Bennett: Worldwide ‘Hackathon for Freedom’ to Help Iranians

Minister Naftali Bennett. (REUTERS/Amir Cohen)

As Iran cracked down on protesters in recent weeks, it cut out all online communications in order, among other reasons, to inhibit the ability of Iranians seeking freedom from garnering support from abroad. And although service has been partially restored, communications and especially access to social media are still severely limited.

To the rescue of Iranians comes Defense Minister Naftali Bennett, who has what he said in a video aimed at Iranians “what sounds like a crazy idea” – the recruitment of scientists and data specialists from around the world to override the actions of the Iranian government and restore full communications.

“As the Defense Minister of Israel, which is the start-up nation, and a former start-up entrepreneur myself, I know that brilliant, young, people are capable of anything. So here is a crazy idea: What if technology experts from around the world – Israelis, Arabs, Iranians, Americans, Europeans, and others – would unite for one purpose: To help the long-suffering Iranian people who have suffered for so long to gain access to all social media? Call it a worldwide ‘hackathon for freedom,’” Bennett said.

“Whether you are an senior engineer at a start-up working in artificial intelligence or just a hobbyist working out of your garage, everyone has a role to play,” Bennett said. “Call up your most brilliant friends and work through the night” to accomplish this. “The Iranian people are good and decent. Don’t they deserve the same rights as all other people on earth, as you and I? Together we can show the Persian people and the Iranian regime that the power of the people is stronger than the people in power. How scared must a regime be of its own people that it doesn’t allow them access to social media?”