Researching the ethical considerations that should be considered when conducting open source investigations for advocacy or legal accountability
Advances in digital communications technology – particularly social media and the spread of smartphones – have revolutionized the practice of human rights. Victims of, and witnesses to, human rights abuses can now document their experiences, and share them directly with the world. This publicly available information is referred to as ‘open source’ information. This information can then contribute to broader human rights documentation and accountability mechanisms. The recent International Criminal Court arrest warrant issued against Mahmoud Mustafa Busayf al-Werfalli was based on open source digital information.
Open source investigations and human rights
Open source investigations are becoming central to effective human rights investigations. However, the use of this information raises a number of concerns, particularly with respect to ethics. At HRBDT, we are researching these ethical considerations. We also run a digital verification unit, based at the University of Essex Human Rights Centre Clinic. The unit’s work in collaboration with Amnesty International’s Digital Verification Corps has been shortlisted for a Times Higher Education International Collaboration award.
The project, with the support of the Engine Room, is researching the ethical considerations that should be taken into account when conducting open source investigations for advocacy or legal accountability. This will culminate in a white paper to be published in late 2019. We have also been considering the human rights impact of the current misinformation and disinformation ecosphere. Members of the HRBDT project are also working on a textbook – Digital Witness: Using Open Source Information for Human Rights Investigation, Documentation, and Accountability – to be published by OUP at the end of 2019.
Right On – The Wednesday Web ChatRead more
The HRBDT project is supporting a new digital initiative that aims to keep the Human Rights dialogue going during the…
Podcast of the Panel Discussion at the Book Launch for Digital Witness on 26 February 2020Read more
Listen here to the Panel Discussion at the Book Launch of Digital Witness The panel discussion took place at the…
Panel Discussion – Getting to the truth – Using Open Source Data to Defend Human RightsRead more
On 25 February 2020 the Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project and the Foreign Policy Centre co-hosted an event…
- The weekly news roundup from @HRBDTNews including stories on #BigTech #privacy #AI and more ... https://www.hrbdt.ac.uk/weekly-news-circular-28-july-2020-2/
- Just published. Latest paper from @surveilleethics explores how police in England + Wales are implementing the Do… https://twitter.com/i/web/status/1286297246389219330
- Here's the latest @HRBDTNews weekly roundup of #HumanRights #TechNews including stories on #dataprotection #COVID19… https://twitter.com/i/web/status/1285170280059543553
- Social distancing has led to families being locked down together + widespread job + income losses. This has coincid… https://twitter.com/i/web/status/1281150801335988226
- This weeks roundup of #HumanRights #Technews stories from @HRBDTNews including #ArtificialIntelligence , content m… https://twitter.com/i/web/status/1280138349357993986
- Published today by @EssexLawSchool + @EssexHRC 'Covid-19, Law and Human Rights: Essex Dialogues' responds to some o… https://twitter.com/i/web/status/1278662043848052738