Title: OpenArchive

Contact: Natalie Cadranel: natalie [@] open-archive [dot] org

Interview with Natalie Cadranel


Git hub:

Feedback form after beta testing:

Technical Details: Runs on Android. iPhone version in the works.

Short Description:

OpenArchive is a free, open source application for android, available on the Google Play Store that enables you to send your mobile media directly to the Internet Archive over Tor (Orbot), and choose what metadata and Creative Commons license to include with it.

The primary goal of the app is to empower the user to easily archive photos, video and audio from their mobile device to a secure, trustworthy, and remote storage service.

Long description:

OpenArchive routes mobile media to user-created collections in an
accessible public trust, outside the corporate walled gardens dominating the online media ecosystem that often chill free speech.

As an open source app, it can be white-labeled to route mobile media to partner organizations who receive more sensitive media. This app unites and extends the work of a number of key projects, including Creative Commons, the Internet Archive, Tor, and Guardian Project, within a simple, purpose-driven user experience.

Today, the primary archive service is the Internet Archive, but we envision many more such public and private archives in the future. If access to any of these archives is blocked by the user’s network, OpenArchive can integrate with Orbot (Tor for Android) to bypass this censorship. The app also includes an easy interface for generating a Creative Commons content license, through a small set of simple questions.

After working closely with at-risk and marginalized groups over the past 5 years, we developed this tool to afford them more agency in the life-cycle of their media. Digital rights are increasingly intersecting human rights and we are working at that nexus to ensure that inclusivity, privacy, and ethical design focusing on the needs of human rights defenders are woven into the fabric of these technologies.

OpenArchive’s first public release on Android has brought useful benefits to many users worldwide. The integration of Tor support, and the more recent addition of Nearby sharing without internet, has also helped the app gain prominence with more sophisticated users and those facing more severe network access issues. We now aim to provide a secure ecosystem for media-sharing, which includes localized and in-transit privacy for media transmission and both public and private repositories as destinations to easily send media to so that it can be preserved and authenticated. Our aim is to make it simple to protect citizen journalists and preserve sensitive media, such as documentation of human rights abuses, that governments are finding on social media and using to target the posters.

Moving forward, we seek to build on this early momentum by bringing the app to the iPhone, expanding our localization and testing efforts to ensure more users in more places have a positive, successful experience, and to broaden the set of available archival services in the app. Through partnerships and support of leading human rights centers, higher education, media organizations, and legal groups, we plan to make OpenArchive, the premier way in which their communities and constituents can confidentially provide them the critical evidence necessary for justice to be achieved.

How you can work on this project:

Please help us test our interface, find bugs, suggest enhancements, and recommend collaborations.

Download and install it here:

Then, use it on your phone and dictate your immediate thoughts:

1) What did you like?

2) What seems, right away, like it could be better?

3) With as much detail as possible, please share your thoughts about the following questions:

– How usable was it?

– Was it intuitive enough? If not, how could it be better?

– Did you feel yourself wanting new features?

– Did you notice little quirks in the interface? If so, what were they?

– Did you find any Bugs? If so, what kind?

November 11 2023 – 11 am -6:30 pm PST