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Part I, 2 Open Source Evidence and Human Rights Cases: A Modern Social History

Alexa Koenig

From: Digital Witness: Using Open Source Information for Human Rights Investigation, Documentation, and Accountability

Edited By: Sam Dubberley, Alexa Koenig, Daragh Murray

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 22 February 2024

Civil and political rights — Media — Internet — International criminal law — Evidence — Corroboration

This chapter discusses the history of open source investigations for legal practice. It details an extraordinary shift in the use of social media and other open source information as evidence to address civil cases, especially human rights cases. Whether for criminal or civil cases, lawyers around the world are increasingly using online open sources to generate evidence of human rights abuses. While this practice is still relatively new, the use of online digital content as evidence is poised to explode. Given how much of contemporary communications now happens in digital space — and how important mining those communications can be for building evidentiary records related to atrocities — not knowing how to comb online platforms may (and probably should) soon be considered a form of malpractice.

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