About the Snowden Archive-in-a-box

In 2013, Edward Snowden leaked millions of documents providing proof of a global mass surveillance system that challenges legal and commonsense notions of borders. Over the past three years, archivists have assembled the documents as they have been published by newspapers and online publications. The Snowden Digital Surveillance Archive, built at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information and hosted by Canadian Journalists for Free Expression, was one of the first efforts to create a permanent archive of these documents.

The Snowden Archive-in-a-Box is an offline version of this archive. Running on a $50 RaspberryPi mini-computer, it is meant to be a secure research tool for students, academic researchers, activists and the general public. Archives-in-a-Box have been built for Cambridge University’s Ethics of Big Data Research Group and Ryerson University’s Centre for Free Expression. There are plans to install one in the University of Toronto Faculty of Information Library in 2018.

Dr. Evan Light conducts on-going research on his experiences traveling with the Snowden Archive-in-a-Box and will, for the first time, be doing a series of installations at American universities in 2018.

We are currently in the process of modernizing the Snowden Digital Surveillance Archive/Snowden Archive-in-a-Box. If you are interested in collaborating or deploying your own Archive-in-a-Box, please email