the home of online investigations

Category: Guides

March 21, 2019

By Nathan Patin

Bellingcat’s Invitation Is Waiting For Your Response: An Investigative Guide To LinkedIn

Whether you’re investigating a company purporting to have damning information on Robert Mueller or conducting research on anti-Islamic State foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria, LinkedIn can serve as a useful resource for online researchers across a wide variety of subjects. This guide aims to provide helpful tools and techniques for identifying LinkedIn profiles and…

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March 5, 2019

By Benjamin Strick

How To Use Google Earth’s Three Dimensional View: Feat. Syria, Yemen, Sudan

It has become abundantly clear that geolocation and remote sensing is fundamental to knowing what happens in conflict areas where it is often too dangerous for journalists, observers and analysts to be present on the ground. This is a satellite-based case study on vetting a three-dimensional view of an area via Google Earth, featuring examples…

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February 19, 2019

By Aric Toler

Using the New Russian Facial Recognition Site SearchFace.ru

In September 2018, the Russian website FindFace was taken offline in order to provide “solutions tailored for government and business”. This site received international press for its accuracy in its facial recognition capabilities, with a focus on finding someone’s profile on the Russian social network Vkontakte (VK). Recently, a new site has emerged from the…

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February 1, 2019

By Brenna Smith

Tracking Illicit Transactions With Blockchain: A Guide, Featuring Mueller

In recent years, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin  have been used by terrorists to conduct funding campaigns, authoritarian governments to subvert its citizens’ human rights, and GRU agents to hack the Democratic National Committee as well as the Clinton campaign. Though many people utilize virtual currencies for legitimate purposes, the technology is an enticing tool for…

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November 19, 2018

By Benjamin Strick

Using Time-Lapse Satellite Imagery To Detect Infrastructure Changes: Case-Studies via Myanmar, Nigeria and the South China Sea

Identifying changes in infrastructure is an important task for those of us surveilling areas for investigative purposes. Satellite imagery can show evidence of everything from the destruction of buildings, the erection of temporary structures, as well as newly constructed permanent facilities. This kind of information is important for analysis of events in conflict areas, as…

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October 24, 2018

By Bellingcat Investigation Team

Dali, Warhol, Boshirov: Determining the Time of an Alleged Photograph from Skripal Suspect Chepiga

On 11 October 2014, a Facebook profile to a person named “Ruslan Boshirov” — the cover identity of Skripal poisoner Anatoliy Chepiga — posted a lone photograph of Prague, showing the heavily trafficked Old Town Square and the Astronomical Clock. The upload date of this photograph coincides with a report from the Czech publication Radiožurnal that…

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October 22, 2018

By Aiganysh Aidarbekova

Corrupt Latin: How Orthography Revealed Corruption in Kyrgyzstan

In 2013, Russian political activist Alexey Navalny published a blog post in which he exposed a corruption scheme used on state procurement websites. Generally, in public procurement processes, the state customer publishes an advertisement for the purchase of goods or services, and the contractor offering the lowest price wins the tender and delivers the goods/services….

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October 18, 2018

By Hannah Ellis

How to Prevent, Identify and Address Vicarious Trauma — While Conducting Open Source Investigations in the Middle East

Whether it involves victims of a chemical attack or a bombing, open source investigators are required to watch and interact with raw footage from the field — it lies at the core of online open source investigation. As a consequence of the increase in eyewitness media, investigators come in contact with a high amount of…

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