National Day of Civic Hacking

The state has decided to declare June 1st and 2nd as National Day of Civic Hacking:

This summer, on June 1-2, 2013, citizens in cities across the Nation will join together to improve their communities and governments as part of the National Day of Civic Hacking.

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. While civic hacking communities have long worked to improve our country and the world, this summer will mark the first time local developers from across the Nation unite around the shared mission of addressing and solving challenges relevant to OUR blocks, OUR neighborhoods, OUR cities, OUR states, and OUR country.

I’m probably going to surprise you but this is actually an idea I can get behind. Hackers have the means of greatly improving our communities by developing new mechanisms to help individuals bypass the state’s watchful eye. Hidden services, such as Silk Road (if you’re on Tor you can access the site via this link), allow individuals to conduct business without having to concern themselves with taxes, regulations, and laws. If somebody needs some electrical work they could use a hidden service to find people in their community with experience in electrical work and hire them (under the table of course). The same could be done for any good or service, you would be surprised to discover the number of skilled individuals living in your community.

In keeping with the spirit of the day such hidden services can also help improve governments by depriving them of resources and therefore making them either scale back operations (wouldn’t it be nice if your local police department didn’t have a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team standing by to squash any potential dissidence) or increase their rate of expropriation, which would push more people to use state avoiding hidden services. Overall I think National Day of Civic Hacking could be a boon for everybody.

I encourage hackers to spend National Day of Civic Hacking working on projects that help their local communities avoid the tyranny of the state. Even if you don’t have the knowledge to create hidden services you can help the cause by running a Tor relay on your computer. Donating a portion of your bandwidth to help dissidents in your local community and around the world is certainly a good cause.