2015 Event Notes

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1/10/2015 Cryptoparty

  • Held at Somerville Public Library
  • Steve presented GnuPG, Jamie presented Tor. Noe made video recording for broadcast on SCATV
  • Approximately 18 attended. Event went well. Good turnout, despite very cold temperatures.
  • Should have enough footage for three episodes of Ville Pirates

1/12/2015 Aaron Schwartz Vigil

  • Jamie and Anoninmass. Good signage
  • Most of the rush hour crew ignored us, but a few stopped to talk. Lots of thumbs up.

1/17/2015 Cryptoparty

  • Held at Arisia
  • Captain James presents Tor, GnuPG, and VPNs
  • Approximately 36 people attended
  • Interest in doing it again next year, particularly if we can cover software for tablets and phones
  • Stallman dropped off some flyers and stickers at the beginning of the presentation, and collected the remainder afterwards.

1/19/2015 4-mile march

  • event was very well attended, and very well run
  • Noe and Jamie marched with banners

2/4/2015 Cryptoparty

  • Done at a Boston Desktop Linux Users Group meeting, at Akamai's Cambridge office
  • Steve presented Packet sniffing. Al Willis presented GnuPG
  • Approx. 30 people attended
  • Meeting was right after breaking boston's record for 7-day snowfall. Driving and public transit were rough going.

2/14/2015 Cryptoparty

  • Held in Holyoke, MA at the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center
  • 10 attended. Six from Western, MA and four from Eastern, MA
  • Micky Metts presented OTR. Steve presented GnuPG and Tor
  • A large snowstorm was forecast to start that afternoon. The first inch of snow fell before the cryptoparty ended
  • MGHPCC doesn't provide A/V support on weekends, so we brought our own projector. This seemed to work out fine.
  • The public meeting room has outlet banks in the floor (covered by access plates). The next time we do an event at this facility, we should leave enough setup time to position tables so that outlet banks are completely accessible. Would also be useful to bring a few short-corded power strips. Facility had open wireless network. No shortage of bandwidth and no issues with port blocking.
  • Although the turnout was small, I think the event was well received.
  • Seven people attended the social afterwards. We kept it short, due to weather.
  • For the next Western MA event, it might be nice to find some local group to work in conjunction with. I'm realizing that we tend to get better turnout when working in conjunction with other groups.
  • Several people heard about the event through our website, mailing list. One saw the cryptoparty ad on craigslist.

3/21/2015 Libre Planet

  • Steve gave lightning talk called "Running cryptoparties with free software"
  • Met several people interested in organizing future cryptoparties, helping masspirates, or otherwise supportive of the organization.

3/22/2015 Worcester Cryptoparty

  • Held at Worcester Public Library
  • Kendra presented Jitsi; Steve presented GnuPG
  • Library's wifi turned out to be unusable that afternoon. Very unreliable, frequently dropping connections. That put a damper on demonstrations.
  • Small turnout (two people).

4/9/2015 BC Cryptoparty

  • Cryptoparty for the Internet and Law Society at Boston College
  • 5 people attending.
  • Brief intro to how network surveillance works
  • Workshop, where everyone installed pgp, created keys, and sent encrypted messages to each other
  • Ended with a discussion on copyright and patents
  • BC has two networks; one for people affiliated with the college, and one for guests. Guest network blocks port 143; the participants were able to use IMAP, but the presenter was not. This wasn't too big an obstacle; we were still able to focus getting the participants set up with GnuPG
  • Ran into one issue with Apple Mail and Google's two-factor authentication. When two factor authentication is in use, one has to create an "application password" for an MUA, and have the MUA use that password.

4/25/2015 Piratecon 2015

  • Held at Community church of boston
  • Nice weather
  • Around 25 people attended during the course of the day
  • cash contributions just slightly short of costs. Nearly broke even
  • videoconferenced Rick Falkvinge as final speaker
  • have audio and video recording of most events
  • childcare went over well, especially for the presenter who needed childcare.

5/2/2015 Point to Point camp

  • http://ptp.camp
  • Had `cryptoparty corner' throughout the day
  • several people came over and spent time in our corner. Issues ran the gamut, from pgp setup, to gnupg command line, to email service providers, to basic browser cookie management
  • having diversity of people manning table helped.

5/17/2015 Cryptoparty

  • Held at Danger!Awesome in central square. This was part of the Together Boston music festival.
  • Presentations: GnuPG, Jitsi, Tor
  • Approximately 16 people over the course of the afternoon.
  • One bit of weirdness. During the cryptoparty, someone walked in, set up a camera and started filming. We asked him to stop filming; he stopped, packed up his camera, and left. We don't know who this individual was. No one from Danger!Awesome recognized him. We don't see these pictures on the event's photos page. The photographer may have been associated with Together Boston and not posted the footage, or he might have been someone else entirely. Don't know. But it was a little odd.

5/21/2015 Sunset the Patriot Act Vigil

5/21/2015 Cryptoparty

  • Parts and Crafts in Somerville
  • Halley organized.

5/23/2015 March Against Monsanto

  • Five Marches, plus a few joining at the Copley Square rally.

5/31/2015 Left Forum

  • Held panel at the Left forum in NYC. "The massachusetts pirate party: Navigating the seas of surveillance"
  • Panelists: Halley, Jamie, Steve, Kendra, and Lindsay Anne Brunner (captain of the US Pirate Party)
  • We were session 7; the last session on Sunday afternoon
  • About 10-11 people attended (not including panelists). Overall, a good discussion about surveillance, countersurveillance, and running for local office.

6/13/2015 Pride Parade

  • Lineup position was I-7, towards the end of the parade. We were a few spots behind the green party, and directly in front of Microsoft.
  • 12 marchers this year. Around twelvem more joined during the parade.
  • Handed out lots of buttons. They were a big hit.
  • Three marchers rode bicycles. Steve thought bike were a nice idea, but perhaps not as visually appealing as hoped; Noe felt the bikes were festive. Riding made it more difficult to interact with spectators.
  • James S. whipping around on a skateboard was rather cool, and seemed to go over well with the crowds.
  • Best chant of the day "Snowden, Snowden, Snowden, Snowden, ..."
  • Very good weather. As usually, very big turnout for the parade.
  • We waited 60-90 minutes from when the parade officially started to actually start moving.
  • This time could have been better spent by interacting with other members of the parade.

7/22/2015 Cryptoparty

  • Held at parts and crafts
  • six people attended
  • mostly a discussion of what to do with them going forward
  • decided to schedule them for the fourth Wednesday of each month and publicize them better.
  • Tentative topic for the August meeting is I2P.

8/2/2015 Pirate Picnic

  • Picnic, held at George's island
  • Very nice weather. Warm and Sunny
  • Approx 20 people came, including a number of folks we hadn't met before

9/22 Bill Hearings

We participated in two Bill Hearings:

1. H.2487 and H.2606 - Tax Credits for Video Game Companies in Massachusetts

Captain James read our statement against the tax credits.

Three people spoke in favor:

2. H.3242 - Labeling GMOs

There was a rally before the hearing that was well attended. The hearing room was very full. About three people spoke against the bill: two industry people and one young Australian guy. Over a hundred spoke for the bill from moral, health, personal and industry perspectives.

Captain James read our statement in support of H.3242

9/26 - 9/27/2015 Freedom Rally


  • 12 people came to work (or hang out) in the pirate tent
  • Handed out around 150 "Stop the War on Drugs" flyers, 100 tri-folds, a few dozen cryptoparty flyers, and a dozen or two zines. Based on last year's experience, rather than handing out literature in the crowds, we let people take what they were interested in.
  • Gave away 100 or so buttons
  • Gathered 51 signatures on a ballot petition to "permit the cultivation, distribution, possession, or use of marijuana by persons of age 21 and older" (aka Petition B)
  • Callected 51 signatures for the Pass Mass Amendement ballot petition (aka Petition R)
  • Collected 16 signatures for our initiative opposing H.2487 and H.2606 (extending "Hollywood tax credit" to video game producers
  • Collected 7 signups for our mailing list
  • Registered five voters. However, none registered as pirates.
  • Like last year, the festival was very well attended. We were in position D-5 (very close to the spot we had last year). Weather was nice, albeit a little on the chilly side.
  • Two petitions seemed to be the limit of many people's patience, so we focused on the ballot petitions.


  • Again, very good weather. Turnout was still good, though not as many people as Saturday
  • Gathered 42 more Marijuana legalization signatures (petition B), for a total of 93
  • Gathered 15 more PassMassAmendment petition signatures (petition R), for a total of 66
  • 6 more signatures for our initiative opposing extending the hollywood tax credit to video game producers (total of 21)
  • Registered five more voters (total of 10). One registered as a pirate
  • Collected 12 signups for volunteer/mailing list (total of 19)
  • Distributed another 80 or so buttons (total of ~ 180)
  • Distributed another hundred or so pieces of literature.

9/30/2015 - Cryptoparty

  • Jamie organized, Igel presented CJDNS
  • Originally planned to be held at parts and crafts. Heavy rains flooded their basement, and we had to move to a coffee shop
  • 11 people attended. Several attendees were able to get CJDNS installed and running on their laptops
  • We created a new mailing list, cryptoparty(AT)masspirates.org for cryptoparty planning

10/3/2015 - FSF 30th

  • During conference for FSF 30th anniversary, Zak Rogoff (of FSF) and Quartmaster Steve did a presentation on encryption and GnuPG.
  • Approximately 20 people attended

10/17/2015 - Cory Doctorow Events

  • Two events. One lunchtime at Berkman Center. One evening at Suffolk University. We (and several other groups) helped facilitate the events.
  • Jamie posted video for the Ford Hall (suffolk university) event.
  • Decent turnout for evening event at Suffolk Univ.
  • Lunchtime event at Berkman center was standing room only.

11/21 -- 11/22/2015 - Boston Anarchist Book Fair


  • Steve gives workshop called "The Surveillance state, and What to do about it". Small group, but it went well.
  • Steve, Joe T. and Allie table for a few hours.
  • Four mailing list signups. A number of button and literature takers.
  • BU classrooms have nice A/V setup. BU's guest wireless is borderline useless. However, classrooms have wired network access, which worked much better.

12/30/2015 Cryptoparty (Parts & Crafts)

  • Continuing our monthly cryptoparties at parts and crafts
  • About 10 attended tonight.
  • Helped two people use GnuPG for the first time.
  • Tails demonstration