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

Monthly archive: May 2018

Somerville Cryptoparty Today

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The Somerville Cryptoparty is today, May 30th from 6pm to 9pm. It will be at the Sprouts, 339R Summer St. an easy walk from Davis Sq., Somerville and is in the garage in the back. The Somerville Cryptoparty is always the last Wednesday of every month. If you want to help with future cryptoparties or just ask questions about how you can protect your privacy, join the cryptoparty mailing list or check out their website.

published under Cryptoparty, Main Topic, Privacy, Security | Comments Off on Somerville Cryptoparty Today

Senate kills wiretap expansion budget amendments bills

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Thanks to your calls and emails and those of many others, the Massachusetts Senate killed all three wiretap expansion bills some senators were trying to sneak in the budget.  We’ll be on the look out for a similar measure in the House, but for now we can rejoice.

published under Main Topic, Privacy, Surveillance | Comments Off on Senate kills wiretap expansion budget amendments bills

Congress trying to expand copyright on sound recordings

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Congress is considering S.2823 and H.3301, which would extend some cherry-picked parts of federal copyright to cover sound recordings made between 1923 and 1972. It would force streaming services to get licenses for those recordings, even though all that does is create a new subsidy for rightsholders (which are usually record labels and not artists) and make it harder for music fans to listen to old recordings.  These bills would make it harder to get recordings into the public domain and would be a subsidy to wealthy record companies at our expense. We oppose these bills and urge you to contact your House Reps. and Senators and urge them to oppose these bills. Contact us if you can help organize citizen meetings with Congress members.

published under Copyright, Main Topic | Comments Off on Congress trying to expand copyright on sound recordings

Community MeshNet making progress, needs your help

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A huge congratulations to everyone who helped get the Senate to vote to overturn the FCC’s termination of Net Neutrality. We hope the House and President Trump will also decide to support Net Neutrality. While we wait the outcome of that bill, local supporters of Net Neutrality are working to build a net neutral, community alternative to internet service providers that cares about your privacy: Mass. Mesh Net. At their last tech meeting, volunteers including fellow Pirate William Fleurant, demonstrated a mesh network connected to the Internet. They are making significant progress getting a mesh router working on inexpensive hardware using free software.  The plan is to get it ready for others to easily install and use. To move things along, the Mass. Mesh Net will hold weekly tech meetups every Tuesday, 7-9pm. They will be at Industry Lab, 288 Norfolk St, Cambridge. The Mass. MeshNet General Meeting will be on June 7th at Industry Labs. If you want to help out, please join the discussion list. You can sign up at You can find them at

published under Free Software, Main Topic, Net Neutrality, Privacy | Comments Off on Community MeshNet making progress, needs your help

Senators sneaking state surveillance power expansion in budget. Tell them no!

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Massachusetts Senators are trying to sneak into the budget unprecedented new state surveillance powers for prosecutors.  We stopped them in November, and we need to do so again. Prosecutors in Massachusetts have greater access to sensitive information about us than ever before, often without a warrant, whether it is your Twitter direct messages or meta data such as who you call, how long you talk, and where your phone is, and thus potentially where you are at any moment of the day.  We don’t need to give them any more surveillance powers. The vote is scheduled for next week. Now is the time to call you State Senator and tell them to VOTE NO on budget amendments  #1001, #1074 and #1083 and any other attempts to expand government wiretap surveillance. Your voice is needed now to stop this effort.  You can look up their phone number and call them. If you cannot, email them. Thanks!

published under Help Needed, Main Topic, Privacy, Surveillance | Comments Off on Senators sneaking state surveillance power expansion in budget. Tell them no!

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