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Read this: Hunting spies and exposing lies

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Hunting spies and exposing lies…



BBC sounds music radio podcast the media show BBC Radio 4 Media circles about reinventing journalism researcher on this program, too well as yesterday.

He's done more of that than most but you probably never heard of him and while most during this will take that as an insult Eliot Higgins might think it a compliment because he is the founder of bellingcat a team of open-source investigators who have delivered some of the biggest scoops in recent history the Salisbury nerve agent poisoning one of the men involved is said to be a colonel in Russian military intelligence Group UK based organisation carrying out online investigations says the man named as ruslan, boshirov is actually a decorated military Kirkcaldy to bellingcat chepiga was a soldier who served in Chechnya and was awarded the highest state award hero of the Russian Federation usually bestowed personally by President Putin Eliot Higgins

Welcome to the media, show me let's talk briefly about your life of for Bella get where does your own story begins well before turning out.

I've been working in various come of admin and finance roles of different company side.

No background journalism or investigation or anything like that, but it really started for me when I was bored in my office and arguing with people on the internet about what was happening in Libya cos I've always had this interesting can of International Affairs but people are kind of sharing videos from Libya arguing about whether they're real or not.

I thought well, can I actually prove if they're actually films where they claim to be? I didn't have too much work to do in my job.

So I just come did it more and more more until I eventually and it would get to work in the morning.

I getting likes 7:30 quite early.

I'll be the first person on posting the links I found and then people start saying well.

You know how do you know where this this video is claimed to be here but how do you know it's true, so I thought well actually.

How do I know so I started looking at satellite image of the areas.

It was claimed to be and then realising you can match off features in the video.

Against what's in the satellite imagery and that turned into something was now known as geolocation just before you get into the technical geolocation big scoops.

You've got I thinking people who haven't seen you before the match bellingcat.

It might have a particular image of a 20th century at Fleet Street reporter someone with a trench coats with marauding their way through Central London you're not actually from London I know I live in Leicester at the moment as that we grew up now my dad was in the Royal Air Force so he's to move around the country quite a bit when I was younger and then eventually I started to come working I settled in Leicester so I've lived there now for about fifteen or sixteen years and you said it was arguing about Olivia but what are your first interest in video of photographs of red was coming out the civil war in Syria that's right basically in 2011 my daughter was born just said the get day after Gaddafi was killed six months my kind of life without the window what I was looking after my daughter and I thought I'd need a hobby.

I can have pick up and put down quickly.

I thought I saw a bloke just too kind of write-up somebody's interesting things on finding.

Because Libby I can't I download point in Syria was becomes a new start to escalate.

There's lot of videos be shared from there so I started asking questions about what can we learn from these videos and will the first big things are about were the kinds of arms been used by the Syrian opposition because no one really looked at that and through that I can build my own knowledge of these weapons through various online sources and speak to Arms experts, but could have won the first things I discovered was the first video of Cluster Bomb used in Syria and then things like barrel bombs with became a big thing in Syria and I just posted more more and build up an audience overtime for my blog.

Are you finding these videos is Siri I quickly discovered that the way the Syrian opposition were using social media was actually quite consistent you had very limited internet access so the person have the satellite phone or could smell stuff Across the Border became like the media centre and then you had Llanberis conifer sponsors of those groups uniform Western States and elsewhere happened about them.

So you have you could cast local for Youtube channels Twitter accounts on Facebook groups used by these.

Different opposition groups be a armed groups or become a media centers or whoever so there wasn't like you're anywhere else in the world.

We do you have people randomly tweeting stuff.

It was very systematic and by reviewing all that content every day.

I could look out for the new and interesting things that would have been trying to prove their what was the what in terms of finding new and interesting things what we trying to discover me to begin with it was really just something I thought I was doing for my own entertainment and I thought there was ever going to read this.

I Give It a silly name after Frank Zappa song so it's a brand Roses blog.

I thought no one's going to have a read this so who cares early on it was just saying ok.

I would want to know what the soon oppositions are using as weapons or what's this funny looking item has been dropped on a village in Syria and so on and so forth but that allow me to build my skill overtime but to what end are you trying to find out that's quite particular information Heathrow find out because you got a geeky interest in military apparatus from that part of the world all you trying to do it because you want to flog that material as a freelancer wood to conventional Media outlets first.

It was really just my own interest back when I was looking at Libya

Notice to trends 1 people on the ground riposte tiny bits of information for example when the mist rotten Rebels push South out of the city they went for a town called worker but no notice because all the Germans who are with them work on a road try not driving off to find Gaddafi insert, but they would tweet of the rebels of firing arterial to this town another one with tweet couple of days later the buildings on fire so it all the little bits of information that has a network of information indicated.

There was something happening there.

I realise it was actually valuable for understanding conflict same way that you could do it your remotely but in more depth also we had this kind of debate over whether or not videos real or not.

So there was this idea of using a variety of sources to verify this kind of content and these to come of strands came together with her.

What are we still on the blog and you do this by yourself at this point is bellingcat doesn't exist when the other side to do this stuff.

Yes, so over the first year of the brown Roses blog in 2012.

I bet offers audience of people who like really engage with kind of Syria and intra.

Sims content another stop 2013 I found a series of videos that showed new weapons arriving in the hands of the Syrian opposition and the reveille unusual weapons that I realise they were all linked to the former Yugoslavia and it never been seen in the conflict before but will now appearing in huge quantities.

I share that information with someone I knew at the New York Times and they investigated it further with their team and discovered.

It was part of a Saudi smuggling operation to the Syrian opposition they've been exposed because of people getting their weapons posted videos of them on YouTube so it's always ridiculous that this top-secret smuggling operation was being exposed because people couldn't help but share stuff on social media and wherever sinking into a wormhole early in our conversation, but why did the Saudis have weaponry that was from the US law conflict because they were purchasing it from Yugoslavia then sending over to Jordan and smuggling across the border into Syria will you will you an expert on benefits when to know that's the stuff you could have an extraordinary knowledge of geopolitics as well as arcane military apparatus to know the relevant.

If you're finding their well, I buy that point I'd spent about you every day looking at videos from Syria I've been trying to tidy all the weapons.

I could see in its eyes scanovate intimately I had intimate understanding of all the weapons that would be in use by both sides, so once you establish can of a pattern of behaviour when you start seeing these new weapons emerging when I saw that I was like what are these? I've no idea what they are but then by talking to the network.

I had of arms experts and lots of Googling a Saturday doing these weapons and then I realised they were all coming from the same region of the world and that was extremely unusual especially for Syria the picture that you're creating for me for somebody spends a lot of time with the laptop pursuing a very specific bits of information you go from Eliot Higgins a person who has a Blog Brown Moses to being the founder of bellingcat which is now institution against a network where does the name come from when I first came up with the idea of bellingcat I wanted to place where lots of people could contribute we could write guys to what was happening, but I wanted to good name.

What's coming up with names so I was thinking of names like I could it be open source., so I don't need Orient yeh rubbish so I call the person.

I know peterjukes Seas of Rhye Turner Forthill have no Talent and you must buy the nightmare right in this kind of stuff and his first suggestion was what about Belling the cat and explain that Belling the cat was this fable where there are a group of mice with very very scared of a large.

Cat they came up with the idea that they could put a belt around the cat's neck but then they don't have a plan to do that.

So what we doing his teaching people have the bell the cat so when people say are you're very kind of banning cats with a no.

No it with with a mice with belly look at some point.

Ok? So this work that metaphor through to your than mice.

That's better the mice as we first discover of this team of investigators the maze Equity Research into the how did you begin to devise what we might call the bellingcat method and particularly the actors involved in geolocation.

Well.

I have developed some ideas around you.

Occasional techniques through coming my earlier blogging but in 2014 we launched bellingcat.

It was some July 14th 3 days later ME17 was shot down breaking news 18 supporting determination passenger airliner has crashed in traffic controllers lost contact with it near the village in Eastern Ukraine conflict zone shortly before the crash pro-russian separatists fighting in Ukraine reclaiming on social media that they had downed a Ukrainian plane won the first things we did with mh17 is we saw there was a lot of videos and photographs being said we should claiming to be released 2017 now.

Some you can just do a free sample of Google reverse image search and find their from an old video or photograph, but there's some stuff that was new so and these videos and photographs on July 17th showed a buk missile launcher being transported by a low loader so the question was then ok, where are these photographs taken so we looked at the elements inside the photograph buildings backgrounds.

Landscapes and we can compare that's a satellite imagery of a reference imagery.

We can't start with the biggest clue someone might say this photograph was taken in the town of Horrors in Eastern Ukraine it shows a missile launcher and then we say OK, if that's where we starting it's a whole town so it's a place but then there's a sign in the background and has a shop name on it ok, let's put Torres in the shop name and that in simple Google search takes us to a court document where there was a fight at the shop week.

Is this the shop address and that was searching for the shops address.

We come across the guy who posted videos online and his hobby was driving around Eastern Ukraine filming stuff on his dashboard camera and its loading onto YouTube with a list of all the Streets Have Been on and warm the streets with the same street with the shop on which allowed us to show that this shop this location is photographs taken where the buk missile launcher was was in a precise location and you do that with this sequence of videos you start saying ok? What's the position of the Shadows for example that tells us what time of day day was taken so we start building together route of the missile launcher that was suspected to be linked to ME17 travelling.

You separate is held territory on July 17th before we 17 shot down.

How do you overcome the language barrier well, we have volunteers and their staff you speak Russian and Ukrainian so that that's how we do.

It google, translate can only take you so far, but it's still useful but because we collaborate a lot of people me come across all stuff and we do all kinds of different projects with a network with people often you'll find someone who just wants his auntie their time to figure out a part of the solution.

Can you tell us the definitive newslines that your investigation through the sofa source network delivered on mh17 so first.

We show that was a buk missile launcher travelling for Ukrainian separatists control territory.

They headed to the launch site which show multiple sources showed a rocket we know what's wrong with an found the convoy in Russia in June that had the same issue on it.

We could I use the sides of it the markings on the site to prove it was the same we find out where it came from the 53rd air defense Brigade we identified all the members of the air defense Brigade using a social media profiles.

Then started identifying individuals and Suspects who were intercepted phone calls describing their involvement you talk to each other saying we've just had the book arrived and stuff like that so we based started with the journey in Ukraine attractive all the way back to its base in Russia and only we spent 5 years investigating that where you have just put together podcast series about it.

It's been a huge investigation for us but alongside the development of bellingcat alongside mh17.

It's also been the community growing around it and that community involves comes.

Just keen how much is all the way so kind of Lawyers and shino Academic still trying to figure out how to apply what we do a Belling cat to their areas of expertise because of things open source investigation it can be applied to a whole range of different areas, so whilst having a lot of people look at something as as as journalists were actually doing now.

It's actually more focus on Justice and accountability and the funny thing about open source evidence is it's not like other forms of evidence wear if you speak to a witness, then you can.

Hide identity we can do it off now off the record your stuff has publicly available to all this information can be shared with anyone so if we do a piece of Investigation has multiple outcomes to that we can say ok, we're gonna use this for our school we can share it you know it like with annexe xvii.

We often share what we find with the police before we publish because he gets deleted very rapidly by the people posting it online because they don't all the evidence out there we can work with international Courts on it as well.

We can do advocacy work around it so anyway we end up doing cuddle lots of different things and talk of more traditional journalists, they see that as they hang on this isn't real this is a proper journalism, but in a way our primary goal is to spread of open source investigation is a field as you're coming up with his remarkable revelations if you're doing it is conventional gender scan situation you would put some of these claims to the people that your make allegations about do you go through those usual journalistic processes as well as the open solicitor the interesting thing is we have we get a lot of criticism from the Russian government.

And Russian Media for some reason I mean for example we have the Russian ambassador to the UK repeatedly claim while working with the British deep establishment after we published our work on scribble case a journalist Aston what the evidence was he said he had no evidence just a feeling which is very Russian establishment to make certain things so what you watching now that everything was published in the building.

Cat is the truth we don't believe we also accused by the Russian for ministry of using face and I emailed them and said well.

What's your evidence? I don't expect them to reply but they did and they sent me a series of plagiarise blog post is there evidence they had found some livejournal in Russia just copy the things reworded it send it over to me is there evidence that we were using fakes.

I was just completely agree with so absurd that we would just checking we weren't scoundrel.

I asking like expert like technical experts ensure these emails are actually coming from Russia and nuts and like weird scam.

Did you go back to them and save?

By the way found these plagiarize entries yeah, it's all about it.

They send an email to tell the world if they want to present the evidence we happy to share with people you mentioned these scripal case which is the poisoning that took place in at Salisbury the thing that seems to be clear about your courage of mh17 how you approach? It is his hearing evidence out there Mount online scraps of information that your network can get to but that wasn't presumably the case when it came to scrap hours and Salisbury that's right, so the triple case was rather different for us because we had to go beyond open source material.

We are we have this information about the identity of the suspects that the shed by the British authorities.

I'm looking into these people and in Russia you have a lot of leaked information government databases car restoration all kinds of information.

They sell this one kind of hurt in a car boot sales and stuff like that so.

Is quite easy to get these huge Russian government databases with loads of information on so it's so serious.

Are you get it you get what car boot sales just like Russian government databases of car registrations and kind of passport details of all kinds of details like that is just a car boot sales in Lostock and get leaked information about addresses in Russia get all you can go to a kind of any come and BitTorrent style Saturday and just download all this stuff left you trouser like 900 gigabytes, but they're there.

Are you can have to go and find a lot of this stuff and what about researchers is converses specialisation to find this kind of stuff and keeps revving through it is not as easy living on the car boot sales in Russia bellingcat me to come to one database intake pipe.

Someone work, but it was like looking through lots and lots of lots of things and piecing together this network information because the two people is very strange identity Straits of the skripal case.

Police fake identities and when we're looking into them.

It was clearly there was something records going on with his idea.

Why he had another example their passports are only created very light in the last several years which is really other than a passport far behind that we get to the passport.

This was something that's also possible in Russia and thanks to The LAX security, so shall we say that private detectives in Russia and other kinds of sauces can get this information and we had two names that we want to look into and weirdest every open source technique.

We could think of looking for this information digging through all these networks of information and these people will like ghosts.

They just didn't exist beyond these identities that they just revealed on Russia Today saying they were in sports nutrition salesman.

Going to Salisbury Cathedral so we were able to get copy of their passport registration files and extremely unusual first full day passport numbers were very close together and then when she looked at these documents said all kinds of weird official stamps on that aren't on normal documents.

They did have their photographs so

Was the first clue that these with fake identities so then we started digging into the more more and we have people come contacting a Singer I know that guy he you know is not the person is claiming to be this could be his real name.

I'm so he's a whole range of techniques.

It would be been told and tyre pro me explain what about this what you said that you won't you trace our passports first will have to get to their passports then the new passport.

Will the new registration numbers in Tree Close To Go how did you find those on their first of all the fake IDS that she published because we've been through the British authorities and talk about that passport numbers on it been so far apart, but we'll actually encountered something similar previously there's an attempted.

Coup Montenegro few years ago and the suspects will call and one of the news organisations publish the fake ID of the suspect and the real like the other suspect as some of the biographical details in those ideas with the same so I have theory was that maybe these tou offices and have been different and services when they create a fake ID

They kind of need some details I can remember if they're really drunk for example like you make it like for example.

They have a first name that space in the to the real name so if they miss speak it sounds like they've just rung can you smoke in their name and the things like the date of birth away therefrom can be very similar so we had this lots and lots of databases from all over Russia with all these different passport files house reservations car registrations, so we went through and started searching for place of birth of the first name the second name and battery quickly reduced down everyone in Russia to 20 people and they would look for that list of 20 people find them on social media and you find like 15 of them on social media with photos and eliminate that and then you'll be left with 5 people and their you'd investigate those people some will be the rage or some would be reported dead and then she just came down to one person and then we could speak to people in Russia who had access to the passport registration forms and they were sent as the copy because you said that people contacted you.

Are you able to say something Undisclosed sources, but I say something about how they contacted you was it through Whatsapp email who was email first but as usual I can I send you something on signal signal is a secure messaging apps that has encrypted communication.

So we'll see you know we are targeted a lot both through criticism and on cyber attacks as well.

So obviously we don't want to have that kind of discussion on a service that can be hacked so we then use encrypted communication and they tell her some stuff and so it turned out to be complete false and we I get a lot of emails from people who tell me all kinds of stories that are very fanciful and a lot of people say well.

It is people trying to play video fake information and a lot of it is just people who just overly keen show you say let's go back to the top line and story what Furby with bellingcat and don't know details historic.

What were the news lines that bellingcat was able to deliver about skripal case there are now commonly accepted but wouldn't be out there if it wasn't for your trainers, so we're able to reveal the true identity.

The suspects rush e27 Gru officers both of whom had received the hairbrush award which is one that while is the highest honour you can get in Russia I'm so he's a very high rank of people with no identified III individual who we believe is linked to the skripal investigation.

He seems to be the commander of the operation and we also managed to get more information about him about his travels in Switzerland and he also seems to be linked to the App World anti-doping agency hack as well this report cases of the huge bilateral.

Is you between the UK and Russia and your work is of tremendous used to the UK authorities will contact you had with the British authorities who got that case very very little and we can then please contact me to ask you some questions about it and I think the thing with every kind of bolt not even Butler people think that if you were working with a security services all their passing his information the fees we publish everything right.

So if I think the Intelligence agencies.

Just NIC it and use it for themselves cos it's not like we're writing.

Reports and only giving it to a few people we just throw anything out there that we have and there's really no reason for them to contact us because they can just look at our website and see all the information.

We've got if you were contacted by the Security Services can you say now that you would admit it you be over about it solutely.

I think if they contacted us the Assumption beat me know.

They will contact us if they want to give us information that would be open source information so has no value to us because if we can't publish stuff if we can't be transparent, then it anyway has no value to what we're trying to do because I don't conscious of being very useful to them have another scripal case you're able to do work that they would presume he working on but didn't get that you got there first well.

I've had a couple of constitute pieces of information about that as we do know a few people you know through the network.

We have who claim they know something about the security services think about us so much saying they're quite annoyed of us through revealing their identities of foreign agents because it's not the done thing apparently.

Are there quite annoyed that we're going around just giving away the secret identities of all these Russian spies true but may be a threat to your family Direct threats are we just make you paranoid knowing that you're home.

It's special with investigating the skripal case you know it does make you bit worried up door knobs and stuff like that is worrying and examples.

I was staying in a hotel recently and I had a knock on the door and it's quite late and now as I said what who could this be having all the Rumour Service I'm not expecting you once open the door and there's go there in a suit with a name badge.

I said.

Oh, thank you for saying the hotel you stayed here and time so you want to give you a thank you gift.

I gave me this bag and it had some sweets and cookies in it and I thought great love cookies very happy, so I went back in my room when I start my chin while I've no idea who this person is the next day.

I check out and I leave all these uneaten cookies and sweets in the room feeling a bit sad about it and I am going out and I've checked out and give my door key and I'm thinking farewell to the cookie.

And the monster, is it on thank you for staying with us or 10 times.

I hope you enjoy the cookies you we gave your Outlook email eBay fancy bear who are the hackers that the USA now saying actually hard the Gru but back in 2015 and 16 me and if you ever ever had members were targeted repeatedly and then it happened again towards the end of 2017 as well.

Do you have any intelligence dare? I say it I suggest that you have been followed or you have be monitored very closely before an intelligent not that im aware of I mean no one said that but you have to the skripal case we have the local cash counter terrorism police say come over and have a discussion about my personal safety in the I give various advice given her open you about your Pursuits in your ambitions.

Can you tell us what you're still trying to work on in terms the skripal case with Elsie looking at we still looking into this individual who is kind of therapists have been the command of the operation because we have a lot of details about his travels and where he was and we're trying to sync them up with events on the

Ground pod reason we publish so much information is because we want people to see that and say hang on.

Oh, I know something that happened.

I am a journalist and Switzerland realise there's a connection that we can't see and this goes back to the idea of kind of collaboration and crowdsourcing we don't know everything but we have a whole internet that we can ask so what did the word for stuck on something will share it will say can anyone figure out with this is taking one case that thing where you should actually is Sam we've been helping euro poll with her campaign called Sam tracing Optics stop child abuse where they've been taken abuse photographs of cutting out objects from them and asking the public to help identify them and now they would do this to Twitter with a few thousand followers, but we got lot more so we can amplify that through our accounts and that's been very impactful.

There was a photograph posted that was any city in Asia they said this photograph of taking in Asia and within two weeks someone who found the exact rooftop in China that the photograph was taken them wouldn't they always also conventional freelancers, but one of your

Network members said within two weeks yet so I mean in some cases been even quicker.

There was a young Isis social Media campaign where they encourage people to hold up a piece of paper with you know.

I'm Isis in Europe and with the name of the city there rain in Europe to have this idea that Isis was everywhere, but I realise the love these photographs you could see even though is out of focus.

You can see the background and I share this on my social media accounts and you know anyone finds out with this is and I searched for images and 3 of them were found in about 10 minutes of them being shared like really quick one of them took an hour because the person lied about where was there was still track down the courts then because they are Isis supporters in Europe engaging in a social Media campaign that Isis Rios their social media team on telegram organise this weird is that sounds people engage with their active Isis supporters? Who are the potential Prezzo Lisa interested in as well.

How far away is open source journalism to manipulation.

There is some amount of resistor.

Because when you have some in the shed online it doesn't just exist by itself if you have a photograph that's online and it's claim to show something it doesn't just exist in Space by itself as part of network information and is particularly have some of this come up with the idea of the face so we have all these videos of Obama saying trump wonderful and trump saying a bombers were the fallen Sword computer generated at first glance.

They look very realistic, but the thing is if you have such a Twitter account shares all these videos for example so we got this selection coming up in the US where this might happen.

It might be a 20-second clip.

So the question is festival.

Where's that clip from because if it's from a speech there must be a full version that speaks somewhere so the first thing we would do is look for that full version of the speech weed also look at the account that sharing it.

Is it a brand new account has got weird activity on it who's following it? Who is it? What is activity on that account and Bike of exploring the network of information around an object you discover more about it there and problem is it's nice to say or we can prove.

It's fake, but it's Twitter someone tweets.

10000 people retweet it and it doesn't matter what we find but would we've had an example of the Russian Ministry of Defence year or two ago.

They published images on their social media accounts pay me to be irrefutable evidence that the US was helping Isis and was drone imagery.

The thing is Wally images.

They used was not from drone footage.

It was from a computer game they data use the screenshot from a computer game as irrefutable evidence that the US was helping Isis and what happened.

There is that in that image so that she comes before a couple of weeks earlier ningen jealous that shared the video claiming.

It was some drone footage of Isis been attacked by the US and that that point had seen it and said to all my followers.

This is on a computer game and here's a link to the video this computer game video that meant all my followers who are the kind of people for the Russian mod were inoculated against that particular piece of misinformation.

So when the Russian mod share that everyone who said previously seen it replied saying no, that's why my computer game that was in public and everyone can see that reply.

And that in a way because he were inoculated against that particular piece of Miss information rather than the narrative being the US is helping Isis it's brushes using computer game footage to as irrefutable evidence and they were widely mocked even Russia Today can help kind of sharing their kind of mocking tweets that would be sent to them about it.

How are you friend and we can split us us between first donors and foundations.

I will save you a lot of workshops at the moment.

I'm weird moving into also trying to create a membership kind of program for our work.

So do is majority money come from currently workshops and doughnuts and we can't have them for $55 so the open Society foundations Napoli damage democracy a couple of Dutch funders like a decimal portikus.

You know that the conspiracy theories with see you take money from George Soros open Society foundation at least going to political agenda at a pro-democracy one and by implication therefore you also have an agenda.

I mean we always get accused of being taken money from all kinds of sources, so it's actually a video.

Who are publishing Russian television at this fresh and film director? He's very pro Putin now and he did he has a weekly show and he was saying have an account was founded 4 days before mh17 shot down like that was linked somehow and they talked about our funders and pull out a massive chart of everyone who was a contributor to our website and had the talk about how all the we had all these different funders, but it's like UNESCO responding us like we have some kind of Uno historical site.

They were controlling we get to be getting so much money, but we really aren't I mean with even this week.

We've had big issues with our funding has what happened has decided not to fund any more however.

Do you battle that says whatever you open about how much what your revenues are how much you spend well? I'm actually just started the foundation in the Netherlands which is there gonna be a Chancel foundation so we actually have to publish a huge amount of information about how our operation works.

I want that level of transparency because you get so many people accusing as a unit 82 sums of money from MI6 and CIA and all these of a cumdog money that was supposed lijiang.

Really don't put my for my friend at home listening to this thinking of these guys are doing interesting stuff that deliver in big scoops, but it's not a conventional institution.

It's a bunch of people around the world who are very good something quite geeky very good interpret information online.

It's a very unconventional stitution, but how big is it now if you had to describe bellingcat in his institutional terms, how many of you are there? How much money do you have? Where do you work out? Well? I meet at the moment with about 18 members of staff most of us are now based in the last year or so because of partly because of the scribble stuff and more interest now working within doing more workshops, but I mean we're not like a huge organisation and we still have a lot of volunteers so can be like the cool bellingcat investigation team are coming past employees that we have and Hawthorn tea as we're like really engage with the work.

Then we have a broader come up engage community that might be contributing to the website with our schools and then come online Twitter community who were like following that sounds like a comb expand out from there.

But going back to the Euro poll example.

It means that when we have something like that we can put that out the entire community and outreach to the coming out size of the community which I just kind of people might chance across the tweet about the things we talking about are you a political journalist now? I'm not someone who is I was so very strongly political one Way Or Another You Know being conservative or labour or anything like that.

I would my main interest is cost.

No issues around human rights and often when you're dealing with something like Siri are you do have people are being very prevacid.

They see the west as being threatening of baking information that chemical weapons attacks albums have the same thing with ME17 is playing of people there who claim that Russia is innocent that Ukraine was the one that was involved and yeah, they often have their own agendas.

That are driven by the support of one side or the other the core driver for me is how do you spell the use of open source investigation by doing good quality investigations and you know what the implications for Justice and accountability in human Rights Watch Your motivational going to Jersey

In a high falutin weighing probably the decent way that it's a moral Enterprise they want to stand up for people who don't have a voice.

What's your what gets you up in the morning.

I'll be there is the Geek inside of it and you have because this is a newer a rapidly evolving field of Investigation is big sigh to be part of but in a way.

I look at us as being a can of interface between the people on the ground to a filming stuff risking their lives and showing on social media good and it was Heroes not suppose that would taking that information and turn it into something that can actually be used for the purpose.

They want so currently we're investigating airstrikes in Yemen and because it's been a recent case in the court of appeals about how to export licences to Saudi Arabia because the weapons end up being used in Yemen so we're developing this process that means that our investigation and archiving process can be then used in courts Sophie make a piece of analysis on the archive material.

We don't have to come and rewrite it for a court, but it raises minimum standard for our work and even though one outcome is could be using in court it also means we can produce.

Reports from here to do small typical journalism, we can work with other organisations and help them produce reports and their own products from it.

So we have a whole range of different outputs from praising this face solid standard framework.

Do you think there's any further conflict of interest between the EU to investigative journalism and human rights observers, they are campaigners.

They are advocates.

They are people are the ground doing something isn't it? Isn't the type of gelatin find out what's going on rollers campaign for certain issues.

Well.

This is some of this coming up a lot with I am in work, but this kind of Investigation is the same we would do if the outcome was going to be journalism.

Am always was gonna be just an accountability or anything else but open source investigation isn't really about replacing any other field is about complimenting stuff, so we can still do any kind of Investigation we want and we can do it to the same standard, but so we want to work with journalists are advocates of Human Rights organisations.

It's the same information would be shown with them.

We might work with them a bit differently.

With a different outcome, but the information you now this is all going to be the same.

What does success look like for Billing out of five years time I want to see you sweet moved about this process of investigating an archiving which with implementing with this young program one question is how to use this in courts, so we have engaged the international criminal Court with engage national courts trying to answer this question first part of it also in Holland with trying to develop a local training programme where we trained local people to work with local Media to do local Focus investigations and can a pre-engaged local media with the audience in a new way that benefits everyone is a collaborative work is something I think that's a call to what we doing and we wait what food would you try to reach a new audience as well, it's presented within This podcast on mh17 at the moment the point of that is partly to come and bring together all this information.

We've had and we have so many contacts of journalists and Family Mosaic all kinds of people involved in the case so we can produce something that I think is quite unusual but also it's reaching out to a new audience.

Who might be interested in open source investigation, but would have never heard of it because

But the thing is open source investigation.

It is so new that often most people have even heard of it as a concept.

Thank you very much.

Thank you.


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Saturday, 10 August 2019
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Michael Martin
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12:50 PM

These transcripts are a bit pointless if they are not edited, by a human, so that they make sense.

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