Interest Article

Join Us for Aaron Swartz Day 2022

November 3, 2022
Aaron Swartz

Photograph of Aaron Swartz by Sage Ross, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

The Internet Archive will host Aaron Swartz Day and Hackathon in San Francisco on November 12-13, with remote participation worldwide. The SecureDrop team will be there to support new and returning contributors in-person and online, and we will also present this year's “State of the Drop,” an annual progress update about our work.

You’re invited to join us for two days full of talks about privacy and internet freedom, and hackathons on privacy-preserving projects, including SecureDrop. Aaron Swartz Day has been a tradition since 2013, and now returns to an in-person format for the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

No matter what area of expertise or experience you have, you are welcome and encouraged to contribute. If you've ever thought about contributing to the project, Aaron Swartz Day is a perfect time to get started! Registration for the in-person event is free of charge.

Aaron was an idealist and visionary who worked tirelessly to improve the world. He was a gifted computer scientist, a remarkable thinker, a strong believer in freedom of speech and information, a champion for universal open access to knowledge and a friend to many.

He played an instrumental part in building the open web, created tools to help expand access to information, defended civil liberties and made the world a safer place for activists and whistleblowers. Later in his life, he created an open source project called DeadDrop, which was designed to make it easier and safer for journalists to receive tips and information from sources in a way that protected both parties and resisted outside surveillance and censorship.

After Aaron died by suicide in January 2013 following an prolonged and relentless crusade by the U.S. judiciary to prosecute him under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for allegedly downloading academic articles, the Freedom of the Press Foundation took over maintenance of the DeadDrop project and changed its name to SecureDrop.

FPF continues to work to expand its capabilities and extend its reach to as many news organizations as possible.

As part of the event, Freedom of the Press Foundation helps host a SecureDrop hackathon at the Internet Archive in San Francisco in Aaron’s honor. This year, we'll be working across multiple areas of the SecureDrop project, including code improvements to the SecureDrop server application and the Qubes-based SecureDrop Workstation, creating and updating documentation, improving translations, and discussing various aspects of the system related to its user experience design.

Throughout the weekend, you'll hear talks from incredible in-person and remote guests, including Cory Doctorow, Chelsea Manning, Cindy Cohn, Brewster Kahle, Tracey Jaquith, Mark Graham, and many others.

We continue to be inspired by Aaron Swartz’ leadership and commitment to civil liberties, online freedom, and open access. Aaron's vision continues to be a guiding force for the SecureDrop project and the Freedom of the Press Foundation. We hope to see you November 12th-13th!

You can find detailed information about the event, including in-person vaccination requirements, here. You can also find information about the planned activities for the SecureDrop hackathon at this link.

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