The cí civic hacking ’and the improvement of citizen life

When we hear the word “hacker” our head tends to imagine a young man, with a hood, mysterious, who steals passwords and important information. Undoubtedly, cinema and television have fed this image. But what would happen if you discovered that you too can be a ‘hacker’ and the good guys? ‘Civic hackers’ invade our lives.

At the end of the 90s, some Internet users began to be aware that the data belonged to the whole society and not only to the great spheres of power. This is how movements emerged that struggled to have “transparent governments.” The Internet did not only bring with it a technological revolution, because it also invaded our routine with an important change of thought.

Given that citizens were asking governments for accounts, some countries began to share information. Many limited themselves to complying with transparency laws, but many others took a step further and began an openness to information. They made available to their citizens some data sets that motivated them to get involved and participate in the resolution of issues that directly affected their community.

The technological revolution motivated a social change

An event that led this information revolution took place at the end of 2009, when some laws in the United States changed. From this moment on, the White House publicly showed its interest in using “open data” in order to stimulate its economic activity. In this way, the movement for the struggle to use these data to improve the lives of citizens gained strength and was called civic hacking.

This concept refers to using technology to provide a breakthrough to society. And as the union is strength, a large community of hackers was born that sought to encourage citizen participation through the technological possibilities of the moment. The fundamental purpose of this group, divided in turn into many other associations, was to improve the society in which we live.

Codeando México is one of the references in this area, they describe themselves as: “A hacker community that seeks to generate new forms of citizen participation through technology. We collaborate with people of all profiles: activists, journalists, public officials, designers. Anyone who shares our principles, values ​​and code of conduct can be part of this community. ”They work on projects that seek to enrich the initiatives of Public Institutions, private companies and NGOs.

The objective is to motivate citizen participation

Although it sounds like a James Bond movie, the modern world has been forged thanks to hacking. Catherine Bracy, Executive Director and co-founder of TechEquity, in her TEDCity2.0 talk, defended the figure of Benjamin Franklin as the father of civic hacking. He was committed to citizen action for the construction of society. It is not necessary to know about programming, to promote an improvement in our environment, it is only necessary to make good use of the tools of the 21st century.

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