This weekend, ThoughtWorks, HFP, and the Australian Privacy Foundation hosted the first ever Aaron Swartz Day Internet Freedom Hackathon at the ThoughtWorks Brisbane office.

Despite coinciding with the Global StartUp Weekend, 16 attendants persevered and presented on Sunday.

Eight project ideas were pitched on Friday night and by the end of the day, five projects soldiered on all the way to the end. Some ideas earned the “Epic Failure” award, as they ended up abandoning their idea and merged into other teams.

The five fantastic projects that made it to the final presentations were;

  • DecentralisedU by Privacy Enablers: A decentralized system through which users can own and control their data!
  • L33t Sp3ak 2.0 by #!: Cryptography that’s readable by humans but not by machines!
  • WhatchaNo?: A platform that will show you the posts with the worst sentiment from your social media accounts.
  • Internet Freedom Launchpad: A cloud based dynamic and disposable VPN solution that gives you a new instance everytime you use it and stores no logs.
  • Free Elbownia! by Crypto Anarchists: A privacy game where Agent Frankie F from Freedonia infiltrates Elbownia to extract information that will be used to destroy the “Great Elbownian Firewall”. Agent Frankie F will have to overcome several internet privacy traps to succeed at his mission.

The judges were suitably impressed with the quality and ambition of all of the projects.

The Internet Freedom Launchpad won first place, with their working solution circumventing government censorship, and Decentralized U were the runner up. L33t Sp3ak 2.0 won the best technical demo of the evening.

Participants had very good feedback about the hackathon. They were happy that a hackathon event had been organised in the internet privacy space and that there were a lot of like minded people in the community. Participants and organisers alike are looking forward to the next one – please send us an email if you have more feedback to share.

Here are some photos from the event:

Special massive thank you to all the people that helped make this possible, including:

  • Our two splendid speakers: Liam Pomfret and Dr. Matthew Rimmer.
  • Our four excellent judges: Monique Mann, Justin Clacherty, Glen Arrowsmith, and Katrina Donaghy.
  • Thomas Miller, Justin Clacherty, Brian Reaves, Clayton Nyakana, Eru Penkman, Robin Doherty, Harsh Pandya, Tim Smith, Jacob Olsen, Julian Scharf, Kizito Katawonga, Larene Le Gassick, Tony Smith, Nic Smythe, John Geddes, Fiona Byarugaba, and Tegan Scates.

It was an awesome weekend and we’re looking forward to next year’s event(s)!

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Posted by Clayton and Eru