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

Monthly archive: April 2017

FOIA Files: the NSA’s intranet home page

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Back in 2014, I wrote a blog post about my FOIA request for the CIA’s intranet home page Intranet home pages are a prominent part of large organizations; people who work there are likely look at the intranet a couple of times a week — even if only to see what the cafeteria is serving for lunch. I filed this request because I was curious about what the average CIA employee saw after logging into their computer and firing up a web browser. The CIA denied my request in full, which isn’t terribly surprising. Having talked to other public records advocates, the CIA’s typical response to FOIA requests is somewhere between “f%ck you, now sue me”, and plain old “f%ck you”. I’m sure the CIA takes some pride in considering itself above the law, at least when it comes to the Freedom of Information Act. I made similar requests to a few other agencies, and one of them — the NSA — produced a responsive document. Here’s my request: May 23, 2014 National Security Agency Attn: FOIA/PA Office (DJ4) 9800 Savage Road, Suite 6248 Ft. George G. Meade, MD 20755-6248 Dear NSA FOIA/PA Office: This is a Freedom of Information Act request, as described in http://www.nsa.gov/public_info/foia/foia_handbook.shtml. I am seeking the following records: A screen shot of the NSA’s intranet home page. I am seeing this information for personal (not commercial) use. Thanks for your time and attention. I look forward to your response. Sincerely, Stephen A. Revilak and here is the NSA’s response: FOIA Case: 78186A 2 March 2017 Dear Mr. Revilak: This responds to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request of 23 May 2014 for “A screen shot of the NSA’s intranet home page.” A copy of your original request is attached. As stated in our initial response … Read more

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Now Streaming PirateCon 2017

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After a bit of delay, we are streaming PirateCon 2017. Audio only for now. Hopefully will have video back up after lunch.

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Our annual conference is this Saturday

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This week was busy: participating in the March for Science, holding a cryptotable at the Boston Socialist Unity Conference and holding a Western Mass. campaign workshop. To finish the week, we getting ready for our annual conference this Saturday. PirateCon 2017 will be at the Community Church of Boston. The Community Church is in Copley Square at 565 Boylston St #2, Boston. The conference will start at 10am and end at 6pm. Speakers include: Grace Ross, 2006 candidate for Governor and anti-foreclosure/social justice organizer David Day, founder of the Together Boston music festival JPat Brown, Executive Editor of Muckrock Maya Shaffer, CoFounder of The Bay State Examiner Sevan Chorluyan, Chief of BadMirror Broadcasting Alex Marthews, President of Restore the Fourth, a national privacy organization Registration is $10 and anyone who donated to the party this year is already signed up. 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. Unfortunately, we haven’t had enough interest in child care so we will not be offering it. Please invite anyone you think would be interested. You can share this link: https://masspirates.org/blog/conference/ The schedule will be: Start Time End Time Topic 10:00am 10:45am Qualifying the integrity of Media Sources 10:50am 11:35am Electoral Action 11:40am 12:25pm Media & Liberation 12:30pm 01:30pm Lunch 01:30pm 02:15pm FOIA: Transparency by a Thousand Papercuts 02:20pm 03:05pm Organizing for a Sustainable, Accountable Movement 03:10pm 04:10pm Lightning Talks 04:10pm 04:55pm State of Surveillance 05:00pm 06:00pm Pirate Policy Breakout Groups We are looking for a few volunteers to help make PirateCon a success.  If you can help, please add your name to an item at our conference pirate pad. Pirate Council elections at PirateCon We will elect the Pirate Council and three Arbitrators at PirateCon. We are looking for people who want to build … Read more

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This week’s IRC meeting moved to Thursday

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The Mass. Pirate Party weekly chat is usually every Tuesday at 9pm, Eastern time. This week we are moving it to this Thursday at 9pm.  To get on: Go to https://webchat.pirateirc.net/ 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 Start typing and reading You can also connect via your IRC client at one of the servers listed at http://pirateirc.net/servers.

published under Main Topic, Organizing | Comments Off on This week’s IRC meeting moved to Thursday

Tonight: Speak for Cambridge surveillance oversight

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We have been working with Restore the 4th and the ACLU to get the City of Cambridge to adopt an ordinance placing city council and citizen oversight over the introduction of surveillance cameras in Cambridge.  The process has taken awhile and was in the hands of the city manager to review the proposed ordinance. That is done now. His proposals for improving transparency regarding current policies and laws governing uses of surveillance technology, and how the data is used and shared, are positive and seem worthy of support. However, the city manager’s proposal resists a key point of the ordinance to go beyond the current law and implement a pro-active, mandatory oversight regime. More broadly, the hindrance this ordinance might provide to city departments casually adopting new surveillance technologies without democratic review is, of course, a key feature. Tonight the city council will review the city manager’s document. As a resident of Cambridge, we hope you will come out tonight and testify. The council meeting starts at 5:30pm and will be at City Hall, 2nd Floor Sullivan Chamber, 795 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139. You can review the agenda. Here are a few talking points you may want to use: The City Manager’s report creates a straw man and then rejects it. In fact, the oversight the ordinance requires wouldn’t be a substantial burden on city agencies. The council could approve requests for surveillance tech that are written broadly enough that agencies don’t have to go back to the council every time they need to replace or install a new camera, for example. That’s up to the council, but the ordinance gives enough leeway to allow that kind of interpretation. The central purpose of the ordinance is to require democratic approval of surveillance purchases. Any proposal that guts this requirement effectively guts the ordinance. The ordinance … Read more

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Campaign Workshop this Tuesday, April 25th, 5-8pm, Holyoke

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Tired of having few choices on the ballot? Run for office! The Massachusetts Pirate Party will hold a campaign workshop this Tuesday, April 25th, 5-8pm.  It will be at the Holyoke Public Library Community Room, 250 Chestnut St, Holyoke. Advance registration is not required, but you can register in advance. We look forward to helping you learn how to win on election day.

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Join us at the March for Science this Saturday

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This Saturday, April 22nd, we will be at the March for Science on Boston Common.  We want you to join us. We will meet at 2pm behind the visitor’s center on Boston Common. Look for the banner. Hope you can make it.

published under Main Topic, Out And About | Comments Off on Join us at the March for Science this Saturday

Pirate Party Holds 5th Annual Conference

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE PIRATE PARTY HOLDS 5TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE Boston, MA – April 18, 2017 – The Massachusetts Pirate Party will host PirateCon, it’s 5th annual party conference on Saturday, April 29th at the Community Church of Boston. PirateCon is a yearly event in which Massachusetts Pirate Party members come together with members of the community and other interested parties to discuss issues regarding free culture, innovation, personal privacy and transparency in the local and federal government. “We are excited to hold our fifth yearly conference. The Pirate Party continues to offer innovative ideas for Massachusetts,” said First Officer Noelani Kamelamela. This year’s conference will feature presentations on media ethics, surveillance, electoral action and more. Speakers include: Grace Ross, 2006 candidate for Governor and anti-foreclosure/social justice organizer David Day, founder of the Together Boston music festival JPat Brown, Executive Editor of Muckrock Maya Shaffer, CoFounder of The Bay State Examiner Sevan Chorluyan, Chief of BadMirror Broadcasting Alex Marthews, President of Restore the Fourth, a national privacy organization The conference will also include small group discussions to expand the Pirate Party planks in preparation for the 2018 state and federal elections. “Whether the topic is fake news, expanding corporate and government surveillance, reducing income inequality, rethinking the city or the fight for net neutrality, PirateCon covers it. This year’s conference will continue our effort to bring new ideas for how we can improve Massachusetts for everyone who lives here,” said Captain James O’Keefe. PirateCon will be at the Community Church in Copley Square at 565 Boylston St #2, Boston. It is open to the public and presentations will start at 10am and end at 6pm. The conference will be live streamed. The party will elect its officers during the conference. Tickets are $10. Youth under 18 and press are free. Participants can … Read more

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Western Mass. Campaign Training, April 25th

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We will have a Campaign Workshop on Tuesday, April 25th, 5-8pm.  It will be at the Holyoke Public Library Community Room, 250 Chestnut St, Holyoke. Please register if you plan to attend and tell others about it. We look forward to helping you learn how to win on election day.

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March for Science, April 22nd

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Saturday, April 22nd is the March for Science on Boston Common. We will be there and want you to join us.

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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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