The panel discussion took place at the Book Launch for Digital Witness on the 26 February 2020 at the Human Rights Action Centre, Amnesty International UK. These are the panellists:
Sam Dubberley – Research Consultant, Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project, University of Essex and Head of the Crisis Evidence Lab, Amnesty International
Alexa Koenig – Executive Director, Human Rights Center, University of California, Berkeley
Daragh Murray – Senior Lecturer, School of Law & Human Rights Centre, University of Essex
Paul Myers – BBC journalist
Lindsay Freeman – University of California, Berkeley
Yvonne Ng – WITNESS
Ella McPherson – Cambridge University
Jeff Deutch – Syrian Archive
Using Open Source Information for Human Rights Investigations
To say that mobile technologies, social media, and increased connectivity are having a significant impact on human rights practice would be an understatement. Modern technology – and the enhanced access it provides to information about human rights abuses – has the potential to revolutionise human rights reporting and documentation, as well as the pursuit of legal accountability.
However, these new methods for information gathering and dissemination have also created significant challenges for investigators and researchers.The capture and dissemination of content often happens haphazardly, and for a variety of motivations. For this content to be of use to investigators it must be discovered, verified, and authenticated. These skills have therefore become critical for human rights organisations and human rights lawyers.
This panel, marking the launch of Digital Witness – the first textbook dedicated to open source investigations – brings together leading experts in the open source movement, discussing how open source techniques can be used in human rights investigations, and what the future holds.
Digital Witness is the first book to cover the history, ethics, methods, and best-practice associated with open source research. It is intended to equip the next generation of lawyers, journalists, sociologists, data scientists, other human rights activists, and researchers with the cutting-edge skills needed to work in an increasingly digitized, and information-saturated environment.