2-Day Event to Change the Future of Internet Freedom
September 17-18, 2021
HubHub Palac ARA in Prague
The RFE/RL Prague Hackathon is a 48-hour event bringing together journalists, coders, and designers to innovate and build digital prototypes in support of media freedom. The Hackathon will be held on September 17th and 18th at HubHub Palac ARA in Prague.
RFE/RL journalists report the news in 27 languages and 23 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established. We provide what many people cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible discussion, and open debate.
Authoritarian governments increasingly seek to suppress the free flow of information by limiting access to the Internet by blocking information, filtering content, enhancing surveillance tactics, and other forms of censorship.
The RFE/RL Hackathon will help to increase resilience to censorship and surveillance by developing technology to empower individuals in the digital sphere, to enhance freedom of information, and to bolster abilities to freely access the Internet.
Judges - Speakers - Mentors
Johns Hopkins SAIS. Author of ACTIVE MEASURES
News Lab Teaching Fellow at Google
Data Editor at European Journalism Centre
Head of Design at Data4Change
Head of Digital Strategy at RFE/RL
Global Head of Trust & Safety at Wikimedia Foundation
Director of Research & Training at Bellingcat
Data Viz at New Statesman Media Group
Lead Data Scientist at the BBC
Data Journalist at iROZHLAS.cz
Senior Editor at RFE/RL
Managing Editor for Digital at Current Time TV
Multimedia Producer/TV at Current Time TV
Director, Pangea Digital at RFE/RL
Lead Product & Solutions Manager at Pangea Digital
Vice President for Programs, OTF
Principal Software Engineer at Microsoft
Arzu Geybullayeva Kurtulus
Founder at Azerbaijan Internet Watch
Solutions Architect at Amazon Web Services
Solutions Architect at Amazon Web Services
Technical Project Manager at Thales
Staff Engineer at Kiwi.com
Director of Product management at Productboard
Co-founder of Geneea, NLP researcher at Charles University.
Co-founder of Geneea
AI Product Manager at Avast
Senior Product Manager at RFE/RL
Outreach Coordinator at RFE/RL, Media and Public Affairs
Social Media ProducerUzbek Service at RFE/RL
Sept. 17 – 18, 2021
- 10:00 — Registration
- 11:00 — Opening RemarkDaisy Sindelar, Kimberly Conger, Adil Gherib
- 11:40 — RFE/RL HackX incubator | Presentation of the Latest Products
- 12:00 — Fireside chat | Methodology and Open Source Technology in Geo-verification
- 12:30 — Panel | Humanizing Election Data: A Look at Regional Case Studies, Past and Present
Tara Kelly, Josh Rayman, Jan Cibulka
- 13:00 — Lightning talk | Data4Change: Data, Stories and Visuals
- 13:15 — Fireside chat | Prototyping Machine Translation Tools for a Multilingual Newsroom
- 13:45 — Break Lunch
- 14:15 — Fireside chat | Croatian Wikipedia Disinformation Assessment
- 14:45 — Fireside chat | Bellingcat - Russian Gray/Black Data Market
- 15:15 — Fireside chat | RFE/RL Internet Censorship Circumvention Products
- 15:45 — Break
- 16:00 — Interview | Thomas Rid - Active Measures
Pete Baumgartner, Thomas Rid
- 16:30 — Fireside chat | The Battle for Internet Freedom: What Tools Do We Have to Defend Ourselves?
- 17:00 — Fireside chat | Censorship - Can Blockchain Help?
- 17:30 — Panel | Banned From In-Country Reporting? Bring the Audience Into the Newsroom
Patrick Boehler, Olga Abramchik, Tolkun Umaraliev
- 18:00 — Lightning talk | Trends of Circumvention Tools
- 18:15 — Dinner and networking
- 19:00 — Putting the teams together
- 19:15 — Workshop | Amazon Web Services
Miro Masat, Zdenek Bulan
- 19:45 — Begin hacking
- 23:00 — Group check-in
- 9:00 — Breakfast
- 09:30 — Group check in
- 10:00 — Workshop | Microsoft DevOps
- 10:00 — Workshop | Sketching for Change: Internet Shutdowns
- 13:00 — Lunch
- 16:30 — Hacking ends
- 17:00 — Prepare presentations
- 17:30 — Presentations
Judging panel: Kimberly Conger, Arzu Kurtulus, Andy Secker, Josh Rayman, Lazizkhon Omilov
- 18:45 — Winners
- 19:00 — Closing, party and networking
Glass Bar, Dancing House, Prague
Who can attend?
Journalists (students or professionals), designers, and coders.
When and where is it?
September 17th and 18th, 2021. HubHub Coworking, Perlová 5, 110 00 Staré Město, Prague, Czech Republic.
Is this a free event?
Yes! Attendance, food, and swag is all completely free! 💸
What are the Covid regulations?
All participants must comply with the Covid-19 rules valid in the Czech Republic during the period of RFE/RL Hackathon (thus 17-18 September 2021). The current rules, valid as of July 9, 2021, can be found here https://koronavirus.mzcr.cz/en/
Do you offer travel reimbursement?
Unfortunately, we cannot provide travel reimbursements.
What if there is a change of plans or an emergency?
In the event of a change of plans or an emergency, we will contact you via email. You can also follow us on Twitter for updates.
Can I work on my hack before the event?
No. To maintain competition integrity and fairness, all work on your hack must be done at the event.
Will there be free food and drinks?
There will be multiple meals scheduled throughout the event. Drinks and snacks will also be available, and one free drink at the afterparty. 🌯 ☕️
Is there a theme for the hackathon?
Yes! You’ll have the choice of choosing a project within our theme of Internet Freedom. The hack you decide to do must fall within the track that you choose.
What are the rules?
The maximum team size is five people. All projects must start from scratch at the start of the hacking period and completed by the designated time. All participants must follow the enforced Code of Conduct.
Can I sign up with a team?
We allow team sign ups of up to five people as long as you have a journalist on your team. All team members must sign up individually and you can specify team members on your application.
What should I bring?
Bring your laptop, chargers, a valid ID, and comfortable clothes. We also recommend a sleeping bag and pillow so you can take advantage of our designated napping zones 😴
Is the event in English only?
Got more questions? Get in touch!