The Guardian Project (software)

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This article is about the open-source software initiative. For the comic, see The Guardian Project (comic).
The Guardian Project
The Guardian Project logo.png
Commercial? No
Type of project Research and development, Open-source software, Encryption software, Mobile security, Internet privacy
Founder Nathan Freitas
Established 2009 (2009)

The Guardian Project is a global collective of software developers, designers, advocates, activists and trainers who develop open source mobile security software and operating system enhancements.[1] They also create customized mobile devices to help individuals communicate more freely and protect themselves from intrusion and monitoring. The effort specifically focuses on users who live or work in high-risk situations, and who often face constant surveillance and intrusion attempts into their mobile devices and communication streams.


Founder Nathan Freitas speaking at the Unlike Us conference in 2013[2]

The Guardian Project was founded by Nathan Freitas in 2009 in Brooklyn, NY.[3][4][5] Since it was founded, the Guardian Project has developed more than a dozen mobile applications for Android and iOS with over two million downloads and hundreds of thousands of active users. It has also partnered with prominent open source software projects, activists groups, NGOs, commercial partners and news organizations to support their mobile security software capabilities.

In November 2014, "ChatSecure + Orbot" received a top score on the Electronic Frontier Foundation's secure messaging scorecard, along with Cryptocat, TextSecure, "Signal / RedPhone", Silent Phone, and Silent Text.[6] "Jitsi + Ostel" scored 6 out of 7 points on the Electronic Frontier Foundation's secure messaging scorecard. They lost a point because there has not been a recent independent code audit.[6]


The Guardian Project has received funding from Google, UC Berkeley with the MacArthur Foundation, Avaaz, Internews, Open Technology Fund, WITNESS, the Knight Foundation, Benetech, and Free Press Unlimited.[7]

Through work on partner projects like The Tor Project, Commotion mesh and StoryMaker, they have received indirect funding from both the US State Department through the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Internet Freedom program, and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs through HIVOS.

Active projects[edit]


Main article: Orbot

Orbot brings the capabilities of Tor to Android. Tor uses Onion Routing to provide access to network services that may be blocked, censored or monitored, while also protecting the identity of the user requesting those resources.[8]


Orweb is a privacy enhanced web browser that supports proxies. When used with Orbot, Orweb protects against network analysis, blocks cookies, keeps no local browsing history, and disables Flash to keep the user safe.[8]


ChatSecure, formerly Gibberbot,[9] is a full featured instant messaging application integrated with the Off-the-Record encrypted chat protocol. The app is built on Google’s open-source Talk app and modified to support the Jabber XMPP protocol.[8]


A secure camera app that can obscure, encrypt or destroy pixels within an image. This project is in partnership with WITNESS, a human rights video advocacy and training organization.[8]


A tool for having end-to-end encrypted VoIP calls. [10] This is a public testbed of the Open Secure Telephony Network (OSTN) project, with the goal of promoting the use of free, open protocols, standards and software, to power end-to-end secure voice communications on mobile devices, as well as with desktop computers.[8]

Additional projects[edit]

Third party projects that are supported, developed on, and recommended by The Guardian Project:[8]

K-9 and APG[edit]

Main articles: K-9 Mail and Android Privacy Guard

K-9 Mail is an open-source app based on Android’s built-in Email app. The project is focused on making it easy to manage multiple accounts and large volumes of email, as well supporting OpenPGP encryption using Android Privacy Guard.[8]


Main article: CSipSimple

CSipSimple is a free and open source SIP client for Android that provides end-to-end encryption using ZRTP. This app is compatible with an Ostel account for making secure VoIP calls on Android.[8]


Main article: TextSecure

TextSecure, developed by Open Whisper Systems, provides a robust encrypted instant messaging and text messaging solution on Android.[8] It is intended to be used in place of the standard text messaging application.[11] TextSecure users can exchange encrypted messages, media and attachments. The application uses end-to-end encryption to secure all messages that are sent to other TextSecure users.[12][13][14]


The Guardian Project offers downloads of its apps from Google Play, Amazon Appstore, directly from their website, and through an F-Droid compatible repository.[15][8] Direct downloads are signed and can be verified with the developer's key.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Thomas Lowenthal (19 April 2011). "For paranoid Androids, Guardian Project offers smartphone security". Retrieved 15 May 2013. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Nathan Freitas Tweet on Twitter
  4. ^ Nathan Freitas (20 March 2009). "Nathan Freitas on Guardian". Retrieved 15 May 2013. 
  5. ^ NANCY SCOLA (31 March 2011). "The Guardian Project: Building Mobile Security for a Dangerous World". Retrieved 15 May 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "Secure Messaging Scorecard. Which apps and tools actually keep your messages safe?". Electronic Frontier Foundation. 2014-11-04. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j The Guardian Project. "Secure Mobile Apps". Retrieved 15 May 2013. 
  9. ^ Nathan Freitas (24 October 2013). "ChatSecure v12 Provides Comprehensive Mobile Security and a Whole New Look". Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  10. ^ "Ostel OSTN". Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  11. ^ "TextSecure /". Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  12. ^ Molly Wood (19 February 2014). "Privacy Please: Tools to Shield Your Smartphone". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  13. ^ Moxie Marlinspike (24 February 2014). "The New TextSecure: Privacy Beyond SMS". Open WhisperSystems. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  14. ^ Martin Brinkmann (24 February 2014). "TextSecure is an open source messaging app with strong security features". Ghacks Technology News. Retrieved 26 February 2014. 
  15. ^ Hans-Christoph Steiner (30 June 2014). "New Official Guardian Project app repo for FDroid!". Retrieved 27 July 2014. 
  16. ^ "Signing Keys". The Guardian Project. Retrieved 19 September 2014. 

External links[edit]