U.S. Government Invites Hackers to Improve The Nation

The U.S. government has invited hackers to an event that will see them granted access to data for a weekend in an effort to help the country's communities.

The White House said it'll hold a "National Day of Civic Hacking" on June 1 and 2. "Civic Hacking Day is an opportunity for software developers, technologists, and entrepreneurs to unleash their can-do American spirit by collaboratively harnessing publicly-released data and code to create innovative solutions for problems that affect Americans."

"This is an opportunity for citizens in every town and city across the Nation to roll up their sleeves, get involved, and work together to improve our society by cultivating an ecosystem for innovation and change," the White House continued.

The National Day of Civic Hacking was formed by a coalition of organizations, companies and government agencies. They include the likes of Random Hacks of Kindness, Code for America, NASA, Department of Labor and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Civic Hacking Day will offer different activities including hackathons, block parties and brigade meetups.

Taking place in states such as Augusta, Ga. and Denver, Colo., the agencies will offer hackers selected government data with coding challenges, with the goal being to ultimately help local neighborhoods, cities and states. Although the government has specifically requested for technology enthusiasts to participate, anyone can attend the event.

The event organizers said the following benefits will be offered to those interested:

  • Demonstrate a commitment to the principles of transparency, participation, and collaboration.
  • Exercise a government's interest in using open data and technology, in partnership with others, to address your local community's felt needs.
  • Liberate open data that can inform better problem solving in every community.
  • Continue to collectively map a national innovation ecosystem and create new access points to that system.
  • Engage citizens in cities with little technology infrastructure to contribute to changing their community through open source, open data, entrepreneurship and code development.
  • Promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education by encouraging students to utilize open technology for solutions to real challenges.
  • Encourage large scale partnership and mutual understanding.

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  • BoredErica
    This actually sounds like a good thing. 0.o
  • Jerky_san
    They should start by not arresting and criminalizing very good hackers like Aaron Swartz who killed himself recently or all the ones who were thrown in jail instead of given jobs..
  • nieur
    all the experts should boycott the event in support of Aaron Swartz
  • faster23rd
    Well, from a detached, 3rd person perspective, this is a good thing for Americans. Unfriendly states, exemplified by China, is stepping up their cyberwarfare initiatives and neighbouring countries like mine are usually the first to feel the brunt of these attacks. To secure strategic information databases whose divulgence would be inimical for America, I think a home-grown program is a worthwhile initiative.
  • A Bad Day
    Steps for national security:

    1. Educate the public and hammer at businesses that go napping when it comes to security, such as this one (based in the UK, but still a great example): http://serverfault.com/questions/293217/our-security-auditor-is-an-idiot-how-do-i-give-him-the-information-he-wants

    2. No need for it now because of how long Step One will require.
  • synd
    Wait for it...
  • dauntekong
    Plan A
    1. Invite all hackers for the hacking spree
    2. Close all door and trap them in

    Plan B
    1. Invite all hackers for the hacking spree
    2. Capture all info going in and out
    3. Learn their techniques

    Nice try... it's not going towork
  • fnh
    I actually don't see how the objectives listed have anything to do with hacking ...
  • j2j663
    dauntekongPlan A1. Invite all hackers for the hacking spree2. Close all door and trap them in3. ARREST THEM ALLPlan B1. Invite all hackers for the hacking spree2. Capture all info going in and out3. Learn their techniques 4. ARREST THEM ALLNice try... it's not going toworkParanoid much?
  • eiskrystal
    This isn't hacking... it's free technical labor for the government.