Frequently Asked Questions

What is OpenArchive?

OpenArchive is a project that helps people archive their mobile media at repositories dedicated to long-term preservation and interoperability. We build tools to preserve, amplify, and securely route 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.

What is Save?

Save is a mobile app designed to help users preserve, protect, and amplify audio/visual media. It is one of OpenArchive’s projects and is free, open-source, and currently available for Android with iOS coming Summer 2019. Functionalities include adding metadata and Creative Commons licensing to audio/visual mobile media and sending it to the Internet Archive and other archives over the privacy-focused Tor network.

Save by OpenArchive makes it easy to store, share, and amplify your mobile media while protecting your identity.

Save protects your freedom of speech by leveraging a suite of privacy-enhancing technologies to safeguard your media and identity in the event of internet shutdowns, surveillance, device confiscations, content takedowns, limited bandwidth, and data loss. It also assures continuity of access to the media in years to come.

What Save Can Do (Features)

Save Mobile Media for Long-Term Storage: Access your media for generations to come by saving a copy in a trusted repository committed to longevity and interoperability: either the Internet Archive or your own private server (such as OwnCloud or NextCloud).

Store Copies in Multiple Locations: Protect your media by creating multiple copies on different secure servers. Whether hosting locally or remotely, your data can be encrypted on the backend and only accessible by you and those you authorize.

Authenticate Media: Ensure your media is authenticated by having full control, without interference from intermediaries, during its lifecycle from phone to archive.

Send media via Secure Transit: By using Tor (The Onion Router) for mobile (Orbot on Android and iOS coming soon), you ensure that no one can intercept your media as it travels from your phone to the Internet Archive or your local server.

Nearby/Offline share: Share your mobile media with other OpenArchive users nearby via Bluetooth or AirDrop, even when no wifi or cellular connection is present. No Internet access required!

Add Creative Commons Licensing: Ensure those who wish to reuse or remix your media know your intention for future use by choosing from 3 simple options that will generate the relevant Creative Commons license.

What Save Can’t Do

Save does not provide storage space / server space: You will have to set up your own server or use the Internet Archive (for free) to create your collections.

There is currently no on-device encryption: Media stored in Save is not currently encrypted in the app. It will be sent to a server over an encrypted connection, and can be stored encrypted on a private server.

Save does not delete original copies of media from your camera roll. Once media has been sent to a server, it will be removed from the Save app, but the original content will remain in your camera roll.

Save does not capture media in-app. Save works with existing media from your camera roll and other apps (such as voice memos) on your mobile phone.

Save does not have an in-app killswitch. Uninstalling the app will remove all local copies of media/metadata stored in the app and all local configurations and settings, including account information.

What is the difference between OpenArchive and the Internet Archive (Archive.org)?

The Internet Archive (archive.org) is a non-profit digital library offering free universal access to books, movies & music, as well as 351 billion archived web pages. OpenArchive is a collaboration with the Internet Archive, but is an independent project.

OpenArchive is a project dedicated to the ethical collection and long-term preservation of mobile media. Save (share, archive, verify, encrypt) is the mobile application we’ve created to do this. Save enables people to send media to multiple backends, including, but not limited to, the Internet Archive and other destinations of their choice. This option enables people to create public or private media collections.

Why not social media?

Social media often exposes at-risk sources: while major social media platforms can amplify content to a large audience, they can also expose sources to unwanted identification. Individuals shown or otherwise implicated in videos, photos, or audio clips may be targeted on- or offline.

Social media can make it difficult to authenticate or verify media: these sites often strip metadata from uploaded content. Metadata typically includes information about where media was captured, on what device, uploaded by whom, etc. While scrubbing metadata during upload is often a welcome privacy-enhancing feature for social media platforms (metadata can, for example, expose the identity of an uploader who would like to remain anonymous or pseudonymous), the practice also makes media authentication and verification more difficult. Save integrates the Proofmode functionalities, which ensure that robust metadata is captured and stored in a way that the user has control over.

Media gets lost on social media platforms: this makes it difficult to contextualize or organize media for easy access in the future.

Social Media is not committed to long-term preservation: companies go out of business, take down media, and moderate content.

Who Is Save For?

  • Human rights organizations who are collecting evidence and documentation of abuses;
  • Academic organizations who receive media from the field, which may be sensitive or targeted;
  • Journalists / News Organizations who receive sensitive information from often vulnerable sources, who need to protect sources’ media and personal details from interception
  • Archivists and Librarians who want to create community collections at the Internet Archive or other backends (such as academic or institutional servers)
  • Individuals / Freelance documentarians / Citizen Journalists who are interested in curating their own collections

Why use Save by OpenArchive?

Save addresses the following threat models
  1. Loss of data. Both digital and analog data face ongoing threats, including:
    1. Attack (e.g. theft, manipulation, surveillance, sabotage and intentional destruction);
    2. Loss (e.g. hard drive failure, misplaced USB stick); and
    3. Incidental destruction (e.g. natural disaster, water-based damage, mold). Save helps protect against these threats by providing users a way to create multiple backups of important data and distribute them across geographically and jurisdictionally diverse servers.
  2. Single point of failure. Keeping data in one place increases the likelihood that any of the above scenarios may lead to an inability to use or access important data. Save distributes its backups so that if one fails, the data will still be available elsewhere.
  3. Network surveillance/+Censorship. Users may want to protect their content, identity, and/or activities from those who may be watching them, like governments, private companies, or untrusted individuals. Save is designed to run over the Tor network, which promotes privacy by encrypting data transfers and protecting against traffic analysis.
  4. Inauthentic or unverified content. Unverified content can lead to false conclusions, and can affect one’s credibility. Save incorporates ProofMode, a feature that supports robust verification and authentication practices.
  5. Lack of internet connectivity. Without a data connection--whether because of remote working conditions or internet shutdowns--sharing data can be difficult and cumbersome. Save enables users to share data with nearby devices via Bluetooth, even when not connected to wifi or cellular data.
  6. Network hardening. Locking down the TLS connection so we only support the latest TLS 1.3. We do our best to harden your network connection by configuring TLS settings.

How can I support your work?

Please contact us if you're interested in supporting our work.