Demhack 2: came, run, conquered

March 20 and 21, 2021 passed hackathon projects in the field of privacy and openness of information DemHack 2, organized by Roskomsvoboda and Privacy Accelerator. The hackathon gathered interesting ideas and talented developers, identified several truly promising projects and awarded two of them! Some solutions were highly appreciated by the jury and mentors, which gives them excellent chances for further expert support, networking and further cooperation with business investors or specialized non-profit organizations.

How DemHack 2 prepared and went

Demhack 2 – second – because first took place in the fall of 2020. Then the winners become three teams, one of which, Amnezia VPN, already in six months released turnkey solution – a service for creating a personal VPN on your own server. After the hackathon, the project participated in the Privacy Accelerator and developed from idea to release of the finished product. Now the Amnezia team is fixing bugs, finalizing new features and getting ready to enter the international market!

It was decided to hold the second Demhack so that once after its completion, promising teams were able to start additional acceleration. Experience has shown that even the best projects after the hackathon are in dire need of mentors’ help explaining how to establish business processes, understand consumer needs and launch a product on the market.

Another important stage in the preparation of the hackathon was consultations with experts who participated in focus groups and discussed current challenges in the field of privacy and access to information. Based on the results of these discussions, a list of tasks was formed that the teams could take as a basis for solving at the hackathon. And many teams took advantage of the opportunity. For example, in the track “Privacy and digital securityb “it was possible to take a task and develop a habits tracker for information security or a system for checking permissions for installed mobile applications, a system for detecting hacking messengers, etc. And in the track”Access to information and freedom of data transfer ” it was proposed to figure out how to monitor the use of surveillance technologies for citizens based on the analysis of public procurements, document shutdowns or develop Internet over gsm technologies.

In addition to a list of tasks from experts, participants could offer their own ideas. The proposed projects underwent a special selection of the competition committee, which assessed their prospects, as well as compliance with the values ​​of the hackathon and the relevance of the problem raised.

More than 70 applications were submitted for the hackathon, which came from 21 regions of Russia, as well as Serbia, Tajikistan, the Republic of Belarus, Ukraine. 15 teams were formed and started working on the hackathon.

The hackathon was held entirely online from the opening to the announcement of the winners. On Saturday morning, March 20, the start of the competition took place, the teams met with their mentors – leading mentors who accompanied them throughout the hackathon and followed the development of the project. In addition to mentors, the teams met with highly specialized experts. And already at the end of the second day, the teams filled in the final check-points, formed a presentation and went to pitch in front of the jury. After the judge’s presentations named the best projects, and the organizers distributed the prizes.

Demhack 2 Hackathon Winners

In the track “Privacy and digital security” the winner is the Security Addon project, in the face of the only member, the young developer Alexey Zakharov. He designed attachmentthat launches permanent deletion and encryption of folders in emergency situations, when security and privacy come first. The application is intended for use by a wide range of people in the world.

In the track “Access to information and freedom of data transfer” the best were the guys from the team, who offered project Deep silent, which includes two android applications: first – the SOS button makes a call to the subscriber and transmits the DTMF code; the second – is able to encode information using a high and low signal to receive and process it.

Security Addon Winner Received An Invitation To Become A Resident Of The Second Kit Privacy Accelerator… And mentors undertook to further cooperate with the team, including in order to help them find support from interested organizations and reach the target audience.

Some promising hackathon projects DemHack 2 also received an invitation to the accelerator.

Among them Nemezida DNT (second place in the “Privacy and digital security” track), a plug-in for browsers operating on the basis of Chromium, which allows you to provide maximum protection for the user from collecting information about him and his device. Unfortunately, the team currently does not have a link to an active github. And also the project Colaba (third place in the track “Privacy and digital security”), which allows test yourself for the ability to recognize phishing mailings, test your team for resistance to phishing attacks.

The second place in the track “Access to information and freedom of data transfer” was taken by the project Shutdown scout, web service to determine the connection speed and the presence of blocking of network resources for each country in the world. Third in this track – team UNDEFINEDwhich developed the system monitoring the infrastructure of surveillance of citizens in the form of a public resource with data visualization.

Project Kitty cloud did not take pride of place, but was highly appreciated by mentors and judges of the hackathon, which gave him the opportunity to also get into the new Privacy Accelerator set. Project presents is a cloud data storage with full p2p encryption.

What will happen next

A new hackathon is just around the corner! We are already starting to prepare for it and plan to soon meet with our experts to discuss new threats and transformations in the field of privacy and access to information. We will update the challenge map and come up with new work formats.

And we also hope that the new hackathon will be – finally! – offline. And we can not only work well and make cool projects, but also hang out nicely together. As in the good old! 😉

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