Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Lincoln Labs building liberty-oriented "hacker" network

The Kochs' nonprofit empire is building a network of libertarian hackers, coders and designers - Yahoo News - Chris Moody:

July 23, 2014 - "It was nearing 2 a.m., the AC had been shut off and the air in the century-old downtown office of Brigade Media, a tech startup that hosted a hackathon in conjunction with a libertarian tech conference here, was starting to feel heavy....

"The hackathon — an event in which teams compete to build new apps and programs within a short period of time — was part of the first inaugural Reboot, conference where hundreds of conservative hackers, coders, designers, tech entrepreneurs and conservative political activists joined some of the nation’s top Republicans to strategize and — ideally — emerge with The Next Great App. As an incentive, the conference organizers offered $10,000 in prize money to be awarded to the best ideas.

"The gathering was the first inaugural conference put on by Lincoln Labs, a year-old club of politically-minded technologists started by three millennials with backgrounds in Republican politics: Garrett Johnson, a former aide to Florida Gov. Jeb Bush; Aaron Ginn, who worked on Mitt Romney’s digital team; and Chris Abrams, who runs digital operations for Vanity Fair magazine. The group — which adopts the label “conservatarian,” a popular buzzword for the ideological coalition between conservatives and libertarians — was born in 2013 in the aftermath of the failed Republican attempt to regain control of the White House....

"For most of Lincoln Lab’s existence, the group has relied upon financial backing and support from the orbit of activist groups that are part of Charles and David Koch’s donor network. Last weekend’s conference was sponsored by an array of groups from the Koch network: Generation Opportunity, its youth outreach group; the Libre Initiative, its Hispanic organization; Americans for Prosperity, its lead political advocacy arm; and i360, which collects data on behalf of the Koch network. Microsoft, Google, and Stampede, a political consulting firm that provides campaign services to conservative candidates, also served as sponsors for the event.

"With Generation Opportunity doing most of the financial legwork, the Koch network has invested in Lincoln Labs hackathons around the country, holding similar, yet smaller, gatherings in California, Seattle, Chicago and Miami."

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