This weekend marks the third annual Aaron Swartz Day hackathon, and a chance for you to meet up with other people working to use technology to make the world a better place. Once again, cities around the world will host two days of meetups.
The Internet Archive in San Francisco is the main event hub, with film screenings, talks from developers working on projects started or inspired by Aaron, a mini-conference of privacy-enhancing technologies, and a two-day hackathon.
The hackathon will focus on SecureDrop, an anonymous whistleblower document submission system originally developed by Aaron, and now maintained by the Freedom of the Press Foundation. SecureDrop has grown significantly in the years since Aaron began the project—it is now installed in newsrooms around the world—and it benefits from a robust community of developers and supporters who help build and document the project. Lead developer Garrett Robinson will lead the hackathon and explain where people with different skillsets can pitch in.
SecureDrop will not be the only thing to work on. The founder of the OpenArchive project will also be there to lead prospective hackers on developing that app. Developers from our own Privacy Badger browser tool will be there hacking, and EFF staff technologist Cooper Quintin will present during the privacy mini-conference.
Also at the privacy mini-conference on Saturday: presentations on Keybase; former EFF staffer Micah Lee, now with The Intercept, presenting on encryption for journalists; and Brad Warren on exciting developments with the Let’s Encrypt certificate authority.
Starting at 6pm after the first day of hacking, the Internet Archive will host a reception where people can meet. At 7:30, there will be a rare opportunity to see excerpts of the upcoming “From DeadDrop to SecureDrop,” a documentary about that software and Aaron’s role in developing it.
Finally, on Saturday night from 8 to 10pm an impressive line-up of speakers, including EFF Executive Director Cindy Cohn and co-founder John Perry Barlow, will present on their work and Aaron’s legacy. Tickets for the evening event—including the reception, screening, and talks—are available on a sliding scale.
The hackathon and mini-conference continue on Sunday, with more talks from Library Freedom Project’s Alison Macrina and Restore The 4th’s Zaki Manian.
For friends of EFF, and people who want to advance the causes Aaron dedicated his life to, this weekend’s event is a can’t-miss. If you can make it, please RSVP so the organizers can plan accordingly. We hope to see you there.