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Hackers to the Rescue

Posted on Jun 5, 2011
Anonymous9000 (CC-BY)

“Hacktivism” has been steadily gaining ground in the political arena, especially since the emergence of Anonymous, the online activist group that famously hacked its way into Amazon, eBay and various countries’ government websites in support of WikiLeaks.

On Friday, for instance, Anonymous hacked into Iranian government servers and stole more than 10,000 email addresses, and in June the group plans to target the Iranian government again on the anniversary of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s 2005 election.

The problem, though, is that the activities of such groups are more often outright attacks than constructive activism. This weekend, however, hackers took a different tack. Hackers from around the world met at “hackathon” events to tackle climate change and disaster-risk management during the semiannual Random Hacks of Kindness global conference.

Organizers hoped to end the weekend with concrete prototypes and demo applications that would address issues of climate change. If only the Earth’s climate were linked up to a central air system. ...  —BF


The group solicits “problem definitions” from organizations in the field of disaster preparedness, relief and climate change and puts them before “tech-savvy do-gooders,” according to Elizabeth Sabet from SecondMuse, RHoK’s global operational lead.

It’s this synthesis between subject-matter experts and computer hackers that makes RHoK effective, its leaders said.

“Technical solutions created only by technical people are often too cumbersome for the field,” said Philadelphia organizer Mike Brennan. “Solutions created by field experts alone often lack the technical and scientific basis for an effective solution. RHoK is looking to address these weaknesses directly.”

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By Maj. Crapshoot, June 6, 2011 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

And in the end, they’ll provide ammo to the enemy to dismantle that which they cherish most. I would be giddy with admiration if it didn’t have all the makings of a useless fad. It will only bring about greater info suppression at earlier dates.

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, June 6, 2011 at 4:49 pm Link to this comment

Fighting for access to information since 1995.

Hack or be hacked.

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By gerard, June 6, 2011 at 12:34 pm Link to this comment

Thank you, hackers!  Got anybody among you named Hackerbee that we could run for President?  This is the attitude and the use of process and product that the government should be doing, openly and earnestly.  Instead they are literally grinding their teeth, trying to keep their precious little connivings secret. and persecuting people like Manning and Assange for opening their eyes to new and great possibilities.

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John R.'s avatar

By John R., June 6, 2011 at 9:06 am Link to this comment

me three…

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By NZDoug, June 6, 2011 at 1:43 am Link to this comment

me too…

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