Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Yes We Irony - White House Announces National Day of Hacking

It is not without a huge amount of irony and gall that the Obama Administration has just announce a National Day of Civic Hacking. The event is described as:

National Day of Civic Hacking is a national event that will take place June 1-2, 2013, in cities across the nation. The event will bring together citizens, software developers, and entrepreneurs from all over the nation to collaboratively create, build, and invent new solutions using publicly-released data, code and technology to solve challenges relevant to our neighborhoods, our cities, our states and our country. National Day of Civic Hacking will provide citizens an opportunity to do what is most quintessentially American: roll up our sleeves, get involved and work together to improve our society.

Sounds vaguely familiar to what Aaron Swartz, Bradley Manning, and Wikileaks have tried to do, in fact they go as far as saying:

  • Liberate open data that can inform better problem solving in every community.
  • Engage citizens in cities with little technology infrastructure to contribute to changing their community through open source, open data, entrepreneurship and code development.
  • Promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education by encouraging students to utilize open technology for solutions to real challenges.

For example compare that to this quote from Aaron Swartz....

"Forcing academics to pay money to read the work of their colleagues? Scanning entire libraries but only allowing the folks at Google to read them? Providing scientific articles to those at elite universites in the First World but not to children in the Global South? It's outrageous and unacceptable!"

 Or this from the Wikileaks about page.

Publishing improves transparency, and this transparency creates a better society for all people. Better scrutiny leads to reduced corruption and stronger democracies in all society’s institutions, including government, corporations and other organizations. A healthy, vibrant and inquisitive journalistic media plays a vital role in achieving these goals. We are part of that media.

Bottom Line:

While we fully support the stated goals of open information and transparency, if the White House was really concerned they would stop their jihad against whistle blowers, reform copyright law and do something about Citizens United. This comes off as a crass and obvious attempt to counter the bad PR from US DA Carmen Oritz driving Aaron Swartz to suicide with her massive overkill for a crime that the alleged victim, JSTOR said they didn't even want prosecuted.

President Obama promised us change and to have the most open presidency ever, instead what we got are things like SOPA, ACTA, TPP, NDAA, and a FBI coordinated attack on Occupy Wall Street while at the same time pretending to support their goals. The epic proportions of irony here should make me laugh, instead it just makes me sick to my stomach.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comment. Any comments with links in them will be deleted.

Search Democratic Progress


DemocracticProgress readers get 1 Month Free of Amazon Prime Video Streaming... Click Here