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

Monthly archive: October 2015

TSA: Watch List? Huh, what watch list?

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I’m long overdue for a FOIA post, this one in particular. It was a FOIA/PA request to the TSA, who responded in a mere 13 months. I thought this was extraordinarily slow at the time, but perhaps not — this evening, I wrote to half a dozen agencies where I have outstanding FOIA requests, several of which have gone for more than a year without activity. Patience is indeed a virtue, especially for the casual FOIA requester. I wrote to the TSA because I wanted to know whether my name appeared on any of their no-fly or watch lists. In my mind, this sort of thing should fall squarely under the umbrella of the Privacy Act of 1974. TSA, however, sees things differently. Here’s the request: March 3rd, 2014 Transportation Security Administration, TSA-20, East Tower FOIA Division 601 South 12th Street Arlington, VA 20598-6020 Dear TSA FOIA Division, This is a privacy act request, submitted according to your guidelines at http://www.tsa.gov/research-center/submitting-privacy-act-requests. I am seeking the following records: A list of TSA watch or no-fly lists that my name appears on, if any. If my name does appear on a TSA watch or no-fly list, then I am also seeking the following information: The name, description, and purpose of the watch list The date my name was added to the watch list The reason my name was added to the watch list I am willing to pay processing fees associated with this request, but please inform me if these processing fees will exceed $25.00 (twenty-five dollars). I am happy to accept responses either in paper or electronic form (pdf documents are fine). Thanks for your time and attention. The chain of correspondence went like this. 3/3/2014. I send my original FOIA request to the TSA, using the FOIA address found on … Read more

published under Main Topic, Security | Comments Off on TSA: Watch List? Huh, what watch list?

Full video of The Remote-Controlled Society available

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Cory Doctorow (science fiction author and Co-Editor of Boing Boing tech blog) and others spoke at the Ford Hall Forum at Suffolk University on Tuesday, October 13th. The talk was entitled The Remote-Controlled Society and is part of Cory’s discussion of the Coming War on General Computing. The Ford Hall Forum has now released the full video of the talk. Thanks to them, Suffolk University’s College of Arts & Sciences and the Boston Literary District for sponsoring this event and making the video of it available. We also have pictures available that you can use and remix. Also, Cory Doctorow spoke that day at the Berkman Center: If you haven’t seen it, our highlights video of the Ford Hall Forum talk is at:

published under Copyright, Freedom of Speech, Main Topic, Privacy, Security | Comments Off on Full video of The Remote-Controlled Society available

2016 Campaign Planning Meeting, Sunday, 11/1

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With all of the talk about presidential candidates, you wouldn’t know it, but in 2016 Massachusetts will elect 200 members of the General Court (aka the Massachusetts legislature). Since the 2000 election, on average over half of the candidates have not have an opponent in the general election. With a stat like that, it is easy to conclude that we live in a democracy in name only. We want your help to change that! At 3pm this Sunday, Nov. 1st, we will plan our 2016 campaign, especially getting more Pirates to run for the office. Join us at the Pizzeria Regina, 353 Cambridge st, Allston (Boston), just off the Pike. Just ask for the pirate party. View Mass Pirates Places of Interest in a larger map

published under Elections, Main Topic | Comments Off on 2016 Campaign Planning Meeting, Sunday, 11/1

Today: Urge Your Friends to Stop CISA

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Following on the cloture vote on CISA, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, the Senate is again considering amendments to it and a final vote. While Massachusetts Senators Warren and Markey, as well as Senators Leahy and Sanders from Vermont voted against it.  In the rest of New England, no one else voted against it. CISA is a awful bill that will allow the NSA to collect our communications without even anonymizing it, as even a former intel official admitted. This fight is not over, but if we are to succeed the Senate needs to hear from us.  Tell your friends to visit Decide the Future and demand that their senator vote against CISA. Tell your friends that: CISA is a surveillance bill that would immunize corporations from liability if they share your personal data with the government.  Specifically it allows companies to automatically and simultaneously transfer your data to the DHS, NSA, FBI, and local police with all of our personally-indentifying information. We would not be able to sue them to stop our data from being shared and you won’t even be able to use the Freedom of Information Act to find out what they shared and with whom.  Putting that data in once place will be a great target for malicious hackers and will be an OPM breach in the making. Twitter, Apple, Google and many other tech companies have come out against CISA. The vote could be today, so please tell them soon. If you haven’t already, call Senator Warren at 202-224-4543, and Senator Markey at 202-224-2742 and thank them for voting against CISA.

published under Main Topic, Privacy, Secrecy, Security | Comments Off on Today: Urge Your Friends to Stop CISA

CISA passes Senate cloture vote, calls still needed

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Earlier today, the Senate’s cloture vote on CISA, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, passed 83 to 14.  It now advances to an up or down vote soon and reconciliation with the House version.  Thankfully, the effort to expand the CFAA to allow the government to prosecute security researchers for finding security vulnerabilities in computers did not pass. Massachusetts Senators Warren and Markey voted against it.  In the rest of New England, only Senators Leahy and Sanders from Vermont voted against it. This fight is not over, but if we are to succeed the Senate needs to hear from us.  Tell your friends to visit Decide the Future and demand that their senator vote against CISA. Tell your friends that: CISA is a surveillance bill that would immunize corporations from liability if they share your personal data with the government.  Specifically it allows companies to automatically and simultaneously transfer your data to the DHS, NSA, FBI, and local police with all of our personally-indentifying information. We would not be able to sue them to stop our data from being shared and you won’t even be able to use the Freedom of Information Act to find out what they shared and with whom.  Putting that data in once place will be a great target for malicious hackers and will be an OPM breach in the making. Twitter, Apple, Google and many other tech companies have come out against CISA. Please reach out to your friends and urge them to visit DecideTheFuture.org and call their Senators.  When you get the chance, call Senator Warren at 202-224-4543, and Senator Markey at 202-224-2742 and thank them for voting against CISA.

published under Main Topic, Privacy, Security, Transparency | Comments Off on CISA passes Senate cloture vote, calls still needed

Somerville Cryptoparty, Wed., 10/28, 6-9pm

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The September cryptoparty in Somerville had a good turn out and many people learned how to run a mesh network from their computer. The next Somerville cryptoparty will be Wednesday, October 28th. It will be from 6-9pm at Parts and Crafts, 577 Somerville Ave, Somerville, MA 02143. The topic is: Imagining What The Internet Will Look Like in 5 Years. It will also have key signing and there will be people who are happy to answer your computer and networking security questions. Hope you can make it! If you want to help out with this or other cryptoparties in New England, join our cryptoparty@masspirates.org email list.  You can sign up at https://lists.mayfirst.org/mailman/listinfo/cryptoparty_masspirates.org/.  Anyone who wants to organize cryptoparties and share ideas for making them better, even non-Pirates, is welcome to join. Please note that photography and video recording of participants is not allowed at cryptoparties without their permission. Help promote it locally with one of these flyers:

published under Cryptoparty, Main Topic, Privacy, Security | Comments Off on Somerville Cryptoparty, Wed., 10/28, 6-9pm

Senate voting on CISA today. Tell them no!

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Yesterday, the Senate started debating CISA, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act. The Senate reconvenes at 9:30am and it will likely vote on it today. Now is the time to call Senator Warren at 202-224-4543, and Senator Markey at 202-224-2742 and tell them to vote NO!  If you don’t live in Massachusetts, visit Decide the Future to contact your senator. CISA is a surveillance bill that would immunize corporations from liability if they share your personal data with the government.  Specifically it allows companies to automatically and simultaneously transfer your data to the DHS, NSA, FBI, and local police with all of your personally-indentifying information. You would not be able to sue them to stop your data from being shared and you won’t even be able to use the Freedom of Information Act to find out what they shared and with whom.  Putting that data in once place will be a great target for malicious hackers and will be an OPM breach in the making. To top it off, CISA would expand the CFAA to allow the government to prosecute security researchers for finding security vulnerabilities in computers. This morning, call Senators Warren at 202-224-4543, and Senators Markey at 202-224-2742 and tell them to vote NO on CISA now!

published under CFAA, Main Topic, Privacy, Security, Transparency | Comments Off on Senate voting on CISA today. Tell them no!

No CISA: Call Senators Warren & Markey Now

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CISA, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, is expected to come up this afternoon for a vote in the Senate. Please call Sen. Warren at 202-224-4543, and Sen. Markey at 202-224-2742 and tell them to vote NO! CISA is a surveillance bill that would immunize corporations from liability if they share your personal data with the government.   Specifically it allows companies to automatically and simultaneously transfer your data to the DHS, NSA, FBI,  and local police with all of your personally-indentifying information.  They would be legally immune from you suing to prevent them from sharing your data.  Also, you won’t be able to use the Freedom of Information Act to find out what they shared and with whom. Putting that data in once place will be a great target for malicious hackers and will be an OPM breach in the making. Call Sen. Warren at 202-224-4543, and Sen. Markey at 202-224-2742 and tell them to vote NO on CISA now!

published under Main Topic, Privacy, Security, Transparency | Comments Off on No CISA: Call Senators Warren & Markey Now

The Remote-Controlled Society Video Available

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Cory Doctorow (science fiction author and Co-Editor of Boing Boing tech blog) and others spoke at the Ford Hall Forum at Suffolk University on Tuesday, October 13th. The talk was entitled The Remote-Controlled Society and is part of Cory’s discussion of the Coming War on General Computing. While the Ford Hall Forum will be releasing video of the full discussion and Q&A, we were able to record the opening statements by Cory Doctorow, Rebecca Curtin (Assistant Professor of Law with a focus on copyrights, Suffolk Law School), Leonid Reyzin (Professor of Computer Science with a focus on cryptography, Boston University) and Benjamin Ngugi (Associate Professor, Information Systems & Operations Management, Sawyer Business School at Suffolk University). At the end Cory Doctorow talks about IP and copyright. You can also find the video at our YouTube channel. The video and audio are in the public domain and we will put up raw versions. Pictures are also available. Please share and remix early and often. Thanks to the Ford Hall Forum, Suffolk University’s College of Arts & Sciences and the Boston Literary District for sponsoring this event. The Ford Hall Forum will present Balancing Cyber Security and Privacy in the Digital Age on October 29th. It is free and open to the public.

published under Copyright, Freedom of Speech, Main Topic, Patents, Secrecy, Transparency | Comments Off on The Remote-Controlled Society Video Available

Mass Pirate Party Rescinds Endorsement for We The People Act (H.3127)

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Back in March, the Massachusetts Pirate Party chose to endorse the “We the People Act” (currently H.3127). After a series of discussions internally, and with our friends at PassMassAmendement, we’ve decided to rescind our endorsement. The We the People Act has some very nice language, and we’re very much on board with the idea that “Corporations are not people and money is not speech”. Our objection to the bill comes from this paragraph: Be it further Resolved that if Congress does not propose this constitutional amendment within 6 months of the passage of this bill, then this bill constitutes a petition by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, speaking through its legislature, and pursuant to Article V of the United States Constitution, to the Congress to call a Convention for the purpose of proposing Amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America as soon as two-thirds of the several States have applied for a Convention; We object to calling for an Article V convention, and that is why we’re dropping our support for the bill. Article V allows congress to propose constitutional amendments whenever it feels the need to do so: 2/3’s of congress needs to vote in favor of the proposed amendment, and 3/4’s of the states need to ratify it. Congress gets to choose whether ratification is done by state legislatures, or by separately elected ratifying conventions. (In all but one case, ratification has been done by state legislatures. The 21st amendment — which repealed prohibition — is the exception. It was adopted through state ratifying conventions.) This is how all of our constitutional amendments have been passed; a single issue, proposed by congress, and ratified by the states. Overall, amending the Constitution is a straightforward process. Someone makes a proposal, and it either gets the votes or … Read more

published under Campaign Finance, Main Topic | 1 Comment
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Surveillance Camera Mapping Picnic, 8/26

Surveillance Camera Mapping Picnic, Saturday, 8/26

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