-month turnaround time isn’t too bad. However, the fees are … Read more

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Senate blocks Section 215 renewal

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The Senate rejected two Patriot Act Section 215 renewals.  Both failed to reach the 60 votes needed for cloture.  The first was the USA Freedom Act, which failed 57 to 42.  Senators Warren and Markey both voted for it.  The second was a straight renewal of the expiring sections of the Patriot Act, which failed 54 to 45.  Senators Warren and Markey both voted against it. Thanks to everyone who stood out or called Warren and Markey.  Six months ago it did not look like were close to having one leg of the government’s mass surveillance program expire.  Because of your efforts that goal is in sight! The Senate is no longer in session, but they may come back on the 31st to try to pass a temporary renewal.  Please call Senators Warren and Markey this week to thank them for opposing a straight Section 215 renewal and chastise them for voting for the USA Freedom Act.  If you setup a meeting with either Senators or their staff, tell us about it and we will help publicize it. Senator Elizabeth Warren – Facebook / @SenWarren / (202) 224-4543 / (617) 565-3170 & (413) 788-2690 Senator Ed Markey – Facebook / @MarkeyMemo / (202) 224-2742 / (617) 565-8519 If the Senate passes a temporary renewal, the House will have to approve it. Now is the time to contact your Congressperson and tell them you want to Section 215 to expire. this is most important with Keating, Kennedy, Lynch, Moulton, and Tsongas since they all voted for the USA Freedom Act.  To find out who represents you in the House of Representatives, please visit Where Do I Vote MA and enter your address. 1st CD Representative Richard Neal – Facebook / @RepRichardNeal / (202) 225-5601 / (413) 785-0325 2nd CD Representative James McGovern – Facebook / @RepMcGovern / (202) 225-6101 / (508) 831-7356 3rd … Read more

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Saturday, March Against Monsanto

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We will again participate in the March Against Monsanto this Saturday, May 23rd. We will be there because of Monsanto’s excessive control over our food supply and seeds, their support for gene patents, and the tactics they have used against farmers. We will assemble at 12:30pm in front of the State House at 24 Beacon St, Boston.  The State House is just up Beacon Hill from the Park St. MBTA station. The march is from 1-2pm with a rally from 2-4pm at Copley Sq., Boston.  We want you to join us.

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Time to #SunsetThePatriotAct, Call Senators Warren & Markey

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Thanks to everyone who attended the vigil in front of the Federal Office building in Boston last night!  Boston, Springfield and forty eight other cities showed their support for ending Section 215 of the Patriot act and halting the NSA’s efforts to log who you call, when, for how long and from where. Thanks also to Fight for the Future, Restore the 4th and the many other groups who supported this effort. Six months ago very few thought that Section 215 could expire, but through your effort we are very close to ending it. The Senate will likely vote on either renewing these sections of the Patriot Act or the just as awful USA Freedom Act. We cannot rest. Please call Senators Warren and Markey and urge them to oppose the USA Freedom Act and any attempts to renew Section 215 of the Patriot Act.  It is time to end Section 215! Senator Elizabeth Warren – Facebook / @SenWarren / (202) 224-4543 / (617) 565-3170 & (413) 788-2690 Senator Ed Markey – Facebook / @MarkeyMemo / (202) 224-2742 / (617) 565-8519

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Thursday EMERGENCY Mass. Sunset Vigils to Sunset the PATRIOT Act

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WHAT: Mass vigil at sunset against mass surveillance – happening in 50 cities across the U.S. WHEN: Thursday, May 21st as the sun is setting (aka 7pm) WHERE: Boston – Gather outside Senator Elizabeth Warren’s office at 2400 JFK Federal Building, 15 New Sudbury Street, Boston, MA 02203. Springfield – Gather outside Senator Ed Markey’s office at 1550 Main Street, 4th Floor Springfield, MA 01101. BRING: A cell phone, laptop, tablet, and candles with the protestsign.org already pre-loaded. Make a big sunset sign and write “Sunset the Patriot Act”. WHY WE NEED YOU: This is the week when we have a chance to sunset the PATRIOT Act! The PATRIOT Act could end this week if Congress fails to reauthorize it by this Friday ahead of its June 1st expiration. So, on Thursday May 21st, people are organizing a mass vigil in 50 cities across the U.S. to demand their Senators let the Patriot Act expire. And we’ve set it up so its super easy to get involved: Gather as the sun is setting Load protestsign.org on your phone, tablet or laptop Take a picture of your group with signs outside of Senator Warren or Markey’s office. Call your senator to tell them you’re there to encourage them to sunset the Patriot Act, just dial: 1 (920) END-4-215 Post your pictures to the Sunset Vigil Boston Facebook page, Sunset Vigil Springfield Facebook page and on Twitter with the hash tags #sunsetpatriotact #sunsetvigil and @SenWarren and @MarkeyMemo. You can also sign the online letter at http://sunsetthepatriotact.com/. This vigil is being organized by your friends at the Demand Progress, Restore the Fourth, CREDO, MoveOn.org, Free Press, Fight for the Future and the Massachusetts Pirate Party.

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Somerville Cryptoparty this Thursday

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Halley Murray, our new PR/Media Director, has been running cryptoparties at Parts & Crafts in Somerville for the last two months. She will run another on Thursday, May 21st from 6-9pm. Parts & Crafts is at 577 Somerville Ave, Somerville. The closest MBTA is the 87 Bus, or a walk from Porter Sq/Red Line. Unfortunately the space is not wheelchair accessible this evening, due to other events in the building. They will be meeting downstairs in the basement. Parts and Crafts is a makerspace and community workshop in Somerville. On this night, the usually kid-filled space is inviting grown-ups to come participate here.  All grown-ups who use the space should keep this in mind and respect the kid-friendly environment. If you want to prepare before coming, you can find some encryption how-to guides here: https://www.cryptopartyatx.org/?page=1&os=win&js=auto-yes You can find more about it at cryptoparty.in.

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March with us at the Boston Pride Parade, June 13th

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On Saturday, June 13th, we will march in the Boston LBGT Pride Parade.  This is our fourth year marching in it. We want you to join us so our contingent is the largest we can make it.  Sixteen pirates marched last year, and we want to at least double that number. The parade starts at noon, though we never start marching at that time, and it should end around 3pm.  Be sure to wear good walking shoes. Register early and invite your family and friends.

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Further information

Surveillance Camera Mapping Picnic, 8/26

Surveillance Camera Mapping Picnic, Saturday, 8/26

Help Build the Pirate Party

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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