Our Work


OpenArchive preserves, amplifies, and securely routes mobile media to user-created collections in an accessible public trust, outside the corporate walled gardens currently dominating the online media ecosystem.

Created by and for citizen journalists and human rights defenders, our distributed media ecosystem promotes freedom of expression by protecting, authenticating, and offering access to and long-term preservation of at-risk community media.


People armed with mobile devices are becoming history’s first responders, amassing rich, contextualized, and crucial records of today’s breaking news. However, most of these recordings presently reside on social media platforms that can chill free speech and are subject to government censorship, privacy breaches, and data loss. While social media is an acceptable distribution platform, it does not provide sufficient privacy protections or archival preservation of this vital media.

We are doing better.

OpenArchive fosters a virtual commons where civil liberties are protected, in the process creating a world where people’s history is a primary history.


OpenArchive is a free, open source mobile archiving application for documentarians and human rights defenders that securely sends mobile media to the Internet Archive, other online destinations using Orbot/Tor. By uniting the work of the Guardian Project, Creative Commons, and distributed, secure servers, it offers at-risk groups more agency over their historical record by affording them secure transit, media authentication, pseudonymity, licensing controls, and the ability to choose where and how the media will be stored for long-term access and reuse. In addition to this, those with limited internet access, can share media between devices with our “nearby” feature via bluetooth, so there can be multiple copies of the media across devices.

It is currently available for android on Google Play and GitHub. Our lightweight mobile app. (under 6mb) addresses the gaps in the current online ecosystem existing around the a) ethical short-term collection and b) long term preservation of sensitive mobile media. We provide mobile-centered, scalable, industry-standard, ethical, intuitive, easy to use tools for at-risk communities to pseudonymously preserve and authenticate their media so that it will be accessible and maintain its provenance in the future.


Our work is made possible by The Open Technology Fund, who are currently supporting the expansion, infrastructure, and decentralization of OpenArchive.

Knight Foundation
In 2014, OpenArchive received support from the Knight Prototype Fund.

We are currently seeking funding to help us improve OpenArchive, develop new and refine curent features, and to sustain our grassourts research efforts. If you would like to support us, we'd love to hear from you.


Banner image is The Singing Ringing Tree, taken by Matthew Hartley under the CC by SA 2.0 license