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BRUSSELS, 9 NOVEMBER 2011 – After 23 hours of intense (and for some teams – all-night) coding, it was time for our 54 coders of 17 nationalities to hear from the jury who had won the first prize for each of the two challenges they had taken on only one day before.

But first, they heard presentation by MEPs Petru Luhan (EPP – Romania) and Christian Engström (Pirate Party – Sweden) giving their views on the need for an open Internet in Europe, followed by a panel bringing together Peter Hustinx (European Data Protection Supervisor), the young but very convincing Amira Yahyaoui (Tunisian blogger and human right activist), and technical presentations from representatives from Measurement Lab, the Google Transparency Report, Herdict (a Harvard project) and TOR (the network offering anonymous surfing notably in challenging countries such as Syria).

Finally, a speech by Vice-President Kroes expressed all her admiration for the hackers and her support to this Hack4Transparency event.

And then came the time to announce the winners at 19:30 pm of the very first hackathon ever organised inside a legislative body:

  • For the Internet Quality Track, that focused on allowing users to better understand the quality of Internet they are getting from their fixed or mobile operator, the winners are:
    1. First Prize: Team Ferioli (Federica Cau, Pasquale De Luna and Nicola Ferioli) – Italy
    2. Second Prize: Team Maggi (Federico Maggi, Roman Kochanek, Francesco Roveta, Alessandro Frossi, Alberto Volpatto) – Italy
    3. Third Prize: Team Artimon (Alexandru Artimon, Ionut Dobre, Florin Barhala, Walter Schneider) – Romania
  • For the Global Transparency Track, that focused on better visualising teh accessibility of information on the Internet, the winners are:
    1. First Prize: UN-Team (Sven Clement, Hauke Gierow, Stefan Wehrmeyer) – Luxembourg And Germany: with their game: ‘Beat the Censor
    2. Second Prize: Niels Rasmussen – Denmark
    3. Third Prize: Team Indigeni Digitali (Giuliano Iacobelli, Alessandro Manfredi, Claudio Squarcella, David Funaro, Matteo Collina) – Italy

Facts & Figures about the EUhackathon:

  • Called a hack-a-thon because it brings together ‘hackers’ (as in coders) working 24 hours straight.
  • First ever marathon of coders organised partially in a Parliament, with the idea of the ‘old’/legislators meeting the ‘new’/coders
  • Theme is transparency on the Internet, which is very much in line with the fact that the EP is on the verge of voting a Resolution on Net neutrality in plenary in November.
  • 24-hours continuous coding by 52 participants working on two challenges: 8 as individuals and 44 others bundled in 13 teams
  • 17 nationalities represented
  • 5000,00 Eur prize for winner of each track
  • Interventions by EPP, ALDE, Greens/EFA, and S&D MEPs as well as VP Kroes (video message), and by the EPDS Peter Hustinx.
  • Support from civil society: 18 NGOs across Europe + USA
  • Coders will be assisted by researchers and engineers from M-Lab, SamKnows, Herdict, TOR, Google, Skype, and Telecomix.