Getting to the truth: Using open source data to defend human rights


This event from the UK think tank The Foreign Policy Centre will look at the challenges and opportunities of using open source data in human rights documentation and investigation.

From videos of rights violations, to satellite images of environmental degradation, to eyewitness accounts disseminated on social media, human rights practitioners have access to more data today than ever before. Modern technology—and the enhanced access it provides to information about abuse—has the potential to revolutionize both 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 as the capture and dissemination of content is often haphazard. The rise of deep fakes and synthetic media further complicate the picture. For open source data to be of use to investigators it must be discovered, verified, and authenticated. This seminar will discuss the history, ethics, methods and best-practice associated with open source research, and will discuss how it can be incorporated into documentation and investigation processes. It will explore what more can be done to ensure public policy, in the UK and internationally, supports access to the new sources of information and protects those who use it.

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