Projects from the Boston Aaron Swartz Hackathon

Written with Erhardt GraeffSJ Klein

Intro Talk Ethan led us out by talking about the breadth of Aaron’s work, and what it is to be an “effective citizen.”

(Second day’s talks are written up already on the Civic blog here.)

Projects We Worked On We are deeply appreciative of all of the hard work done at the event, and about the social bonds built in our time together.

Ableson Report TL; DR Distillation and restating the Report to the President on MIT’s role (or lack thereof) in the arrest and suicide of Aaron Swartz, such that more people can join in the conversations around the issues specific to MIT.

Finished with: Prioritized and referenced questions for the FAQ doc, this prezi (which can still be expanded upon, but this is a start), and a super pretty interface to put it all into as we work.

Emerson Working with Mozilla’s web API structures to to wrangle control of personal data across the web back into the hands of users.

Repeal the CFAA Repeal the CFAA: The CFAA is broken; no one but prosecutors like it. Building a constructive, normative replacement, and strategies for getting support at all levels: executive, policy, law, prosecution, activists, cyberwar. Cooperating with Aaron’s Law and EFF work; but also tackling. Most discussions of “CFAA reform” have been incremental, in a framework of discussing what changes to current law are possible and would help fix recent problems; as opposed to describing why CFAA is broken and what proportionate and moral laws in that space wold look like. We’re trying to describe what effective policy would look like, starting from scratch. Policy, Legal, Social, Tech/Security, and Prosecutorial norms which make sense. Project details and analysis

Strong Box A platform for whistleblowers to transfer documents to newspapers directly. Initial code by Aaron Swartz.

This gentleman fixed a bug in how to delete files which a journalist may no longer find relevant.

Tor2Web Set out to work on tor2web, which makes it possible for internet users to view content from Tor hidden services. It’s online in a (mostly) functioning form at Worked on by Aaron Swartz.

Finished with: a WORKING simple anonymous editable pastebin (no public code yet; on AWS w/ sponsorship). Hot damn!

What’s Next? Keep going, of course!

Recurring Calls We’ll have an ongoing call—once a week on Mondays for November, then monthly. These are to touch base about our work, to help solve issues and celebrate successes. If you’d like to be added to the calendar, invite, please leave a comment or email Willow

Open Atrium We’ll track our progress and objectives on this open source project management platform. It’s a way for us to remain ambiently aware of each other while still being accountable. If you’d like to hop on a project, or be aware of how projects are progressing, check out

IRC As always, you can join us in the OFTC IRC room #aaronswhack

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