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

Monthly archive: March 2017

Help live stream PirateCon this Saturday

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Our Democracy/Tech meeting is tomorrow, Saturday, April 1st, 2-4pm.  We will test our live streaming setup for PirateCon and hopefully install more software to improve communications between members. The meeting will be in Arlington and is open to all. Email Quartermaster Steve at for the address if you plan to attend. If you cannot make the meeting, but want to help, join the Democracy mailing list.

published under Main Topic, Organizing | Comments Off on Help live stream PirateCon this Saturday

Friday: Digital Privacy at the Border Workshop

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We are helping the International Scholars Working Group (part of the Harvard Graduate Union) organize a privacy workshop this Friday 6-8pm at Lamont Forum Room, Lamont Library in Harvard Yard (the corner of Quincy & Harvard St), Cambridge. The privacy workshop is geared towards the needs of international students, but anyone interested in learning how to protect their privacy, especially at the border, is invited to attend. If you wish, please spread this page or the ISWG’s Facebook event. Trump’s announcement that border officers will be given the power to vet foreigners’ social media profiles doesn’t just affect travelers who are either from or were born in the Muslim majority countries affected by the ban, but also other foreign nationals and US citizens, particularly those who work or have family in at-risk countries. Travelers have been asked to surrender their phones, their passwords, and even what they thought of the Trump administration, before being denied or allowed entry into the US, in clear violation of their Fourth Amendment rights. As of tonight, we have learned that the US will also be banning laptops and tablets on flights coming from eight Middle Eastern and North African countries. To respond to this, the International Scholars Working Group (part of Harvard Graduate Union) has organized a bring-your-own-laptop, hands-on cybersecurity workshop, held by the he Massachusetts Pirate Party. We’ll learn how to prepare for the eventuality of being asked to surrender your laptop/smartphone/passwords at the border and how to express political opinions freely and use the internet for activism without compromising your security at the border. If you have any specific questions for the Pirate Party workshop leaders regarding your digital privacy in the US or at the border, we warmly encourage you to fill in this form, and they will do their best to answer … Read more

published under Cryptoparty, Main Topic, Privacy, Security | Comments Off on Friday: Digital Privacy at the Border Workshop

House allows ISPs to spy on you, protect yourself

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Yesterday, in a mostly partisan vote of 215 to 205, the US House of Representatives voted to roll back our online privacy protections from ISPs. This vote followed the recent Senate vote of 50 to 48 for S.J.Res. 34. The entire Massachusetts delegation voted against it, but both votes were close.  It is likely that Trump will sign it into law. A big thanks to everyone who called their representative to urge them to oppose this bill and contacted their friends to call their representatives. We encourage everyone to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) and TorrentFreak has a useful review of some of them. Cryptoparties are a great place to learn about how to use them and there is one tonight from 6-9pm at The Sprouts, 339R Summer Street, Somerville and Friday 6-8pm at Lamont Forum Room, Lamont Library in Harvard Yard (the corner of Quincy & Harvard St), Cambridge.  You can find out about more upcoming cryptoparties at or by joining our cryptoparty mailing list. VPNs are not enough, as Kade Crockford of the ACLU said in her LibrePlanet keynote talk last Saturday.  Technical solutions only go so far. They require that people devote the time to setting them up and using them reliably which isn’t an easy thing for many busy people.  We cannot stop advocating politically, running candidates who live our values and engaging in direct action where needed. Our conference on April 29th will be a great opportunity to continue to win back our privacy rights.  We encourage you to join us and look forward to talking with you then.

published under Cryptoparty, Elections, Main Topic, PirateCon, Privacy | Comments Off on House allows ISPs to spy on you, protect yourself

Save the Date: June 10th, Boston LGBTQ Pride Parade

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On Saturday, June 10th, we will again march in the Boston Pride Parade. If you plan to march with us, tell us in advance. We will assemble along Boylston St. in Boston. Last year we moved up in the parade and assembled in front of the Apple Store, but past years we assembled near the Hynes Convention Center. The parade starts at noon and we would appreciate it if you arrived by 11:30am.

published under Civil Liberties, Main Topic, Out And About | Comments Off on Save the Date: June 10th, Boston LGBTQ Pride Parade

Tell your Rep Today: Don’t let ISPs spy on you

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Last week the Senate voted 50 to 48 to roll back our online privacy protections.  As we expected, Senators Warren and Markey sided with us and people’s rights not to have their ISPs spy on them. Tomorrow morning the US House will take up their version of the bill, H.J. Res. 86.  If it passes, you can be sure that ISPs will start tracking where you browse and what you say. They will sell that data to whomever is willing to pay for it. Even though you pay them for Internet access, you will still be a product to them. There are two things are asking you to do: Call your House Rep. and tell them to oppose H.J. Res. 86 in the strongest words you can use.  If you aren’t sure who your Rep. is, find out Where Do I Vote MA. Find their phone number below and call them up; Tell your friends in other states, to call their House Rep. Fight for the Future has a page that helps them. If you want to reach out to them on social media, please do. But calls are the best thing right now. Thanks! District Name / Website DC Office District Office Email Facebook Twitter 1st Richard Neal (202) 225-5601 (413) 785-0325 Email Form Congressman-Richard-Neal @RepRichardNeal 2nd James McGovern (202) 225-6101 (508) 831-7356 Email Form RepJimMcGovern @RepMcGovern 3rd Niki Tsongas (202) 225-3411 (978) 459-0101 Email Form nikitsongas @NikiInTheHouse 4th Joseph P. Kennedy III (202) 225-5931 (617) 332-3333 Email Form Joseph-P-Kennedy-III @JoeKennedy 5th Katherine Clark (202) 225-2836 (781) 396-2900 / (508) 319-9757 Email Form KatherineClarkForCongress @KatherineClark 6th Seth Moulton (202) 225-8020 (978) 531-1669 Email Form SethMoultonForCongress @sethmoulton 7th Michael Capuano (202) 225-5111 (617) 621-6208 Email Form RepMichaelCapuano @MikeCapuano 8th Stephen Lynch (202) 225-8273 (617) 428-2000 Email Form repstephenlynch @RepStephenLynch 9th William Keating (202) … Read more

published under Main Topic, Privacy | Comments Off on Tell your Rep Today: Don’t let ISPs spy on you

Upcoming Cryptoparties

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Various cryptoparties are coming up: 3/29, 6-9pm, Somerville Cryptoparty, The Sprouts, 339R Summer Street, Somerville 4/26, 6-9pm, Somerville Cryptoparty, The Sprouts, 339R Summer Street, Somerville 5/21, noon-6pm, Together Boston Cryptoparty, Cambridge

published under Cryptoparty, Main Topic, Privacy | Comments Off on Upcoming Cryptoparties

Cryptoparty crew will be at LibrePlanet this weekend

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The Free Software Foundation’s annual conference, LibrePlanet, is this weekend and a number of Pirates will be there. The privacy activists on our cryptoparty mailing list will be teaching people how to protect their privacy at the cryptoparty table. They will be there at least noon-3pm both days, so drop by and say hi. Additionally, some of our cryptoparty and party supporters and past event speakers will be speaking at it, including: A role for free software in movements, communities and platform cooperativism, Micky Metts, Sunday, 15:40 – 16:25 Technology for direct actions, Andrew Seeder, Saturday, 13:50 – 14:35 Move fast and break democracy, Shauna Gordon-McKeon, Saturday, 11:50-12:35 Beyond unfree: The software you can go to jail for talking about, Cory Doctorow, Sunday Keynote, 10:00 – 10:45 Here are some additional talks that may be of interest to Pirates attending LibrePlanet: Saturday Batten down the hatches – A non-technical security workshop for activists, Al Carter, 10:55-12:35 Patents, copyrights and trademarks: Won’t someone please think of the children?, Deb Nicholson, 13:50 – 14:35 Let’s encrypt office hours, Noah Swartz, 15:40 – 16:25 The free software movement in the age of Trump, Eben Moglen, 15:40 – 16:25 – The federated, extensible social network, Alex Jordan, 15:40 – 16:25 Sunday The surreptitious assault on privacy, security, and freedom, Mike Gerwitz, 10:55 – 11:40 SecureDrop: Leaking safely to modern news organizations, Conor Schaefer, 13:50 – 14:35 Algorithmic bias: Where it comes from and what to do about it, Andrew Oram, Ifeoma Ajunwa, Geoff A. Cohen, Ben Green, 13:50 – 14:35 The post-truth Santa Claus and the concealed present, Alexandre Oliva, 14:45 – 15:30 Fixing trust on the Internet, Tom Marble, 15:40 – 16:25 Secret life of the bitcoin blockchain, Skye Elijah, 16:35 – 17:20 Will the FCC still ban your operating system? (Maybe.), Eric Schultz, 16:35 – 17:20 Securely backing up GPG private keys… to the cloud?, Joey Hess, 16:35 – 17:20

published under Cryptoparty, Main Topic | Comments Off on Cryptoparty crew will be at LibrePlanet this weekend

Share at PirateCon 2017

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Do you have knowledge you want to share with your fellow Pirates? Is there some issue or project you think Pirates should know about? If so sign up to present at or organize a panel for PirateCon 2017. We have at least six hours available and an hour for lightning talks. Please sign up by this Sunday, March 26th. Any submissions after that date will be included as a lightning talk. PirateCon 2017 will be Saturday, April 29th at the Community Church of Boston. The Community Church is in Copley Square at 565 Boylston St #2, Boston. It will start at 10am and end at 6pm. Registration is $10. Youth under 18 are free. You can pay in advance or just tell us you will attend if you prefer to pay at the door or are under 18. Conference details and updates are at the 2017 PirateCon page. We will elect our Pirate Council and three Arbitrators. Submit your nomination by April 28th.

published under Issues, Main Topic, PirateCon | Comments Off on Share at PirateCon 2017

This Friday: Learn how to annoy legislators for freedom

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The Massachusetts Legislature has thousands of bills to consider.  Quite a few are of interest to Pirates including whether to give millions of dollars in subsidies to video game companies, revising the cannabis legalization law passed by voters, or defining standards for police body cameras. Yet, most bills never even have a committee vote, nevermind get to a floor vote.  The power of the leadership of the legislature is extreme and it isn’t democratic. The legislature doesn’t work the way you were taught in your high school civics textbooks. This Friday, March 24, Alex Marthews, National Director of Restore the 4th, will talk about how the Massachusetts legislature really works and how we can hack it to get Pirate-friendly bills further. It will be from 3-5pm at Encuentro 5, 9A Hamilton Place, Boston. Encuentro 5 is within easy walking distance of the Park St. MBTA stop. Hope you can make it.

published under Civil Liberties, Corporate Welfare, Main Topic, Organizing, Transparency | Comments Off on This Friday: Learn how to annoy legislators for freedom

Pirate Podcasts – Episode 11: The importance of causing a stir

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Terra Friedrichs is a former selectman from Acton, Massachusetts. She talks about her experience on the board, using a town’s permitting authority as a negotiating tool, municipal rights, the importance of doing your homework, and not being afraid to put corporations on the spot. Terra also talks about her no-money campaign for the Massachusetts state senate in 2016, and the difference between big P and little p progressives. This talk was recorded at the Democracy Center in Cambridge Massachusetts, on November 12th 2016, during the Massachusetts Pirate Party’s “run local” campaign. You can listen below, or download the podcast from the Internet Archive.

published under Main Topic, Podcasts & Pirate News | Comments Off on Pirate Podcasts – Episode 11: The importance of causing a stir
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