Building on longstanding work in the field, the Human Rights Center launched a Technology and Human Rights Program in 2015 to strengthen the use of emerging technologies in human rights investigations and prosecutions. We have since created the first university-based Human Rights Investigations Lab of its kind to conduct open source investigations for international organizations, news outlets, and courts. The lab collaborates with Amnesty International’s Digital Verification Corps and other legal, advocacy, and media partners to advance human rights documentation and strengthen the veracity of information. Students are trained to verify publicly available information on potential war crimes and hate crimes and to rapidly respond to human rights crises. The lab also works with legal partners to conduct open source investigations for legal accountability and convenes experts to establish protocols for digital evidence.
The Technology and Human Rights Program also helps to advance the tech capacity of the International Criminal Court. We have sent experts from the fields of software, security, analytics, and open source intelligence to The Hague to share their expertise with Court investigators and analysts. The Human Rights Center’s Alexa Koenig co-administers the Court’s Technology Advisory Board, a group of law, technology, and human rights experts.
HRC is also leading an international effort to create a protocol for open source investigations.