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09.02.2023

OpenTalk goes open source: security-centred video conferencing platform publishes source code

More transparency and digital sovereignty for OpenTalk customers

Berlin, 09 February 2023 - OpenTalk, the German provider of the secure video conferencing solution of the same name, releases the source code of its communication platform under the EUPL open source licence (European Union Public License) on OpenCoDE.de. OpenTalk has been designed from the ground up to meet the high security standards required for confidential communication. The platform is particularly suitable for use by public bodies and political organisations, as well as universities and schools. With the publication of the source code, the developers show their strong commitment to transparency, and this move also enables individuals and businesses to install and use the community release of OpenTalk free of charge. OpenTalk closes a gap that previously existed between free solutions such as Jitsi or BBB, and commercial providers like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Cisco WebEx.

In addition to a sophisticated security architecture and a high degree of scalability, OpenTalk offers a completely new range of features that support video conference moderators in their daily work. All basic features of OpenTalk are included in the community release free of charge. There is additional functionality such as audit-proof voting, automatic moderation of large groups of participants, or an installation on so-called Kubernetes clusters, which are intended for professional use and available in an Enterprise Edition.

The publishing of the source code is only the first step. Over the medium term, OpenTalk aims to keep developing innovative ideas and drive the further development of the system together with the community, in an ongoing process of making the platform safer and better.

โ€žThe open source philosophy is one of the foundations of who we are and an integral part of our work. With OpenTalk, we wanted to create a high-quality, high-performance video conferencing solution and make it available to the community for free. The expertise and enthusiasm of the community is essential to keep further developing and innovating with the product and shape it into something that both end users and developers can relate toโ€ says Peer Heinlein, CEO of OpenTalk.

Video conferencing reinvented and done right

Across businesses, public authorities, and schools worldwide, many people are now spending several hours per day engaging with video conferences. OpenTalk sets new standards with a modern IT security architecture that has been designed from the ground up, and that offers many innovative features. OpenTalk provides an very high level of security, using modern authentication and security mechanisms, as well as automatic data encryption.

When it comes to videoconferencing, OpenTalk offers a range of state-of-the-art features but also completely new ideas that make communication and collaboration easy. For example, there are smart moderation tools, different voting features, breakout rooms, sub-room meetings, but also gamification elements that make meetings a bit more interesting and exciting for the participants. Many additional features are planned for future releases.

OpenTalk closes the gap between the large, commercial cloud providers of communication and collaboration platforms who normally do not publish their source code on one side, and the smaller-scale developments that are already free and can be operated in a digitally sovereign way on the other. As a solution for data transfer and communication for anyone who has increased security requirements, OpenTalk has been in daily use for some time with customers from different trades and sectors. A number of public authorities and federal states are currently evaluating the suitability of OpenTalk for their purposes. โ€œIn order to receive official approval for the facilitation of communication with increased security requirements, we will get OpenTalk certified by the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI)โ€ says Peer Heinlein.

โ€œIt is very important for businesses, public authorities, and schools to maintain their digital sovereignty. Modern communication needs to be handled with care, it is too important to be run on outdated IT architectures, or entrusted to external providers that are not bound by our data protection laws like the GDPR,โ€ says Peer Heinlein. โ€œWith OpenTalk, we have a true GDPR-compliant alternative to anything the heavyweights from the US have to offer. In just two years, we have developed a secure architecture and scalable container infrastructure that puts the user back into focus. The published source code will now allow everyone to help find and fix security issues or bugs, and to add additional features to the platform. This is in line with our deep commitment to transparency, security, and fairness."

More information:

Project page and all repositories: https://gitlab.opencode.de/opentalk
Deployment manual and setup: https://gitlab.opencode.de/opentalk/ot-setup

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