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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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