RSVP for the Saturday December 5th meeting at 2pm pst/5pm est 10pm GMT by DMing us at @AaronSwartzDay on twitter or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
We’re not posting the link publicly this time – so be sure to contact us ahead of time, if you’d like to attend.
Hello everyone :)
Here is our agenda for our third ever weekly meeting on Saturday:
- “No One Is Illegal “Book Report” – Part One: A History of the Border” – by Keri
- Tutorial by Lisa Rein: Using Muckrock to file Public Records Act requests for the Aaron Swartz Day Police Surveillance Project
- Q&A re: Hackathon Technology Projects
- Q&A re: Hackathon Activism Projects
- Mutual Aid projects and ideas
- Prisoner support training
- This Week In Concentration Camps – #CloseTheCampsNowJoe (Close the concentration camps project)
- Your great project here
- Any other new project introductions and brainstorming
- Book Suggestions
Hackathon Technology Projects:
- Lisa Rein, SwartzManning VR Museum, Art Gallery & Funhouse
- Internet Archive, Internet Archive’s Scholar – Help the Internet archive test their latest alpha search tool & give them detailed feedback.
- Danny O’Brien’s “People’s Pollster” talk from our November 14 event —- Danny can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org – and if you don’t hear back let me know and I’ll get his attention. Let’s build this project! Danny is completely open to collaborating on building this project. Now. For realz.
- Link from Danny’s talk: https://github.com/rethinkpriorities/rp_2020_benchmarking_poll
- Second Link from Danny’s Talk: https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5c64375df4e5314e7985012c/t/5f998f048ef3c11dadf5ddc1/1603899141511/Biden+at+%2B9.8+support+nationally+in+Rethink+Priorities+poll,+Dems+%2B5.3+for+Congress.pdf
- Note that Aaron Swartz did this for real; and had an actual prototype that gave reasonably good results. So if you want to follow in Aaron’s footsteps, here’s your chance. It could be super important in the 2022 mid-term elections, and in all elections, moving forward. ok thanks!
- Open Library (User Testing, Programming, Writing/Research) The Open Library was created by Aaron Swartz and the Internet Archive, to provide a web page for every book.
- Internet Archive Experiments (Programming, User Testing, Writing/Research) A showcase of community made experiments built with data and services from Archive.org.
- Internet Archive APIs
- Priveasy is an open source, community-run internet privacy and security services organization.
- Tinfoil Chat testing
- There is a Noisebridge encrypted chat project called “Tinfoil Chat” that may be in good enough shape for testing soon. Those interested should contact Ryan Sternlicht at …. for more information.
- Metadata Stripping Tool
- An easy to use tool for stripping metadata from documents – theoretically for cleaning up documents before they might be sent to a reporter using SecureDrop. Note that, ideally, it’s probably safer to create new documents with the information pasted into them, then to use a metadata stripper on them, but if there are a big “stack” of documents, a metadata stripper could be useful, as long as the removal of metadata could be verified somehow. Note that there is a metadata stripping tool in Tails OS that could be used as a model.
- Your great project here
Hackathon Activism Projects:
- Dave Maass, EFF – Atlas of Surveillance – Background
- Dave Maass, EFF – Atlas of Surveillance – How volunteers can help crowd source data
- Will Howes, Aaron Swartz Timeline Project
- Lisa Rein, Aaron Swartz Day Police Surveillance Project (Writing/Research)
- RSS News Reader Revival (Programming, Writing, Research)
- The Society Library – The Society Library’s mission is to archive and contextualize humanity’s ideas, ideologies, and world-views to present to the public in sincere inquiry after truth, understanding, and education. Our mission is an educational one, therefore we aim to be objective by processing information through an inter-coded content analysis platform to detect and defend against our potential bias as we systematically identify, organize, and present information in the library.
- Prisoner Support Training: A prisoner support project that will teach techniques for helping your prisoner feel more empowered. Writing letters is a good start. Being available for phone calls. Starting a twitter account for them (if desired). Conducting fundraisers for commissary and phone calls. And keeping a log of incidents so your prisoner can forget about them (while still keeping a record of them for the future). How to deal with administrative paperwork in prisons. For this project – folks should contact Lisa Rein at email@example.com so she can conduct research around the rules and regulations for your individual prisoners facility.
- Your great project here
- Legal Defense Fund Equality Act:
Use math to try to solve social issues, version 1: Any money paid to a lawyer for the purposes of litigation would need to be matched dollar for dollar in a restricted bank account by the prosecution. Money would only be able to be withdrawn from this account for the purposes of funding a legal defense. If the amount spent on the defense exceeds what is available in this account, the defendant would likewise have to match all funds spent on legal fees into a second restricted account which the prosecution would have access to for the purposes of legal fees only.
The modifier in the equation can be modified based on research into how much it actually costs to mount a compelling legal defense vs how much it typically costs to charge people with crimes they did not actually commit.
As an example, assuming a 50/50 split with no modifier: Bob decides to sue Alice. He pays his lawyer $100. The lawyer would only be able to use $50 of that money. The other $50 would be placed into a bank account designated for Alice’s legal defense. Other lawyers might be able to see that the money is out there, and contact Alice offering their services.
Let’s say Alice is a multimillionaire (unlikely) with several lawyers on payroll. In this scenario, the lawyers assigned to Alice’s case would be required to keep logs of how many hours they spent on the case. Either Alice, or the lawyers themselves, would be required to deposit money matching the proportion of the lawyer’s total compensation which was spent mounting Alice’s legal defense.
So if 3 lawyers are being paid $200,000 / year each just to handle Alice’s legal affairs, and they work an average of 60 hours a week each, and they spend 15 hours each mounting a legal defense to defend Alice from Bob’s allegations, Alice or the lawyers themselves would be required to deposit about $2834 into a restricted account marked for Bob’s litigation. That’s $2884 minus the $50 from the account created by Bob when starting this case.
In this way, the small fry would always have access to funds, and the big fish will always have to pay more. This will ensure that no side has the upper hand based on financials alone.
Now, at the end of all of this financial ping-pong, the courts would still be able to rule that Alice or Bob were responsible for paying the opposing side’s legal fees, the same as always. But before the trial happens, the opportunity for financial inequality to determine the outcome of the trial would be limited.
Eli is still in the bouncing ideas off of people phase of this project. Since something on this scale with regulations and so on would require a law to be passed, the name “Legal Defense Fund Equality Act” was thrown around. Eli is open to renaming it. Please share feedback on the #LegalDefenseFundEqualityAct channel of our discord. Eli is “StrangeCharm” on our discord.
- Book suggestion by Lisa Rein:
The Condemnation of Little B, by Elaine Brown
This book is about how a 13 year old teen ager was tried as an adult for a murder he did not commit, and how a career driven District Attorney (Paul Howard) and Mayor (in Atlanta in the 90s) decided to make Little B an example of the crime in the city that needed to be cleaned up.
Note: Although Aaron Swartz was 24, not 13, when he was railroaded, there are a lot of similarities between Aaron’s story and Little B’s. Namely the existence of a career-driven prosecutor that wasn’t concerned with the truth, hell bent on a mission to make a name for himself. (like Stephen Heymann)
Book suggestion by Keri:
No One Is Illegal- Fighting Racism & State Violence on the US-Mexico Border by Justin Akers Chacon and Mike Davis
Related to prisoner support and close the concentration camps projects, this book provides a comprehensive history of Latin American immigrant struggle in the US.
It discusses how the US-Mexican border was established (until 1848 the Mexican border reached as far north as Washington state) and explains how the political project of creating the status of “illegal” human beings was accomplished. The book later goes on to contemporary immigrant struggle under Obama and Trump, showing the rise of ICE and the limits of recent reforms.
Haymarket is having a sale through Jan: