Save Launch Press Release

OpenArchive launches new app Save to help journalists and human rights advocates protect and preserve highly sensitive digital media.


OpenArchive launches new app Save to help journalists and human rights advocates protect and preserve highly sensitive digital media.

OpenArchive, an organization dedicated to advancing freedom of digital expression, announced today the release of a new mobile application, Save, that safeguards digital evidence of human rights abuses around the world.

As police violently crack down on peaceful protests, social media companies censor evidence of war crimes, national telecom services are suspended in times of unrest, and governments seek to suppress documentary evidence of atrocities, witnesses capturing media on mobile phones play a key role in exposing injustice during turbulent times around the world. Save makes it easy for journalists, activists, lawyers and others to safely store, share, preserve and amplify documentation of human rights injustices without fear of censorship, surveillance or retribution.

The app, open source and available for free through the iOS App Store and Google Play, fills the urgent need for an alternative to mainstream technologies, one that enables free and reliable sharing of evidence of human rights abuses and breaking news in ways that are easily accessed and managed.

“Organizations with distributed teams face challenges in aggregating, indexing and cataloging their communities’ digitally-captured content into particular workflows, often in and from dangerous locations,” says Natalie Cadranel, Founder and Director of OpenArchive and a fellow at the Stanford Digital Civil Society Lab.

For Cadranel and organizations she works with such as Human Rights Watch, Save's success will be measured in what the tool can provide to human rights defenders; the app’s inception was a direct response to mounting efforts worldwide to suppress dissent through police crackdowns on peaceful protests, censorship by governments and social media companies, telecom service shutdowns, and other forms of retaliation.

Unlike existing media-sharing tools, Save offers a suite of responsive features that streamline secure preservation based on community input, our commitment to digital inclusion, and iterative design.

Key features include:

  • Ease of Use: user-driven, intuitive design based on community feedback throughout the tool-building process;
  • Source Protection: TLS and Orbot/Tor for Android (iOS coming soon) prevent interception and surveillance;
  • Media Verification: via hashing and Proofmode for Android (iOS coming soon), which adds sensor data to corroborate metadata captured with the media;
  • Simplified Media Workflows: seamlessly organize media from many phones on your server into organized folders;
  • Media Flagging: flag media as “significant” so reviewers are prepared for what they will see or as a way to "favorite" media;
  • Batch Editing: update the metadata/flags of multiple media files at once;
  • Importing from Other Apps: share media from other apps on your phone, such as audio/notes/pdfs.

While those using Save can store their mobile media at the Internet Archive, they can also integrate the app into their existing server-side preservation architecture. This provides security-minded individuals and teams with a responsible, innovative “off the shelf” front-end solution for ethically collecting and curating their media from around the world. Whether hosted on individual servers or integrated with an organization’s existing technical infrastructure, Save is engineered to create robust protection of and redundancy for mobile-captured media content.

Unlike most of today’s major media platforms, Save values human rights over corporate profits. By streamlining media workflows to facilitate rapid response and reporting, it shifts power into the hands of those on the front lines. This means that the information sent through it cannot be censored, blocked or arbitrarily deleted.

“The Save app fills a long-standing need to provide secure, fully encrypted and self-hosted file transfer for our staff all over the world," says Nicole Martin, Senior Manager of Archives and Digital Systems at Human Rights Watch. "OpenArchive carefully listened to our needs, built an intuitive app, and tailored its features to make human rights data safer, and my job a whole lot easier."

With support from public interest advocates, a team of open source developers, human rights archivists and ethnographers, digital security experts, journalists, and international civil society members incorporated extensive community input while creating Save.

For more information, please contact: Natalie Cadranel, OpenArchive Founder & Director