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Part I, 5 Open Source Investigations for Human Rights: Current and Future Challenges

Scott Edwards

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: 29 November 2023

Access to information — Standard of proof — Fact-finding and inquiry

Human rights investigators are currently inundated by tremendous amounts of data and other information of potential relevance to their work. Just as in commerce, governance, and other areas of public interest, the modern information environment in human rights investigations has forced considerable adaptation in practice, often to the immense benefit of human rights defence. Nevertheless, considerable challenges face the human rights investigator using open source methods. This chapter addresses three broad procedural challenges in open source investigations: the discovery of information; coping effectively with the ephemeral nature of open source content; and assessing information authenticity. It concludes with a discussion of future trends likely to influence the science and practice of open source investigations and the broader pursuit of human rights investigation.

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