Masterclass: Safer digital investigations

This online workshop provided by the international NGO Tactical Tech will introduce you to recommended safety practices and tactics and frameworks for choosing tools to support your online or offline work, as well as essential safety awareness and risk mitigation techniques to help protect yourself, the people you work with and your information.

We say “risk is inherited” which means that in any context of your work, the risk of what you do is reliant on those whom you interact with. At the same time, lax security practices can be passed down to create risks for those in vulnerable contexts.

The workshop aims to help participants identify sources of potential risk when working with publicly available information and exploring and interacting with various data traces and sources of information.

To adapt the methods and tools in context, we will work with sources of publicly available information and explore useful digital platforms, databases, case studies and investigation scenarios.

The day will have 4 sessions of presentations, individual&group tasks, quizzes, Q&A, and it will address practical topics such as:

  • Fundamental approaches to technology and digital safety – including introduction to security risk assessment and mitigation basics, how the internet works, tool selection criteria, online account security, securing communications;
  • Exploring and safeguarding metadata traces – including techniques and tools to perform this work safely and aware of risks to yourself and others, digital surveillance risks and creating mitigation plans to address such risks;
  • Deep digging online – including methods, resources and tips on how to safely find, verify, preserve and handle information on the internet by running advanced searches on various platforms, using online archives, social media, uncovering and retrieving online information, and how to perform this research safely and aware of risks to yourself and others.

Facilitators:

You will be working with Laura Ranca and Marek Tuszynski from the team behind Tactical Tech’s “Exposing the Invisible” project (exposingtheinvisible.org). Both Laura and Marek have extensive experience with conducting online and offline investigations, building resources for investigators, and training others to investigate more securely.

Laura Ranca – Exposing the Invisible’s project lead – is a former reporter and researcher with experience in investigating companies, tracing money flows and mapping business connections. Laura’s latest work at Tactical Tech focuses on digital investigation methods and safety for civil society investigators and development of online self-learning investigation resources such as the Exposing the Invisible Kit: https://kit.exposingtheinvisible.org/

Marek Tuszynski – Tactical Tech’s co-founder and creative director – works at the nexus of technology and politics, information and activism and the consequences of living in a quantified society. Marek’s most recent work includes conducting research, lectures and trainings exploring the digital tools and tactics that now enable evidence based engagement and activism to thrive on an unprecedented scale.

About Tactical Tech and its “Exposing the Invisible” project

Tactical Tech is a Berlin-based international non-profit organization that investigates the evolving impact of digital technologies on society. Through our work we aim to educate, advocate and create practical solutions that contribute to the wider socio-political debate around digital security, privacy and the ethics of data.

Exposing the Invisible – The Kit is a Tactical Tech project and collaborative resource that makes investigative techniques and tools used by experienced investigators more accessible to people and communities who feel motivated to start their own investigations, collect and verify information, build evidence and create a better understanding of issues without losing sight of ethical or safety considerations.