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The Massachusetts House recently posted a police reform bill (H.4860) after the Senate passed their version (S.2800). Here are the differences (courtesy of Digital 4th): S2800H4860Police rape of residents outlawed?YesYesQualified immunity limited?YesNoSchool info sharing with "gang" database limited?YesYesGovernment use of face surveillance banned?Temporary, plus RMVPermanent, minus RMVLocal discretion on whether to have police in schools?YesNoLocal elected official approval process for mil...
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Recently, the Boston City Council voted 13-0 to pass a ban face surveillance by all city departments. The mayor approved the ordinance as well. Yesterday, the Easthampton city council also voted unanimously to ban city use of face surveillance technology. Thanks to everyone who helped get these bans passed and to the Mass. ACLU and Restore the 4th for their consistent advocacy for a ban on face surveillance. While you are here, today the Senate Judiciary Committee will v...
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This Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on the EARN IT Act. As we noted in the past, it is FOSTA/SESTA on steroids and is plainly aimed at silencing our 1st Amendment rights on-line. Attorney General Barr, no fan of our right to privacy, would use this new power to ban end-to-end encryption and ensure that platforms that use end-to-end encryption, such as Signal and WhatsApp, are wiretap ready. Neither Senators Warren and Markey are on the Judiciary Commit...
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Today at 3pm, Boston City Council's Committee on Government Operations will discuss a proposed ordinance to ban face surveillance in Boston. The hearing will be by Zoom meeting and the public may watch this meeting via live stream at boston.gov/city-council-tv. It is too late to address the committee, but you can still provide written testimony. Details below. The ACLU put together a toolkit for activists that includes model testimony. There are also public education resources available at ...
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Pirates Malt, Steve, James and Joe talk about the latest news of interest to pirates including: Latest in protests against police brutality and in support of Black Lives Matter This Tuesdays hearing on banning facial surveillance in Boston HR 6666 on paying for contract tracing HR 4588 on not mixing FISA requests and opposition research How Arlington's recent mail voting town election went.

 

The police repression and violence against Black Lives Matter protesters and innocent bystanders over the last two weeks is abhorrent. The people have a fundamental right to express their outrage at and opposition to the police killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and so many others. The right of people to express their First Amendment right to free speech is not limited by time or place. Pepper spray, tear gas and rubber bullets are not the only tools police use to oppress us. Increasing...
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Pirates Joe, Malt and James talk about the police killing of George Floyd, Black Lives Matter demonstrations, the police rioting and the crack down on our First Amendment rights. We also talk about Trump's bogus Communications Decency Act Section 230 executive order: Massachusetts Bail FundBoston Black Lives MatterMama Safia's Kitchen Go Fund MeTrump's CDA 230 executive order Also, Malt called it about Long Range Acoustic Devices (LRADs) being used if you listen to the end of this vi...
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The EARN IT Act would gut Communications Decency Act Section 230, which protects free speech online. Section 230 requires you be held responsible for what you say, not the website or platform where you said it. As more and more speech is corralled into the tech giants walled gardens, it ensures that we have the freedom to express ourselves. As the EFF notes: "EARN IT would establish a “National Commission on Online Child Exploitation Prevention.” This Commission would include the Chairman...
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Pirates Joe, Steve and James talk about the latest current events including Arlington's efforts to run its upcoming election by mail in ballot, PATRIOT Act renewal and Massachusetts' phased reopening from the COVID-19 less than lockdown. Digitally sign to get the Ranked Choice Voting initiative on the November ballot Donate your used computer Donate to your local food bank

 

Volunteers from Voter Choice for Massachusetts, the Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) campaign, made history last fall when they submitted 111,000 certified signatures to the Secretary of the Commonwealth; the most ever by a Massachusetts ballot initiative campaign. The Massachusetts Pirate Party supports RCV and we are proud to be part of this historic effort to give a stronger voice and more choice to voters. Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) allows voters to rank the candidates on the ballot by order o...
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