Aaron Swartz fought for an Internet grounded in community, creativity, and human rights. By co-creating platforms like RSS, reddit, Creative Commons, and the technology that became SecureDrop, he helped build the tools that make information accessible to all, and in the process, called truth to power while putting power in the hands of the users.
Perhaps more than anything, Aaron Swartz believed that everyone should be able to participate in the political processes that determine the laws we have to live under everyday.
The entire community continues to benefit from and build on top of Aaron’s contributions. And so we at EFF are thrilled and honored to join our friends at the the Internet Archive this weekend for Aaron Swartz Day, a two-day hackathon to celebrate and remember Aaron, while we look towards creating the future he envisioned.
The event at here in San Francisco is just one of many. From Buenos Aries to Kathmandu to Austin and L.A., Internet activists in 11 cities across the world are joining in, organizing hackathons in Aaron’s honor.
A “hackathon” is when programmers, developers, artists, researchers, and activists gather together to work intensively on a project. But one thing that sets the Aaron Swartz Day hackathons off from the rest is that all of the projects being hacked on further Aaron’s dream of a free and open Internet and a more just world.
Aaron Swartz Day and the international hackathon weekend is taking place on what would have been Aaron's 28th birthday weekend, November 8th and 9th, 2014. In San Francisco, on Saturday, November 8th, at the Internet Archive's celebration, this year's theme is “setting the record straight,” and will feature seven fantastic speakers sharing on the latest developments in many Aaron-related projects and issues, including EFF’s legal director Cindy Cohn and activist April Glaser, as well as developers of Secure Drop, journalist Kevin Poulsen, Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive, and Dan Purcell of Aaron’s legal team at Keker and Van Nest.
In addition, Brian Knappenberger, director of the critically acclaimed documentary The Internet's Own Boy, will be at the San Francisco event in person, showing the film and answering questions from the audience afterwards along side Trevor Timm, former EFF activist and Freedom of the Press Foundation executive director.
We’re excited that SecureDrop is one of the many projects being hacked on over the weekend. SecureDrop is an open-source whistleblower submission system managed by Freedom of the Press Foundation that media organizations use to securely accept documents from anonymous sources. The project was originally coded by Aaron.
Learn more about all the events going on this week, in San Francisco and around the world. And be sure to RSVP so organizers will know to have enough food and power strips for everyone.
If you’re inspired, we encourage you to host your own hackathon or host a screening of the Internet’s Own Boy, the deeply informative film on Aaron’s work and the movement for a free and open Internet.
Together, we will continue for fight to ensure our rights go with us when we go online. We invite you, in Aaron’s honor, to join us this weekend. Hope to see you there.