Course

Open Source Investigation – Foundational


The Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley School of Law and the Institute of International Criminal Investigations in The Hague have partnered to offer two comprehensive open source investigation courses focused on the investigation of violations of international criminal, humanitarian, and human rights law. Course participants are trained on the methodology of the Berkeley Protocol on Digital Open Source Investigations, the first professional standards and guidelines for digital investigations, consistent with the practices of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.  Both courses highlight the importance of ethics, resiliency, security, and legal compliance.

The “Foundational Open Source Investigation Course” provides the essential hands-on skills necessary for any form of high quality open source investigation. It is suitable for those with a limited existing knowledge or those who want to refresh or check their skills.

In this course, you will learn:

  • How to develop an online investigation plan
  • How to assess the digital landscape
  • How to assess digital risks and threats
  • How to conduct due diligence and select tools
  • How to effectively search the surface and deep web
  • How to search social media platforms and audio-visual content
  • How to capture and preserve online content
  • How to verify online content
  • How to conduct a reverse image search for collection and verification purposes
  • How to geolocate and chronolocate images and videos
  • How to set up a secure workstation for anonymous online activities
  • How to create a virtual identity for safe social media monitoring
  • How to set up an online monitoring dashboard
  • How to investigate with a sensitivity to ethical and legal considerations
  • 15. How to present the findings of an open source investigation

Prerequisites: there are no required skills or prerequisites for this course, however, prior experience as an investigator, analyst, journalist or lawyer is preferred.

We had a colleague on mission from Geneva a while back, and when they found out I had completed the IICI investigators course they mentioned that it was the ‘gold standard’ of training and that more human rights officers needed to do it. Could not agree more.

Documentation of Scenes of War Crimes and Human Rights Violations Participant

We had a colleague on mission from Geneva a while back, and when they found out I had completed the IICI investigators course they mentioned that it was the ‘gold standard’ of training and that more human rights officers needed to do it. Could not agree more.

Participant of the Scenes of War Crimes Course

The course was definitely an extraordinary experience. I really appreciate putting things to practice with all the group exercises. It is essential to be part of a multi-disciplinary team and learn how to work with others. It is what I enjoyed most.

International Investigator Course Participant

The best thing being by far the team building experience: work with people I had never seen before and that came from different background, put together our expertise and experiences in a constructive way. Each of us brought something to our team and I believe we all learn about the importance of listening to one another and question our ideas. It was like building a picture to which each one of us contributed with an essential detail.

International Investigator Course Participant

You, both the participants and our tutors, are uniquely talented and experienced individuals from whom I learned a lot during my one week with you. Am looking forwards to another opportunity to work with you in an effort to enhance respect and accountability for human rights and end impunity on SGBV crimes.

Justice Rapid Response (JRR)-UN Women certification training course for experts on Investigating sexual and gender-based violence as international crimes, Bangkok

Date to be determined

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