Could SD *not* erase the messages exchanged?

From a journalistic point of view, used to work with sources, the mere fact that messages sent by the source are erased can be (very) counterproductive, as it often happens that the journalist, and/or the source, have to ask several questions, and thus exchange several messages, before being able to properly understand the big picture, or a tiny but very important detail.

As the messages sent are erased, by default, it’s impossible to look back at previous exchanges, except if they’ve been cut’n pasted elsewhere… which, in terms of security, is obviously insecure, as this elsewhere would probably be much less secured than SD is.

That said, would it be possible to :
. not erase, by default, the messages exchanged (but give the opportunity to the source to erase selected messages),
. or let the sources choose wether they want some messages to be archived for later use ?
. and, at least, warn the sources that messages sent will be erased and not archived ?


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The messages do not show in the journalist interface but they are saved and can be read on the SVS. However this is inconvenient and following a conversation is difficult. The source has the option to delete the messages but can also decide to keep them.

It is likely that the source deletes the journalist reply right after reading it (because they are encouraged to). And since you’re saying that it often takes a few exchanges to clarify things, the sources are likely to be confused when they return a few days later, because they lost the previous messages.

And the journalist would have to reorganize the conversation on the SVS so it can be read like a mail thread and not a sequence of messages, each in its own file.

I’m sure this has been discussed already in the past and I’m curious about what people with experience operating SecureDrop think.