March 14th, 2016 IRC Meeting

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Review & Decisions

Discussion of Senate FOIA bill

Campaigns Status

PirateCon 2016

Results of the survey.

Looking at streaming options.

2016 Campaign

2016 Campaign Plan & Task Status

Regional Convention & Contacting Members

  • Joe Thornton offered to call Boston
  • Lulu is calling Worcester & South
  • jokeefe calling volunteers

Candidate Status

  • Noe, Steve and jokeefe are calling potential candidates

Upcoming Events

  1. 3/19-20, LibrePlanet 2016 conference, MIT Stata Center, Cambridge, Edward Snowden is the keynote speaker. Our crypto-corner is the last half of lunch, into the first session after lunch (around two hours), both Saturday and Sunday.
  2. 3/26, 1pm, Cryptoparty, South Coast Innovator Labs, Building A, 1380 Bay Street, Taunton
  3. 3/30, 6-9pm, Somerville Cryptoparty, 577 Somerville Ave., Somerville

Every Wed., Digital Fourth meeting, 11:20am-1:30pm, Voltage Cafe, Third Street, Cambridge

Participants

  • jokeefe (James O’Keefe, Somerville)
  • srevilak (Steve Revilak, Arlington, MA)
  • noe (Noelani Kamelamela, Somerville)
  • Kendra (Kendra Moyer in Detroit, MI)
  • benc
  • igel (william fleurant, arlington ma)

Observers

  • davidd

Summary

We discuss revisions to MA public records law. It's not perfect, but it's a step forward. Ideally, any bit of data without PII should be made available to the public; the bill doesn't go that far. Motion to support passes, 5-0.

Reviewed piratecon survey results. Looks like June 25th (Saturday), in Boston area, with Childcare.

Minutes

 
21:02 < jokeefe> Agenda:
        https://masspirates.org/wiki/March_14th,_2016_IRC_Meeting
21:02 < jokeefe> ids - James O’Keefe, Somerville
21:02 < srevilak> Steve Revilak, Arlington, MA
21:03 < noe> Noelani Kamelamela, Somerville
21:05 < jokeefe> Review & Decisions - Discussion of Senate FOIA bill
21:05 < srevilak> Thanks for marking up old/new text.  Makes it much
        easier to see the effect of the legislation
21:06 < srevilak> I like it
21:06 < jokeefe> Yeah, diffs are fine if you know the context.  But if
        you don’t …
21:06 < jokeefe> According to Maya of BSE their take on the Senate bill
        from 2/1/16 is still relevant to the amended law
21:07 < jokeefe>
        http://www.baystateexaminer.com/articles/foia-bles-critical-mass-records-reform-bill-takes-two-steps-forward-and-one-step-back
21:08 < srevilak> I didn't notice Section 17 before.  That's actually
        an important addition
21:08 < jokeefe> ahoy Kendra
21:08 < srevilak> Means an agency can't avoid responding by contracting
        storage out to a 3rd party
21:08 < Kendra> Hi Pirates, Kendra Moyer in Detroit, MI
21:10 <@igel> lo'
21:10 < noe> ahoy!
21:10 <@igel> william fleurant, arlington ma
21:10 <@jokeefe> Mandatory legal fees were removed though.  Slightly
        easier to sue, but gov. gets more time to respond.
21:10 <@noe> i have to admit, reading about the storage requirements
        (fireproof vaults etc) makes me feel like we're in the stone ages.
21:10 <@jokeefe> nice provision is that they automatically have to waive
        fees if the agency misses a deadline.
21:11 <@benc> that's an awesome provision, they always miss deadlines
21:11 <@jokeefe> yes
21:12  * srevilak points to agenda at
        https://masspirates.org/wiki/March_14th,_2016_IRC_Meeting
21:12 <@igel> thanks
21:12 <@srevilak> (for those just arriving)
21:12 <@jokeefe> thanks
21:12 <@jokeefe> Specifically
        https://masspirates.org/wiki/2015_S.2127_An_Act_to_improve_public_records
21:13 <@jokeefe> They added a cybersecurity exemption when there are
        already a lot of exemptions
21:14 <@igel> i only recently learned MA FOIA requests are.. frustrating?
21:15 <@jokeefe> yes
21:16 <@benc> some consider us the worst state in the country for this
        sort of thing
21:17 <@jokeefe> And this one would be two steps forward, one back
21:18 <@srevilak> But some good points - each agency has to have a public
        records officer, the sec of state has to provide training & compliance
        materials, there's a per-hour limit, and a fund to help municipalities
        develop IS to respond to requests
21:18 <@srevilak> yes, could be better, but there's definitely some good
        stuff in there
21:19 <@benc> it also looks like there's some good privacy protections
        in Section 10B
21:22 <@jokeefe> other things of note?
21:23 <@igel> database architecture notes..
21:24 <@benc> section 19 requires digital copies of all sorts of basic
        records
21:24 <@igel> so.. things are going to be more transparent in the
        baystate?
21:24 <@jokeefe> maybe. if so only slightly.
21:25 <@jokeefe> better than the house bill with is many steps backward
21:25 <@igel> perhaps, more flexible.. because some municipalities will
        be putting records online?
21:25 <@noe> its almost progress!  better than no progress.
21:26 <@igel> for sure
21:27 <@jokeefe> But is almost progress enough, or will it end up stifling
        any change for decades?
21:28 <@srevilak> jokeefe: I've never been good @ predicting future, but
        we couldn't stifle change for many more decades than the last iteration
        of public records law
21:28 <@srevilak> At least not w/in my lifetime :)
21:29 <@igel> i think its a half step
21:29 <@benc> public records reform does not happen often, whether it
        is good or not
21:29 <@igel> a full step would be a public api
21:30 <@igel> half step is getting data into SQL.. by means of bid,
        or contract, whatever..
21:30 <@benc> you can think of the current process as a really bad,
        high latency API
21:31 <@benc> it's important to get the different state and local
        departments used to the idea of actually responding to these requests
        appropriately
21:31 <@jokeefe> would settle for everything as static web pages that
        we can index ourselves if it were all there.
21:31 <@igel> where you have to drive to the town/city hall
21:32 <@igel> perhaps its a half step..
21:32 <@jokeefe> Got that “is that all there is?” feeling
21:33 <@igel> i'll keep the faith its not throwaway $
21:33 <@igel> well, i get the impression there is no standard/spec for
        people to use..
21:34 <@igel> each method of getting some fiscal report data will be
        different, and even to the extent not compatitble with all web browsers,
        etc..
21:34 <@jokeefe> My inclination is not to reject it, but point out what
        we want (make it all available) and say it falls far short
21:34 <@noe> I think that's a good policy
21:34  * srevilak points out section 19, and the bit about machine
        readable formats
21:35 <@igel> All written or printed public records shall be entered
        or recorded on paper made of linen rags and new cotton clippings, well
        sized with animal sizing and well finished or on one hundred per cent
        bond paper sized with animal glue or gelatin, and
21:36 <@srevilak> Ideally, every public records request should be
        satisfiable via HTTP GET.  We're just not there yet
21:37 <@igel> yeah
21:37 <@igel> and identical as well
21:38 <@igel> aka, form rate limiting by obfuscating the fields
21:40 <@jokeefe> other observations?
21:41 <@igel> towns/cities should collaborate in the bidding process
21:43 <@igel> i have no idea how this is possible.. but i'd like to
        think if a half dozen cities used the same system.. thats about half a
        dozen towns re-inventing the wheel..
21:43 <@benc> ideally, the state would fun an open source solution that
        all municipalities could use for free
21:45 <@igel> all towns would be responsible for encoding their documents
        by dataentry or OCR, then provide those tables upstream
21:45 <@jokeefe> Proposal: Do not reject it, but point out that while
        it is a step in the right direction we will make require that every bit
        of data that is not private be made available and this bill falls far
        short of that objective
21:46 <@srevilak> jokeefe: I think that's a good position
21:46 <@igel> yeah anything restricting, censoring, hindering access to
        public data. yea
21:46 <@benc> I agree that is a good position to take
21:46 <@jokeefe> all in favor?
21:47 <@benc> aye
21:47 <@noe> aye
21:47 <@Kendra> aye
21:48 <@igel> aye
21:48 <@jokeefe> any opposed?
21:48 <@srevilak> aye (in favor)
21:50 <@jokeefe> motion passes
21:50 <@jokeefe> srevilak, did you happen to collate the piratecon
        survey results?
21:51 <@srevilak> jokeefe: no, sorry
21:52 <@jokeefe> no worries.
21:52 <@jokeefe> sorry for the delay, just collating the results
21:53 <@igel> do'h i didn't get to that
21:53 <@igel> :/
21:54 <@srevilak> Looks like one day, Boston area, Saturday, with
        childcare
21:54 <@benc> can't argue with that
21:55 <@noe> ok
21:57 <@jokeefe> On the 25th
21:57 <@Kendra> I gotta get going, nite all
21:57 <@srevilak> Popular topics: open govt, surveillance,
        countersurveillance
21:58 <@srevilak> then 3rd party coalitions, public records, net
        neutrality, pirate strategy, war on drugs (tied for 3rd)
21:58 <@jokeefe> 10 for the 25th, 9 for the 18th
21:58 <@jokeefe> 8 for the 4th
21:59 <@jokeefe> 5 for 5th or 26th
21:59 <@jokeefe> 4 for the 19th
22:01 <@jokeefe> The 25th in Boston area with childcare then?
22:01 <@igel> arright
22:02 <@noe> sounds good
22:02 <@srevilak> works for me
22:03 <@jokeefe> benc?
22:03 <@jokeefe> srevilak, would you see if the Community Church is
        available?
22:03 <@srevilak> jokeefe: will do
22:04 <@srevilak> will also check Roxbury Community College
22:04 <@benc> is this the 25th of June?
22:04 <@jokeefe> thank you
22:04 <@srevilak> benc: yes, june
22:04 <@jokeefe> yes
22:04 <@benc> that sounds good for me
22:04 <@srevilak> we're at time
22:04 <@jokeefe> yes
22:04 <@srevilak> jokeefe: noe check email, re candidate in somerville
22:05 <@jokeefe> will make a flyer for Libreplanet
22:05 <@jokeefe> did, thank you.
22:05 <@jokeefe> shall we adjourn then?
22:06 <@benc> looks like we should
22:06 <@srevilak> motion to adjourn
22:06 <@jokeefe> 2nd
22:06 <@noe> second
22:06 <@jokeefe> all in favor?
22:06 <@benc> aye
22:06 <@noe> aye
22:06 <@jokeefe> aye
22:06 <@srevilak> aye
22:07 <@jokeefe> motion passes
22:07 <@jokeefe> good night all
22:07 <@noe> night all!
22:07 <@srevilak> will post minutes