Zaki Manian Looks Back at Last Year’s Aaron Swartz Hackathon in San Francisco

Zaki Manian from Restore the 4th SF explained how last year’s Aaron Swartz Day and International Hackathon in San Francisco breathed life into a small Restore the 4th chapter in San Francisco. Restore the 4th sent 4 programmers to the event, and came back with 4 more. “There was an enormous surge of grassroots energy after the Snowden revelations, and Restore the 4th was an attempt to harness that energy and direct it into directions that could create real change.”

One of the main projects that Restore the Fourth SF worked on during last year’s hackathon was the “Shame on Feinstein” campaign, which called out California Senator (D) Dianne Feinstein as a staunch supporter of Mass Surveillance. (Although she came around later in June 2014, when it was revealed that her own congressional computers had been compromised in order to access the classified CIA torture report.)

The other really important element of these civil rights focused hackathons the concept of “Weekend Warrior Activism.” “These hackathons are able to tap into an incredible resource of programmers that might already code 9-5 somewhere, in order to give them the ability to work on an important project over the weekend. This allows programmers to “code for freedom” during their precious weekend hours, making “incremental changes,” much like Virgil Griffith mentioned in his talk last year.

The latest mission of Restore the Fourth mission is helping towns deal with Police Militarization. RTF was already working on these issues before Ferguson happened, but now the plan RTF had already set in motion is more timely than ever.

“Militarization of police is a hot topic of the moment. Surveillance technologies funding license plate readers and facial recog software and mass surveillance is becoming a more local issue.” Zaki explains.

“We’re working on a municipal ordinance template, via a website and national campaign, that people in small towns and cities across the country can use to evaluate and put rules constraining how the equipment already purchased is actually allowed to be used,” Zaki explained. “We’re also working on some talking points and content that people can use, to show them how to do the research to find out what surveillance is already in your town, so you can then take action at the local level.”

Complete Schedule: Aaron Swartz Day and International Hackathon Weekend – November 8-9 at the Internet Archive in San Francisco

Greetings everyone! The outpouring of interest has been incredible.

One question that keeps coming up though is: What exactly is going on at the Internet Archive in San Francisco during this activity-packed weekend?

Short answer:

1) A Hackathon is going on BOTH Saturday and Sunday, from 11am-6pm, RSVP FOR HACKATHON

2) A Saturday night event, with a movie screening, is going on from 6-10:30pm (and then on until 1:30 am at an afterparty)                     RSVP FOR EVENING EVENT

Here’s a the full schedule for the weekend, so you can plan:

Saturday November 8th – 11am-6pm – Hackathon upstairs in the Internet Archive’s Great Room – food and refreshments provided throughout the day (vegan options!) RSVP FOR HACKATHON          (It will be assumed that most hackathoners are sticking around for the evening’s activities.)

Saturday, 6pm the Reception starts for the evening event!              RSVP for EVENING EVENT

6-7pm Reception – Mingle with the speakers and “The Internet’s Own Boy” Director Brian Knappenberger

7-8pm This year’s incredible line-up of speakers will give you a fast-paced update on a number of excited Aaron-related projects and activities over the past year.

9:45pm – Q and A with Director Brian Knappenberger after the movie – also added Trevor Timm and John Perry Barlow!

10:30pm – 1:30 am Keep the conversation going at an after party going on at Pizza Orgasmica, 823 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118 (415) 386-6000 (between 10th Ave & 9th Ave), just a few blocks away from the Internet Archive.

Then! On Sunday, another Hackathon from 11am-6pm. (Food and refreshments provided.) RSVP FOR HACKATHON

Sunday’s Hackathon could be a great chance to jump in to whatever idea sprang up in your mind at the event or during the film on Saturday night. Reminder that you don’t have to be a programmer to participate in a hackathon. (Here’s a “Hackathon 101” video explaining this.)

Travelers: if you are considering traveling to SF, all you’ll need is your computer and a place to sleep from between 1:30 am Saturday night and 11 am Sunday morning, when the Internet Archive opens up for its hackathon. Food will be provided during the hackathons. There’s also food and wine at the reception, and beer and pizza at the after party (though we may run out after the first 50-75 people).

So *if you can get here and have a place to stay for Saturday night, you are good*. I didn’t want people to not participate for lack of funds, and it’s expensive enough to travel these days. So, Woo hoo! Road trip to San Francisco :-)

12 Cities Confirmed For This Year’s Aaron Swartz Hackathon

Aaron Swartz Hackathon GitHub site:

Most hackathons are November 8-9, 2014 – specific dates and locations up soon!

New! Austin! Added October 28th – Now 12 Cities!

Austin – Contact: Shanta Stevens                       (at atx hackerspace)

Berlin – Contact: Samuel Carlisle

Boston – Contact: Ali Hashmi or Adrienne Debigare   /Center for Civic Media, MIT Media Lab, Wiesenr Building, E15, Room 345, 20 Ames Street, Cambridge, MA, 02139, Nov 8, 10:00-20:00 Saturday.

Buenos Aires – Contact: Nicolas Reynolds /Aristóbulo del Valle 1851, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina. the hackathon will be held from saturday 8th, 4pm until sunday morning

Houston – Contact: Jeff Richman

Kathmandu – Contact: Shritesh Bhattarai

Los Angeles – Contact: Sterling crispin

Magdeburg – Contact: Katha or Alex   /Friday – Sunday afternoon, maybe with some breaks in the early morning. Location is our hackerspace Netz39, Leibnizstraße 32, Magdeburg, Germany.

New York City – Contact: Jared Hatch /Thoughtworks 99 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016

Oakland, CA – Contact: Phil Wolff /Sudo Room 4799 Shattuck Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

Oxford – Contact: Matt Ellen /OxHack which is inside OVADA, 14a Osney Lane, OX1 1NJ

San Francisco – Contact: Noah Swartz, /Internet Archive 300 Funston Ave, San Francisco, CA 94118