Pirate Podcasts – Episode 7: FOIA for Fun and Liberation

Maya Shaffer is a reporter for the Bay State Examiner, and someone who’s used Massachusetts public records law enough to know it inside and out. This is a great talk, where Maya tells her stories of public records requesters in the state of Massachusetts. Highlights include,

  • The time Maya made an in-person FOIA request to NEMLEC — the Northeaster Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council. NEMLEC wasn’t sure how to respond to an in-person request, so they called 911.
  • An agency proposed a $400 fee to process a public records request. The agency takes the $400, but never produces the records.
  • How the city of Boston wanted to charge $10,000 to produce emails between the city, and the Massachusetts Municipal Association
  • How Massachusetts public records laws aren’t “real laws”, in the sense that they’re routinely violated, and the violating party is never punished.
  • The level of apathy and disdain that the Secretary of the Commonwealth has for Massachusetts public records laws.
  • The really neat things you can find out, if you manage to get your public records request fulfilled.

Maya’s talk was record on June 25, 2016, during PirateCon 2016.

You can listen below, or download a copy from the Internet Archive.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

More information

Yes on Questions 1 & 2!

Yes on Questions 1 & 2!`

Stop the EARN IT Act!

Stop the EARN IT Act!

Got an old computer? Donate it!

Got an old computer? Donate it!

Help Build the Pirate Party

Help organize a local Pirate chapter

IRC Meetings Wednesday Night

The Mass. Pirate Party weekly chat is every Wednesday 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 PirateIRC.net.

Sign the Moratorium on Boston Sex Worker Arrests Petition

Sign the Moratorium on Boston Sex Worker Arrests Petition

Contact us

email: info@masspirates.org
call / txt: (617) 863-6277 (MAPP)

Pirate Gear

Keep in Touch

Sign up for the Mass Pirates Newsletter.