Open Source Investigation

In recent years, war crimes investigators and human rights defenders have come to increasingly rely on social media and other open source information to build cases for prosecution, advocate for international action in the face of human rights violations and combat mis/disinformation. This course focuses on the tools and techniques required for the safe, ethical and effective gathering of online information and evidence in a manner suitable for use in prosecutions or advocacy work.

Designed and delivered jointly by the UC Berkeley Human Rights Center and IICI, the course brings together trainers working at the cutting edge of technology, law and fact-finding. The course will incorporate the new Berkeley Protocol on Open Source Investigations, which aims to provide international standards consistent with the practice of international criminal tribunals like the ICC, national war crimes units, and UN commissions of inquiry, fact-finding missions and other investigative mechanisms. The course is taught through a series of hands-on exercises to provide a thorough grounding in requisite skills.

Topics covered in the course include:

  • Web search
  • Social media search and monitoring
  • Digital security
  • Creating virtual identities
  • Ethics and resiliency
  • Digital risk assessment
  • Digital landscape assessment
  • Online investigation planning
  • Verification (including geolocation and chronolocation)
  • Source analysis
  • Network analysis
  • Legal principles for handling digital evidence
  • Collection, preservation and documentation
  • Reporting on finding

“Amazing course by IICI and UC Berkeley Human Rights Center. Highly recommended for anyone working with open source data in government, international organizations, NGOs, or private sector.


OSINT Course Participant

I feel very confident – and honestly super excited – about using everything I learnt.”


OSINT Course Participant

The course provides great advice, insight and trainers’ hands-on experience on how to find and use open source materials.”

OSINT Course Participant

It was a very valuable course with renowned and experienced instructors completed by an interesting panel of participants. Great!!” 

 OSINT Course Participant

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