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In Brazil, Hacking From “Inside the Leviathan's Belly”

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, January 7 2014

Behemoth and Leviathan, by William Blake (Wikipedia)

Last month Brazil's lower house of Congress, the Chamber of Deputies, passed a resolution creating a Laboratória Ráquer—a space permanently designated for hackers—inside Congress. This hacker space within the government is the first of its kind, according to Opening Parliament.

The resolution describes a space “open for access and use by any citizen, especially programmers and software developers, members of parliament and other public workers, where they can utilize public data in a collaborative fashion for actions that enhance citizenship.”

Nine staff positions have already been allotted to the Laboratória Ráquer. The project, however, is still in the early stages. Project leaders are conducting meetings with civic hackers around the country, soliciting their input on the space.

After a successful, weeklong hackathon in November, hackathon organizer Pedro Markun proposed the space to the President of the Chamber. In his words, the Laboratória Ráquer, is an opportunity to “hack from inside the leviathan's belly.”

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