Berkeley Protocol on Digital Open Source Investigations: A Practical Guide on the Effective Use of Digital Open Source Information in Investigating Violations of International Criminal, Human Rights and Humanitarian Law

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Human Rights Center, UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Publication Date
December 2, 2020
Publication Type
Conflict, Human Rights Investigations Lab, International Criminal Law, International Humanitarian Law, Investigations Program, Technology, Technology, Law, & Policy Program


The Berkeley Protocol on Digital Open Source Investigations identifies international standards for conducting online research of alleged violations of international criminal, human rights, and humanitarian law. The Protocol provides guidance on methodologies and procedures for gathering, analysing, and preserving digital information in a professional, legal, and ethical manner. The publication also sets out measures that online investigators can and should take to protect the digital, physical, and psychosocial safety of themselves and others, including witnesses, victims, and first responders (such as citizens, activists, and journalists) who risk their own wellbeing to document war crimes and human rights violations so that those who are responsible are brought to justice. The Human Rights Center created the Berkeley Protocol in partnership with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. More about the Berkeley Protocol can be found on this page.


The Berkeley Protocol on Digital Open Source Investigations is available in all the languages of the United Nations ( العربية / Arabic , 中文 / Mandarin , Français / French , Español / Spanish , русский / Russian ), and can be downloaded by clicking on the linked images below:


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