Internet Freedom Hack is a series of community events that bring technologists with a passion for digital rights together to build things that advance the cause of internet freedom.

Watch talks from IFH: Defending Truth

Projects started at IFH: Defending Truth

Participants started some excellent projects and built amazing things on a tight schedule, including:

Infinite Monkeys

A team in Brisbane worked on combating fake news by analysing where it comes from. They built a tool that analyses news to figure out the genesis of a story by looking for copy-pasted or very similar wording. They created a visualisation that shows the connections between news stories on different online news publications. We think this project has a lot of potential: imagine a browser add-on that adds a trustworthiness rating to news reports in social media, with links to original sources. Their work so far is on GitHub: bertrand-caron/infinite_monkeys.


A team in Melbourne worked to improve public awareness of what information Facebook is gathering about them and what can be inferred from it. They designed a tool that compares what you think Facebook knows about you with what they really know by analysing your downloaded Facebook profile data. The tool would run without internet access (to prove it’s not sharing your data). Their work so far is on GitHub: robotdana/facewhatever.


A team in Melbourne began work on a campaign and supporting website to raise awareness and increase uptake of the opt-out period for e-health records. This team is now working with the Australian Privacy Foundation’s Health Committee to further develop the campaign.

And many more

Here’s the full list of projects kicked off at the weekend.

Talks from IFH: Defending truth

Rage against the Ghost in the Machine – Lilly Ryan

Lilly Ryan is a pentester, security engineer and Afterlife Architect.

You may not worry about your data today, but what will happen to it when you decide to leave a service? What could (and should) happen to it after death: the ultimate log out? What does your online presence look like when you are no longer around to pull its strings?

Outside of ‘Black Mirror’ episodes and art installations, the question of personal data and digital legacies is rarely seriously considered, and it leads to uncomfortable gaffes as digital services grapple with what to do when users die. This talk is a space to take stock of how the software we write today could be used in fifty years, and what design decisions we should make to ensure we can respect the wishes of the dead - and to make informed choices far easier for the living.

Algorised justice, privacy and a panoptic future – Angus Murray

Angus Murray is Vice President of the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties.

The recent and rapid increase in technology and its societal application has created the need to carefully balance technology against fundamental human rights. The writer argues that technological development is inevitable and this inevitability bolsters the importance of informed discussion about its application and impact upon future generations. In this presentation, the ‘right to privacy’ is measured and assessed against the deployment of algorithmic solutions by the Courts and governments internationally.

Asher Wolf – Wyrd Networks in Digital Rights Activism

Asher Wolf is the founder of Cryptoparty and an Amnesty Australia Humanitarian Media Award Recipient 2014.

We need to talk about fake news – Glenn Harper

Glenn Harper is a librarian with an interest in fake news and digital media literacy.

We all think that we are immune from fake news. Even Flat Earthers believe they are the most skeptical and best informed peeple in the chat room. But how good are we at really sorting the accurate from the misleading and downright fake when we peruse our social media feed? Let’s put ourselves to the test and discover how good our digital media literacy really is.

Rise of the machines: Ghosts in the queue – Julian Scharf

Julian Scharf is a software engineer at FunCaptcha.

What do airfares, rock concerts and retro gaming consoles have in common? They all have millions of bots waiting in line to place orders. Artificially inflated queues are a growing problem, and in nearly all cases, the consumer loses out. Julian, an engineer will be speaking about “ghost queues” where they occur and the economic fall out for both vendors and consumers.

Lauri Love and Dr Monique Mann – Fighting back against internet apathy, privacy nihilism and the Government

Lauri Love is an internet activist/hacktivist and Dr Monique Mann is a tech/rights researcher and scholactivist.

Join Dr Monique Mann in conversation with Lauri Love about all the terrible things that governments around the world are doing for internet freedom and privacy, with a focus on the ridiculous #waronmaths in Australia and across the Five Eyes alliance more broadly. We will talk through the options of what we can realistically do about it as scholactivists and hacktivists, and drawing from Love’s recent success fighting extradition and 99 years in a US prison, how to fight back against internet apathy, privacy nihilism and the government.