San Francisco Hackathon – Schedule & RSVP

The Internet Archive hosted a two-day hackathon, on Saturday, November 4th (10am-6pm) and Sunday, November 5th (11am-6pm).

 Location:    The Internet Archive – 300 Funston Ave, San Francisco, CA 94118          

Food and refreshments will be provided, so you don’t have to leave the building from 10 am until 9:30pm, if you are so inclined. (Yes there are vegetarian and vegan options :-)

As always, this is a great opportunity to hack on SecureDrop, the whistleblower submission system originally created by Aaron and Kevin Poulsen, that is now managed by the Freedom of the Press Foundation.

Jen Helsby, SecureDrop’s Lead Developer and Connor Schaefer, SecureDrop’s Senior DevOps Engineer, will be on hand to answer questions.

In addition, there are several other hackathon tracks that we will be fleshing out over in the weeks leading up to the event. (This is just a starting list):

  1. Ethical Algorithms (SF: panel on Saturday, 2pm)
  2. Usable Crypto (SF: a panel and the first ever live demo of the Pursuance Project on Saturday, 3pm) (Interview with Barrett Brown and Steve Phillips about Pursuance.)
  3. FOIA (SF: a presentation by Jason Leopold, Saturday, 5pm)
  4. Simple Secure Messaging 101

Here is a tentative schedule:


9:30 am Breakfast – The fun starts Saturday morning – bright and early at 9:30 am. Grab a bagel and some coffee and start deciding what to do next from a wide range of possibilities.

10:00 am SecureDrop Hackathon Begins

Upstairs in the Great Room:

10:00 am – Introduction to Aaron Swartz Day
– Lisa Rein, Mek Karpeles and various project leaders:

-Lisa Rein (Simple Secure Messaging 101)
-Nathalie Cadranel (OpenArchive)
-Steve Phillips (Pursuance Project)
-Mek Karpeles (Open Library)
-Internet Archive (AI for IA)

12 pm – Downstairs – Lunch

Lunch is from Noon – 1pm – Make sure you eat a big lunch to get you through an exciting afternoon. But if you don’t, there’s food downstairs all day, for when you realize you’re about to fall over :-)

1pm – 1:45 pm – “Aaron was a hacker, but he didn’t hack MIT.’ – w/audience Q and A and questions from internet. Panel: Gabriella Coleman, Lisa Rein and others.   Gabriella Coleman, hacker anthropologist, Assistant Professor, Researcher.  Lisa Rein, film maker “From DeadDrop to SecureDrop.”

2:00 – 2:45 pm – Ethical Algorithms Panel – w/Q and A. Kristian Lum (Human Rights Data Analysis Group – HRDAG) and Caroline Sinders (Wikimedia Foundation, Formerly of IBM Watson Chatbot team). Plus special surprise guest!

3pm -4:30 pm Barrett Brown and Steve Phillips – Building a Better Opposition: Process Democracy and the Second Wave of Online Resistance w/ Q and A (First live demo of the Pursuance Project!)

5pm – 6:00 pm – Jason Leopold’s FOIA Wisdom w/ Q and A
BuzzFeed’s Senior Investigative Reporter Jason Leopold will provide a FOIA how-to, with a presentation of “Tips and Tricks,” he has learned along the way. Jason wrote about Aaron’s FOIA request filings in the weeks following his death, and was greatly inspired by them.

6:00-7:00 pm Hackathon Reception – Join us in celebrating many incredible things that we’ve accomplished by this year!

We will toast to the launch of the Pursuance Project (an open source, end-to-end encrypted Project Management suite, envisioned by Barrett Brown and brought to life by Steve Phillips).

7:00-7:30 – Reception finishes up 7:10pm and guests will make will make their way upstairs

Speakers 7:30 – 9:30 pm

Sunday – Tentatively

10:30 – Breakfast

11 am -SECUREDROP hackathon continues :-)

11 am – noon – Talks from Project Leaders about Hackathon Projects – Lisa Rein, Mek Karpeles, Project Leaders


1 – 2 pm EFF/Let’s Encrypt Lead Developer Jacob Hoffman-Andrews w audience Q and A – VIDEO HERE

2 – 3 pm Pursuance Advanced Tech (w Q and A) – Steve Phillips and Barrett Brown – VIDEO HERE

Sunday Nov 5:

3:10 pm: Matteo Borri – – Beyond 3d printing: how desktop manufacturing continues to evolve

Matteo has been a friend and contributor to many of my projects since 2008. He’s been telling me a lot about his latest projects: building a chlorophyll detector for a future NASA Mars Rover, and refining his 3-D printing skills to the point where he is creating his own stronger filaments by adding graphite to common printing material. He’s been teaching robotics and 3-D printing to all the kids in his neighborhood, and he makes complex scientific concepts fun and easy to understand. He readily shares all of his knowledge and open sources all of his designs, and I’ve been wanting to introduce him to this community for quite some time. Don’t miss this talk. :-)


3:30 pm: Lisa Rein and Austin Hartzheim – Twitter verified follower scraper

Until I finally launched the website for Chelsea’s commutation campaign, Twitter was all Chelsea and I had to get her messages out to the world. I worked with Austin to develop a tool that used the Twitter API to download all of a persons followers, filter out the verifieds, and throw it in a spreadsheet, that I could then sort by follower count, to see what news agencies and famous people were following us, so I could reach out to them. We hit a few limitations with Twitter’s API that we created workarounds for – just to deal with time outs, etc. We are making the code available today for anyone to use.

4:00 pm: Natalie Cadranel – OpenArchive

4:30 pm: John Light – A Brief History of Blockchain Name Systems VIDEO HERE

5:00 pm: Galen Mancino – “Networked Economies” – Crowd sourcing business and housing for the little guy  – VIDEO HERE

5:30 – Demos from hackathon folks

Open Library Lite – Richard

SecureDrop – Jen Helsby – @redshiftzero

Internet Archive RSS changes – Danny O’Brien @Mala

Aletheia – Miguel

Jake –

Webrecorder – Ilya

For more information about anything, please contact:

Lisa Rein, Co-founder, Aaron Swartz Day



November 11 2023 – 11 am -6:30 pm PST