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Common questions

Got even more questions?

Aleph is open source software, why and how are you making money with it?

Aleph is developed by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP). The software itself is published open source (MIT license) which allows any organization to use and run the software on their own at no licensing costs, but setting up and maintaining a reliable and secure production setup of this software requires some experience and effort. offers any services and consulting around setting up and running Aleph, but doesn't sell or re-licenses the software itself.

I can install and run Aleph on my own, why should I hire you?

Yup, just type docker compose up into your server terminal and you have a running Aleph.

But, security? Backups? What else?

Running a production deployment of Aleph requires hours (as in years) of experience on how to deal with security, software updates, imports and backups. When hiring us, you save a lot of internal resources (and budget) that can be used for what you are good at: investigating the next scandal.

I am running my own Aleph instance, how can you help me?

As running Aleph is a one-liner described above, there are still many challenges that are hard to tackle for most newsrooms and organizations, such as incrementally backing up a 5TB archive of source documents, periodically importing scraped data, scaling up the deployment for ingesting a huge leak, dealing with obscure formats. Any organization and any research is individual. We build solutions for any case and provide consulting for any question that may arise in the context of setting up and running Aleph instances.

I am running my own Aleph instance, but it's (almost) empty

Glad you asked. Over the years we have built an archive of common used datasets within investigative journalism, and are happy to provide you access to it, depending on your use case. We as well build custom scrapers and data integrations for new data sources or your own, exclusive material – just write us an email.

Plus, we can wire some things together to regulary import datasets from FollowTheMoney data providers like OpenSanctions and our own catalogs (for example

I am running my own Aleph instance, but I want to migrate

Migrating terrabytes of data seems to be frightening, but is actually no problem when you know the quirks. We have moved some Aleph instances from one end of the internet to the other, without any user noticing it. Just get in touch and we can sort this out.

Are you looking at my documents?

No. Unless you ask us to do so to contribute to your investigation. Technically speaking, we can see your data, as an email provider could technically read your emails (unless you use end-to-end encryption). We just won't do it, and we sign any NDA you ask us to.

Sure, let's talk.

What are the common alternative solutions to Aleph?

Aleph is not always the perfect fit. We are happy to consult your organization which technology you really need.

How are you connected to OCCRP, the Aleph developer team?

We don't work (and never did) for OCCRP and don't receive any comission for implementing Aleph in more and more organizations. But we love what they do and regulary contribute to the Aleph community and to the source code.

What is your role in the journalism landscape?

We have a background in investigative journalism and regularly contribute to various media projects. But this agency is not a media outlet or publisher by itself. This means we are no competitor to any organization, and we are not interested in it at all. Instead, we are a service provider to boost your own investigations.