how to:How To Use OpenWatch to Capture Audio and Video Covertly
OpenWatch is an application for iPhone and Android that allows anyone with these devices to surreptitiously record audio and video. Its developers describe it as “a participatory citizen media project which uses mobile technology to enable public monitoring of authority figures.” Though the developers, in their instructional video, don’t state a specific purpose for their app, they imply that citizens should be able to watch Big Brother as Big Brother watches them.
As a benefit, OpenWatch facilitates the creation of massive amounts of first-hand content. The dangerous drawback is that this often low-quality content receives minimal context and no verification—it is surely not a journalistic source. For those on the ground in tense situations, however, this app serves a vital role in securely providing a means to record evidence.
Download one of OpenWatch’s apps: either openwatch or Cop Recorder. Both are free, as are their source codes.
When you want to secretly record either audio or video, open the app and click either “Record Audio” or “Record Video.” The app will begin to record immediately, but it will appear to close. In the case of audio recording, it will return to the home screen. If you choose to record video, the screen will go blank, as if the phone has been turned off.
If you are recording audio, make sure your phone is close enough to you and the subject of your recording so that your recording is loud clear; mobile phones’ microphones are especially prone to background noise. If you are recording video, make sure that your phone’s camera is aimed at the subject of your video, but not placed in a notable area that would arouse suspicion.
Once you wish to end your recording, open the app again. The recording will immediately stop, and you will be prompted to describe the recording. The content will be uploaded to a secure server atopenwatch.net, where it will be examined by openwatch and, if required, submitted for further investigation.