January 27th, 2013 In-Person Meeting

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  1. Review results of the member/supporter mailing
  2. Finalize planned 2013 events/activities
  3. Finalize review of organization
  4. Finalize budget

Prep materials

Year end Review

Summary of the Different Conference Sites

2012 Budget & Financial Statement

2013 Event Calendar

Quick Notes / Summaries Re Proposed Bills to be Discussed:

  1. Finalize planned 2013 events/activities
    1. Our Events
      1. Pirate Info Conference - June
      2. CryptoCurrencies Conference (such as this one) - Sept/Oct.
      3. CryptoParties
    2. Continuing what we have done
      1. Together Boston music festival week of May 18th - Lauren will table
      2. Boston Pride Parade - Sat. June 8th
      3. Freedom Rally - Boston Common, Sept. 21/22
    3. New events
      1. Pax East - Boston, March 22-24th. They don't have any tables available for non-gaming groups and are rather expensive. Perhaps we should have a party in one of the hotel rooms and hand out invites. Could have folks wearing t-shirts that say: Ask me how the Pirate Party is protecting your freedom"?
      2. Bar Camp Boston - April 7/8
      3. Wake up the Earth Festival - Jamaica Plain (Boston), Sat., May 4th
      4. Security BSides - May?
      5. AnimeBoston - Hynes Convention Center, May 24-26th.
      6. Digital Media Conference & Grassroots Use of Technology Conference possibly
  2. Finalize review of organization
    1. How can we be better organized?
    2. Need committees? Which ones if so?
    3. Website/social media
    4. Volunteers
    5. Fundraising
  3. Finalize budget
    1. Here is what we adopted for 2012


  • Jamie
  • Joseph
  • Lauren
  • MC (shidash)
  • Lucy
  • Joe (bsod)
  • Sevan (black_van),
  • Yecenia
  • Eric (mildbeard)
  • Steve (srevilak).


Results of the members/supporters mailing

2013 events/activities

Event schedule

NOTE: Sevan found a place that prints logos on chocolates. Could be a good thing for events/gifts.

Events we would run/sponsor

  1. Pirate Info Conference.
  2. Pirate Planning/Issue Conference?
  3. Talk Like a Pirate Day Party/fundraiser, Thu., Sept. 19th?
  4. CryptoParty
  5. CryptoCurrencies Conference (such as this one). Have a possible location.
  6. Digital Media Conference & Grassroots Use of Technology Conference possibly
  7. College digital rights days with other groups

Other events

  1. Pax East which is March 22-24th. They are looking for submissions (http://panels.paxsite.com/), though they do focus on computer gaming;
  2. Wake up the Earth Festival in JP on Sat., May 4th (http://www.spontaneouscelebrations.org/cultural-programming/festivals-and-events.html)
  3. Together Boston music festival is week of May 18th (http://togetherboston.com/)
  4. Security BSides
  5. AnimeBoston which is May 24-26th.
  6. Boston Pride Festival on Sat. June 8th (http://www.bostonpride.org/calendar/)
  7. Freedom Rally on Boston Common, 2nd/3rd Saturday in September

Pirate Info Conference

Qualities we need in a site for a conference:

  1. We will probably get more people this year, so adequate space. At least 100 people.
  2. Good location that is easy to get to and accessible to people with disabilities
  3. Good access to internet and electrical outlets
  4. Good lighting

Meeting Minutes

Events. We've scheduled two major events for this year: a party conference in June, and a cryptocurrency conference in late September/early October. Last year, the conference was probably our best event.

We've also got the Pride march, Freedom Rally, TSA out of the MBTA, Aaron Schwartz memorial hackathon, #IDP13, and a cryptoparty

At the Aaron Schwartz protest, there were discussions about group outreach, upcoming events, and organizing support for Aaron's law.

Campaign Finance Reports. We filed end-of-year campaign finance reports. We had to amend our first two filings, but all that work is done now. The campaign finance reports are available on the wiki, and via OCPF. We raised $1900 in 2012; $600 in 2011. We spent $1600 in 2012. A good portion of income was in-kind contributions. The party conference came in under budget. Various events came in over budget. Fundraising, outreach, and internet were below budget. We don't have to decide the next year's budget now.

We need to get candidates, and we're still struggling for an identity. If we answered those questions, we might be able to get more funding. If we ran candidates, the financial picture would be a lot different. This is something we should plan out.

Year end Review. Jamie put together a year-end review. We did something just about every month in 2012. Maybe three times as many events as last year. We had 12 people in pride parade, 9 people in the freedom rally, several lunches, and events with other people.

Image and Messaging. If the cryptoparty gets bigger, could it attract feds? It probably already has. People are getting trouble with the law over things like this, and they're sick of it. People see things in the news like Aaron Schwartz, and CISPA, and people are interested. We need a response to things like that.

We could focus on defending the internet. People will get up in arms over that. We have to be ready for the next CISPA or SOPA, and be the next flag bearer. We should brand ourselves as defending the internet. If we have a radical response and it's newsworthy, people will get involved.

It's important to get the messaging right, so when the event happens, the messaging is there. We send a lot of stuff on twitter and Facebook, but the blog isn't getting a lot of attention, mainly due to lack of resources.

People that Follow me on twitter as a rails developer were asking about Aaron Schwartz. It hit home to a lot of non-activists.

We need to be prepared. Feinstein had all of her stuff written before Sandy Hook took place. When the incident happened, they were ready.

The biggest things -- the most draconian and most restrictive -- are still in the future. We should be ready for them. It's now illegal to unlock phones without your carrier's permission. (Jailbreaking is still legal). In theory, this is a piece of news we should be railing against.

Blogging. If we could put more stuff in the blog, then more people can feed it into Facebook, twitter.

Should we have a workshop on wordpress? Sure, anyone want to organize?

Are there a set of guidelines that we should stay within (when writing blog posts)? Should there be a review process? Should people just mail text to info@masspirates.org? This is becoming an organizational thing; maybe we need a committee.

activists@masspirate.org could be a place to provide feedback on drafts for blog posts.

What about liquid feedback? We put an honest effort into getting liquid feedback up and running, but it hasn't worked for us. Let's not give up on liquid feedback yet; let's pester the developers some more, and get it working.

After the meeting, we'll grant blog access to people who want it. It would be nice if blog posts were more up to date, we had more sticky content, and if the content were better organized.

The German pirate party released a wordpress theme. Perhaps we should adopt that.

The more stuff we post, the more attention we'll get.

Forums would be nice, but they'd require a dedicated admin (to clean up spam and such).

Hosting. We've looked at a few services (Bluehost), but there were many service that weren't available. There's a co-op (Mayfirst) that's $200/year. And maybe $50/year for the SSL certificate.

Steve describes Mayfirst. They're a co-op that provides hosting and tech to the broader left. Based in Brooklyn and Mexico city. They have a "go get a warrant policy". They're good people.

There are VPN affiliate programs, where a person signs up, and part of their subscription becomes a donation. Private Internet Access is a good provider, but there are lots of others. We could use this as a fundraiser, or offer it as a member benefit. Teaching people why VPNs are necessary could be a recruitment tool.

We should get back to making video tutorials about how people can protect themselves. They'd make great blog posts.

Are there any objections to moving over to Mayfirst? No objections, sounds good.

Member Survey. Is anyone willing to tabulate the survey responses? Sevan volunteers.

Activities. There were a lot of talks at last year's pirate conference. It was useful, but there wasn't any decision making. We didn't decide positions or elect people. We need to pick a location.

The cryptocurrency conference isn't for a while.

What about the St. Patrick's day parade for peace? We could dress up in uniforms and Guy Fawkes masks. On second thought, maybe not Guy Fawkes masks; that image is too associated with anonymous.

(We have an amusing discussion about parades and street theater.)

We need to increase event participation. That's our crying need.

People are sympathetic towards anonymous. Even if we're not associated with them, we could use their support. We have a different, but compatible, vision of activism.

This goes aback to the identity of the organization. Creating identity through events is a problem. Events don't identify you as a group.

Issues and Identity. When the pirate party was founded in Sweden, there were three issues: open culture, government transparency, and privacy. They never thought it would extend beyond those three issues. Everyone is this room is concerned with those core issues. But there are other things, like the economy and education. That's a tricky prospect. Democrats and Republicans build coalitions to win elections. We have core values. This has to be a slow, deliberative process.

Open Government and education are local issues we could put energy into. There are only two groups in society who can't vote: people in the prison system, and people in the education system. In some places, there are literally school to prison pipelines.

We discuss idea of having a youth pirate party. A lot of young people don't vote because they feel like they're choosing between idiot number one, and idiot number two.

There's been huge tech changes in last few years. Some people don't go to church because they don't see the need for it. Young people are the only ones who know how society works. And we still have old people clinging to power. And, a lot of the young people in politics think like the old people.

What if we made lowering the drinking age an issue for the pirate party? Does hemp have more activism than lowering the drinking age? Yes. The hemp issue attracts people from a wide range of ages. Since the 1980's Gallup polls on marijuana legalization have gone up in a straight line. It's finally gotten to the point where > 50% support legalization of marijuana. The same is true of many of the issues that the pirate party stands for. They're generational, and we'll get them eventually.

Hemp is one of the most abundant resources on the planet, and there are lots of ways to use it. It's also an environmental issue.

Activist Toolkits. We make at big splash at big events. At smaller events, we go as individuals, and not as much as a collective. In Germany, pirates would bring flags. Flags are great symbols, and a great way to show who we are (during events).

Is there someone willing to look at where to get flags made? There are companies that make custom flags, and it won't break the bank. We could print a few a try to sell them. We could think about having a stock of stuff, and we send them to people holding events. (Zazzle, Cafe press?) A toolkit, where we can give `packages' of stuff to contributors. A pirate party in a box for local organizers.

What would you put in a toolkit? The stuff you'd need for an event. Or the stuff you need to table an event. A mission statement for local groups.

Demographics. What are our demographics? Nerdy, engineer types, a lot of males. How can we expand this? People struggling to pay loans, and such? How does that connect? What kind of answers do we have for them? What about stop and frisk? That's something we care about, and it affects people in lower income areas.

We came up with a concept of doing a FOIA request on some of our own members, to one of our local fusion centers, to see what we get back.

Boycotts & Intellectual Property. We should declare a voluntary boycott of intellectual property. Not a complete boycott, but do little things where you can. The pirate party is against the concept of intellectual property monopolies. How do you lower your IP footprint? And how do you do this without spending thousands and thousands of dollars to prove you're innocent.

Six strikes plan? This is a private agreement that ISPs have made with Movie makers. After six suspected downloads, the ISP reduces or cuts off your internet access.

Party Committees. We had talked about forming different committees. That might be a good way to get people involved, by giving them an easy way to plug in. Committees can be small, starting with, say, two people. The we can rotate between committees, so that people don't get burned out.

Possible committees

  • policy and identity committee (Policy and identity are different things, but highly related).
  • IT committee (Steve, shidash, jamie, Joe)
  • welcoming/outreach committee (Lauren, Sevan, Lucy, Yecenia)
  • fundraising/media committee
  • dogfood and democracy committee (jamie, Eric)
  • Treasury (Lucy, steve, jamie)

Should we have committee reports at future meetings? Yes. That might create some positive social pressure.

Political System. If we view ourselves as transcending the existing political system, then we have to do that ourselves. We have to lead by example. We do little things (posting IRC transcript), but we need to do more. We should be the technology leaders.

One congressman (Justin Amash) explains all of his votes on Facebook, every single one. We should push other leaders to do the same thing.

Some legislators never read the legislation; they just read the titles, and ask their interns to look at the legislation and suggest hot to vote. Reading all of the bills takes an incredible amount of time. What about crowdsourcing legislation?

I'd love to have the equivalent of "git blame" for the text of legislation.

We can't tangibly change processes in congress, unless we have people in congress to make the changes. We need to win political points, but can we do this at the top of the pyramid.

Suppose we had 5% of registered voters. Then, we could all of these things. Which of the things we've talked about would get us to 5%? Once we hit 5%, there's a wider group of things we can do.

Some laws begin put forward could screw us. All of us. We can't catch everything, but we should be up in arms about certain things. Perhaps identify relevant bills, ask people to read them, and to summarize what's in them.

Muckrock (?) uses a tool to crowd source drone research. We could probably use the same tool for privacy research. We need voting to know voting records for our legislators.

Have no-money Mike talk at our conference, about campaigning?

Would instant runoff voting also fall into the category of eating our own dogfood? Yes.

People should be saying "this is how the pirate party did it at their conference". If they don't, it's a missed opportunity.