OpenWatch Recorder

Posted by on Feb 07, 2011
OpenWatch Recorder data sheet 4251 Views
Organization that developed the Tool: 
Main Contact: 
Rich Jones
Problem or Need: 

Surveillance technology is currently only in the hands of those who are already in power, which means it cannot be used to combat the largest problem facing modern society: abuse of power. So the question remains: "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" - roughly, Who watches the watchers? This is where OpenWatch comes in. The recent ubiquity of mobile telephones with media recording capabilities and the ability to run any software the users chooses gives the public a very powerful tool. Now, we are all equipped to become opportunistic journalists. Whenever any of us come in contact with power being used or abused, we can capture it and make it become part of the public record. If we seek truth and justice, we will be able to appeal to documentary evidence, not just our word against theirs. Ideally, this will mean less corruption, more open government and a more transparent society. 

OpenWatch aims to democratize this theory of 'scientific journalism' championed by Julian Assange and apply it to citizen media. OpenWatch is not only intended to display abuse of power, but also to highlight appropriate use. As we are unbound by technological restrictions, we can aim to record every single time power is applied so that we may analyze global trends and provide a record for future historians. Police, corporate executives, judges, lawyers, private security agents, lobbyists, bankers, principals and politicians: be mindful! We are watching!

Main Contact Email : 
Brief Description: 

OpenWatch recorder is a tool for Android phones which secretly records audio and video, then automatically and anonymously uploads it to a server, which it can be reviewed and listen on the OpenWatch website. Client and server software is Free and Open Source.

Tool Category: 
App resides and runs on a mobile phone
App resides and runs on a server
Is a web-based application/web service
Key Features : 
  • Secretly Records Audio and Video
  • Automatically Uploads Media Anonymously to a Secure Server
  • Location options
Main Services: 
Multi-Media Messaging (MMS) or other Multi-Media
Display tool in profile: 
Tool Maturity: 
Currently deployed
Current Version: 
Program/Code Language: 
Organizations Using the Tool: 

OpenWatch, >10,000 individuals

Number of Current End Users: 
Number of current beneficiaries: 
Under 100
Support Forums:
Languages supported: 
English - More wanted!
Handsets/devices supported: 
All >1.6 Android Devices
Is the Tool's Code Available?: 
URL for license: 
Is an API available to interface with your tool?: