UK University of Surrey Helps to Develop ARCHANGEL Blockchain for “Tamper-Proofing Video Archives”


In a recent interview with news outlet, Coin Desk, a representative from the University of Surrey disclosed their endeavor towards the development of:

“a highly secure, decentralized computer vision and blockchain based system called ARCHANGEL.”

This carries significant value, as it has the ability to ensure integrity of video archives.

Based on the claims made, this endeavor involves the coming together of different people, as it includes University of Surrey’s Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing (CVSSP), not-for-profit private company devoted to creating an open and trustworthy data ecosystems, Open Data Institute and archive and publisher for the UK government, The National Archives.

As per the interview, representative, Professor John Collomosse, shared that ARCHANGEL will involve the use of fingerprints to verify characteristics of archives. In particular, he shared:

“[The system] essentially provides a digital fingerprint for archives, making it possible to verify their authenticity,” adding that “Everyone can check and add records, but no one can change them. As no data can be modified, the integrity of the historical record remains intact.”

The CEO of Open Data Institute, Jeni Tennison, has since expressed the importance of ARCHANGEL and what it means for historical archives. Tennison reasoned that due to the various ways of breaking into systems, the authenticity of records can easily get destroy. Furthermore, it was noted that such downfalls naturally:

“make it crucial for the institutions who take care of those records to be able to demonstrate their trustworthiness.”

Overview of ARCHANGEL

A paper on ARCHANGEL is expected to be made available in the time to come. However, based on the presented Abstract, it seems like ARCHANGEL relies heavily on temporal content hashes (TCH), which have been described as being

“sensitive to accidental or malicious content modification.”

Another aspect that will be covered in the paper, is how TCHs work along with the use of proof-of-authority blockchain acting as its foundation. Finally, the statistical analyses will be provided, which arise from the trials they have since conducted.

Thus far, the likes of United Kingdom, Estonia and Norway have participated in the aforementioned trials.

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