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, the Project has received indirect funding both from the US State Department (through the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Internet Freedom program) and from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (through HIVOS).

Active projects[edit]

  • Orbot: A Tor client for 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]
  • Orfox: A mobile counterpart of the Tor Browser. The Guardian Project announced the stable alpha of Orfox on 30 June 2015. Orfox is built from Fennec (Firefox for Android) code and the Tor Browser code repository, and is given security hardening patches by the Tor Browser development team. Some of the Orfox build work is based on the [Fennec] F-Droid project.[9] In Orfox, the project removed the WebRTC component, Chromecast connectivity, app permissions to access the camera, microphone, contacts (address book), location data (GPS et al.), and NFC.[9][10] Orfox is to supersede the Orweb browser project.[9]
  • Orweb: 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: An instant messaging application integrated with the Off-the-Record encrypted chat protocol. Formerly called Gibberbot,[11] the app is built on Google’s open-source Talk app and modified to support the Jabber XMPP protocol.[8]
  • ObscuraCam: 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]
  • Ostel: A tool for having end-to-end encrypted VoIP calls.[12] 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]


The Guardian Project offers downloads of its apps from Google Play, Amazon Appstore, directly from their website, and through an F-Droid compatible repository.[8][13] Direct downloads are signed and can be verified with the developer's key.[14]

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 The Guardian Project. "Secure Mobile Apps". Retrieved 15 July 2015. 
  9. ^ a b c n8fr8 (2015-06-30). "Orfox: Aspiring to bring Tor Browser to Android". The Guardian Project. Retrieved 2015-07-11. 
  10. ^ Long, Jacob (2015-07-01). "Orfox Is The Guardian Project's Latest App For Bringing The Tor Browser Experience To Android, First Alpha Release Is Available". Android Police. Illogical Robot LLC. Retrieved 2015-07-21. 
  11. ^ Nathan Freitas (24 October 2013). "ChatSecure v12 Provides Comprehensive Mobile Security and a Whole New Look". Retrieved 24 October 2013. 
  12. ^ "Ostel OSTN". Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  13. ^ Hans-Christoph Steiner (30 June 2014). "New Official Guardian Project app repo for FDroid!". Retrieved 27 July 2014. 
  14. ^ "Signing Keys". The Guardian Project. Retrieved 19 September 2014. 

External links[edit]