Hacker is a term known to mean a proficient programmer or engineer with the technical knowledge to understand the weak points in a security system in order to break into computer systems. It turns out that the United States government is looking to hackers to actually help create a more safe and secure nation.
Today, the White House announced that it will kick off a "National Day of Civic Hacking" on June 1st and 2nd and is inviting those with tech know-how to use their coding skills to improve communities across the country.
"Civic Hacking Day is an opportunity for software developers, technologists, and entrepreneurs to unleash their can-do American spirit by collaboratively harnessing publicly-released data and code to create innovative solutions for problems that affect Americans," the White House wrote in a statement.
The National Day of Civic Hacking was created by a coalition of organizations, companies, and government agencies including Random Hacks of Kindness, Code for America, NASA, Department of Labor, and the U.S. Census Bureau who will come together to promote transparency and collaboration among governments, startups and citizens. They will support Civic Hacking Day by hosting activities that invite anyone to become part of the civic hacker community—whether a newbie or an expert.
Image via Shutterstock
On June 1st, activities like block parties, hackathons and brigade meetups will take place across the entire country. Participants will give hackers government data with coding challenges that are targeted for helping local communities.
"This is an opportunity for citizens in every town and city across the Nation to roll up their sleeves, get involved, and work together to improve our society by cultivating an ecosystem for innovation and change," the White House said.
Activities are now being planned in Augusta, GA; Alexandria, VA; Asheville, NC; Austin, TX; Bend, OR; Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Denver, CO; Detroit, MI; Grand Rapids, MI; Honolulu, HI; Lexington, KY; Oakland, CA; Palo Alto, CA; Portland, ME; New York City, NY; Philadelphia, PA; San Diego, CA; San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; and Tucson, AZ, with more to come.
While the government has asked for the help of techies, anyone can participate in Civic Hacking Day. Interested in getting involved? Click here.
Edited by Brooke Neuman