Longtime Concord liberty activist Kirk McNeil is Area 23’s proprietor. Longtime readers of Free Keene may remember him for making headlines for legalizing nanobreweries in New Hampshire. Kirk said in an interview for Free Keene, “I’m happy to have a location where people can access and utilize alternative currencies and exchange methods.”
Entrepreneur and newer mover David Jurist purchased the Lamassu brand BVM, approached Kirk before anyone else and offered him the opportunity to host the unit at Area 23, given it was already a liberty-and-bitcoin friendly establishment. David told me, “it’s exciting that the capital city of New Hampshire finally has a Bitcoin Vending Machine”. I agree. It’s also timely as one of the state representatives on the “Commission to Study Cryptocurrency” has followed through on her promise to file a bill this year that will ensure bitcoin users do not need to register as “money transmitters”. (more…)
My optimistic message of migrating to NH with the highest concentration of liberty activists in the world stood in stark contrast to the other guests’ opinions. The others were all spread out in other places with no real hope for liberty in their lifetimes. Their positions were understandably critical of getting involved in the system (they don’t know that the system can actually be changed here in NH). Some panelists supported just trying to run away from the state or improve one’s own individual wealth and happiness where they are. (more…)
I received a call from a friend in Keene yesterday. His friend’s computer had been hit by “ransomware”. Ransomware is malware that supposedly encrypts the hard drive of the victim, then demands payment in bitcoin in order to unlock the files. The malicious software in today’s incident was demanding a payment of 1.9 bitcoin and at the time of this writing, one bitcoin is selling for over $1,000 USD, so the ransomware was demanding about $2,000 worth of bitcoin. Damn. This is not the way you want to introduce someone to the amazing world of Bitcoin.
Having heard that I was someone who might know a thing or two about bitcoin, they reached out to me. My first question was, do you have backups of your important files? He said that his backup procedure had been broken for a while, so he didn’t have one. This is the number one thing you can do to avoid paying ransom. If you have a backup (preferably one on-site and one off-site), then you can just format the computer and reinstall everything fresh.
They were in a hurry as there were mission critical files on the infected computer, so I told them I could help them turn some cash into bitcoin since the Keene Bitcoin Vending Machine at Route 101 Local Goods is closed on Mondays. However, I cautioned that they still have to trust unknown hackers to actually do as they say and unlock the files once the payment is made. (Turns out, they did decrypt the files about ten hours after he paid the ransom.) I then did some digging online for solutions to avoid paying the extortion.
Turns out, paying the ransom or formatting the computer aren’t the only two options, according to some of my even-more-techy friends in the New Hampshire bitcoin community. The most promising options are ransomware decryptors. Kapersky Labs, along with Intel and others, have a website set up with instructions and downloadable files to attempt to unencrypt your files. Another handy site, “ID Ransomware” will assist you in determining which specific ransomware you’re dealing with. (more…)
Wow, what a decade! For a full ten years we’ve covered liberty-oriented news, opinion, and activism here at New Hampshire’s Liberty Activism Destination – Free Keene. We’re celebrating nearly 5,000 posts and over 62,000 comments since December 27th of 2006.
Without a doubt, Free Keene is the site of record for much of the most noteworthy activism over the last ten years from across the Shire. Other libertarian blogs from across the state have tried to compete, and failed, sadly. I really take no pleasure in this. My initial vision for this site did not include statewide coverage. I’d hoped other blogs would crop up and report on their area’s activism, but we ended up expanding to do that after the ball was dropped everywhere else. (See Free Manch, Free Grafton, etc.)
Some bloggers, like the movers here, have come and gone. The haters have also come and gone over the last decade. Despite our bloggers being targeted for arrests, lawsuits, and physical attacks, Free Keene has not been stopped. To the contrary, while the haters scream out from their comments and blogs about how irrelevant we are, they refute their own assertion by their very attention to us.
The critics might say, “Well, it’s been a decade – why aren’t you free yet?” (more…)
More than three years after the City of Keene filed suit against Keene’s “Robin Hooders” (the activists who’ve saved motorists from thousands of parking tickets by feeding expired meters), the case has finally come to a close – at least within the New Hampshire court system. In a short four-page order issued just before Christmas, the NH supreme court affirms the Cheshire superior court’s decision to deny the city’s request for an unconstitutional injunction they’ve been begging for since 2013:
taking into consideration the governmental interest that would be served, the trial court weighed the benefits of the requested relief against the effect that relief would have on the respondents’ constitutionally protected speech, and, based upon the factual record before it, exercised its equitable discretion to deny the proposed injunction.
We won! (Again!) Presuming the city gang does not decide to continue lavishing taxpayer dollars on their expensive private attorneys to take the case to federal court, it should end here. We’ve yet to see the total cost of the several court appearances the city has made, but then-city-manager John MacLean admitted in 2013 that the first round (of four) cost about $20,000. Their private attorneys billed them so much, that on this final round at the supreme court they were claiming to have taken the case “pro bono”. Another way to say that is that the city paid tens-of-thousands for the first three rounds in court and got the fourth free.
James Cleaveland, Attorney Jon Meyer, Ian Freeman
All the while free speech attorney Jon Meyer of Manchester truly did take the Robin Hooders’ case pro-bono, the entire time. His talent is legendary and he not only brilliantly defended the peaceful activists but proved without a doubt that the city’s parking enforcers were dishonest and ridiculous. There was never any evidence presented that the accused Robin Hooders had “threatened, intimidated, or harassed” the city employees. As if to prove how ridiculous their claims were, parking enforcer Jane desperately stated that anything Garret said, even talking to her about the weather, she considered to be “taunting”. It was laughable but also very serious – the city gang was lying to try to get the judge to order us to stay 50 feet away from the enforcers. (more…)
NH residents enjoy the most economic freedom in the US • Two warrant articles aimed at reducing school spending • City council democracy in action • Croydon school choice vs the NH Department of Education • http://CitizenCain.org