by and for citizen investigative journalists

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July 25, 2016

By Aric Toler

Recap of Open Source Monitoring of Republican National Convention

This week, Bellingcat conducted its first ever liveblog, in which Nathan Patin and I monitored the situation on the ground of Cleveland during the Republican National Convention from July 18-21. Sourcefabric provided us and First Draft News with the platform, allowing us to embed photographs, videos, and tweets throughout the week. Many members of the…

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July 24, 2016

By Christiaan Triebert

“We’ve shot four people. Everything’s fine.” The Turkish Coup through the Eyes of its Plotters

A group of plotters of the failed Turkish coup attempt used a WhatsApp group to communicate with each other. Bellingcat has transcribed, translated, and analysed the conversation, thereby cross-referencing the messages with photos, videos, and news reports of the evening, night, and morning of July 15-16. The transcript is composed of two different sources. The…

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July 22, 2016

By Jett Goldsmith

The Jihadists’ Digital Toolbox: How ISIS Keeps Quiet on the Web

As the world dives deeper into the digital age, jihadist groups like ISIS and the Taliban have taken increasingly diverse measures to secure their communications and espouse their actions and ideas across the planet. Propaganda has been a key measure of any jihadist group’s legitimacy since at least 2001, when al-Qaeda operative Adam Yahiye Gadahn…

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July 15, 2016

By Bellingcat

MH17, 2 года спустя. Исследование информации из открытых источников

Сегодня выходит новый отчет Bellingcat «MH17, 2 года спустя. Исследование информации из открытых источников». В нем собраны результаты двух лет исследований Bellingcat, посвященных гибели «Боинга-777» Малазийских авиалиний 17 июля 2014 года. Для настоящего отчета команда Bellingcat попросила экспертов из различных областей знаний проанализировать различные вещественные доказательства, связанные с гибелью MH17. Особый интерес представляет работа д-ра…

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July 15, 2016

By Bellingcat

MH17 – The Open Source Investigation, Two Years Later

Today Bellingcat releases its latest report, “MH17 – The Open Source Investigation, Two Years Later”, bringing together two years of research by Bellingcat into the fate of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on July 17, 2014. As part of this release Bellingcat communicated with experts in various fields for their analysis and opinions of MH17 related…

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July 6, 2016

By Christiaan Triebert

An Open Source Analysis of the Fallujah “Convoy Massacre”(s)

From June 28 to June 29, aircraft of both the international Coalition (CJTF-OIR) and the Republic of Iraq targeted two large convoys of alleged Islamic State (IS) vehicles as they fled the outskirts of Fallujah in central Iraq. Concerns have been raised that the convoys were carrying not only IS militants, but also their family…

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July 28, 2016

By Justin Seitz

Dark Web OSINT With Python and OnionScan: Part One

You may have heard of this awesome tool called OnionScan that is used to scan hidden services in the dark web looking for potential data leaks. Recently the project released some cool visualizations and a high level description of what their scanning results looked like. What they didn’t provide is how to actually go about…

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July 14, 2016

By Cameron Colquhoun

A Brief History of Open Source Intelligence

“Even a regimented press will again and again betray their nation’s interests to a painstaking observer”. William Donovan (OSS Director) “Today you are the media, it is your duty to report and keep the hope alive! You are the media, we are one!” Mir Hossein Mousavi (former Iranian Prime Minister) Upstate New York, 1883 is…

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June 2, 2016

By Justin Seitz

Bait and Switch: The Failure of Facebook Advertising – An OSINT Investigation

This article was originally posted on the Hunchly blog on Medium. This story starts with Sidney Crosby. A professional hockey player and Canadian icon. I can neither confirm nor deny that I welled up like a small child at the Hockey Hall of Fame’s “Golden Goal” display (I will never forget that moment). So imagine…

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June 1, 2016

By Justin Seitz

Expanding Skype Forensics with OSINT and Python: IP Addresses

This article was originally published on AutomatingOSINT.com. In the first part of this series we covered how to extract email accounts from SQLite databases and pull additional information from FullContact.com to find social media accounts or other online profiles that are associated with those email addresses. In this post we will apply much the same technique except…

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May 13, 2016

By Syrian Archive

Dataset of Russian Attacks Against Syria’s Civilians

The Syrian Archive maintains an extensive video database of all known allegations in which civilians have been reported killed or injured by Russia since September 30th 2015. This is one of the datasets that the Syrian Archive has collected, and we will continue working on collecting and creating other video datasets of violations by all…

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May 3, 2016

By Nick Waters

The Importance of OSINT: Misinformation and Verification of Conflict Media

On the 25 February 2016 a video (Video 1) was posted in the video site “Liveleak.com” titled “Shelling of Checkpoint in Ukraine” with the description “Reports suggest the pro-Russian separatists fired on the Police checkpoint in Yasinovataya, Ukraine”. It is just one video amongst the huge amount of information produced and posted on the internet…

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May 2, 2016

By Justin Seitz

Expanding Skype Forensics with OSINT: Email Accounts

This article was originally published on the AutomatingOSINT.com blog. I will be the first to tell you that I know little about forensics compared to most law enforcement or private forensic examiners. One thing that I always found amazing was looking at the result of a forensic acquisition and seeing all of that magical data flowing…

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April 22, 2016

By Bellingcat

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Publishes “Their” Evidence of MH17 Fakery

Last week we published correspondence between Bellingcat and the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in which we requested evidence to support their allegations of Bellingcat and others faking MH17 evidence. The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has replied, and their full reply (translated from Russian) with their evidence of fakery is shown below, followed by…

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April 14, 2016

By Bellingcat

Response from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to Bellingcat Regarding Fakery Allegations

On April 6th 2016 Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova made the following statement about Bellingcat: Bellingcat as an instrument to divert attention from investigating the tragedy of the Malaysian Boeing over Ukraine We took note of an interview with Bellingcat representatives for the BBC in which they sarcastically spoke about some “trolling” on the part of…

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April 12, 2016

By Justin Seitz

Automated Reverse Image Search Part 2: Vimeo

This article was originally published on the AutomatingOSINT.com blog. In a previous blog post I covered how to utilize the YouTube API to find the preview images for videos and then reverse search them using the TinEye API. In this blog post we will cover how to use the same techniques for Vimeo to retrieve…

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