[FULL] Five-Day, In-Person Workshop in Amsterdam, March 20-24

For the first time since December 2019, Bellingcat will be hosting an in-person workshop.

This workshop is a five-day in-person training that will teach digital investigation techniques and provide extensive guided, hands-on practice. The workshop will run over a full week, from March 20 to 24. Each day, the workshop will run for approximately eight hours (~9am-5pm, including lunch and breaks) in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. All participants must attend in-person. At least two, usually three, Bellingcat trainers will be present throughout the week.

Only 16 seats are being sold for this event.

Our in-person workshops are split into two segments: approximately three days (~24 hours) of hands-on training developing approaches and techniques of digital investigation, and approximately two days (~16 hours) of guided project work. The content of our training is similar to that of our 16-hour webinars, but with the benefit of in-person interaction and assistance. We also have at least one “guest appearance” of other researchers working in digital investigations, either appearing in-person or virtually. For example, in this upcoming Amsterdam workshop, we will have a two-hour session from our Tech Team on the technical side of open source investigations, focusing on command line tools.

The course’s content over the first three days will include:

  • Introduction to open source investigation
  • Creative search fundamentals
  • How to conduct (nearly) traceless and anonymous/pseudonymous research

Beginning & advanced verification topics, including:

  • Verification of user-generated materials
  • Intuitive reverse search techniques in digital investigations
  • Geolocation & chronolocation of visual materials
  • Using mapping and satellite services in investigations

Beginning & advanced social media topics, including:

  • Fundamental techniques and creative search strategies on individuals & groups
  • Platform-specific tutorials, including Telegram and others as time allows (e.g. 4chan/8kun, “alternative” social platforms such as Gab, etc.)
  • Tracking transportation services (e.g. naval vessels, aircraft) for investigations

Upon confirmation of registration and payment, we will send the precise workshop venue location, time, and other logistical details to workshop participants. The venue is easily accessible within Amsterdam and within a 20-minute tram ride from Amsterdam Central train station. Please note that the location on the map in the Eventzilla page is not accurate for the actual venue — this is just the default location for Amsterdam on the site. Coffee/tea and vegetarian lunches will be provided to participants at the venue.

We will hold additional in-person workshops in Prague, London, and New York City in 2023.

Our Prague workshop will be held on August 21-25, and we will open registrations for it soon.

We have not yet confirmed dates for the other two events, but they will likely take place in summer autumn (London) and winter (New York). We will post registration links to these events as soon as we confirm dates and venues.

The baseline cost for the workshop is 2500 EUR per participant, in line with the rate as our webinars (250 EUR per 4-hour segment). We are required by Dutch law to charge a 21% VAT, plus a small fee to cover costs from Eventzilla and transaction costs. If your employer is paying for your registration fee and is not subject to the Dutch VAT of 21%, please opt to pay via bank transfer as your payment option so that your invoice can be adjusted accordingly.

Please contact us at workshops@bellingcat.com if you have any questions. We are looking forward to seeing our participants again in-person!

Again, you can sign up here: https://events.eventzilla.net/e/bellingcat-inperson-workshop-in-amsterdam-5-full-days-2024-march-2023-2138597503 


We manually approve all applications after registration on Eventzilla. We do basic due diligence checks on our participants to be sure that our trainers and other participants are comfortable with their participation. Members of any military, security, or intelligence service are not permitted registration at our workshops, and we allow government employees in on a case-by-case basis. We also restrict access to our workshops from members of police forces, but have made some rare exceptions depending on participants’ areas of responsibilities.

For example, in past workshops, we have approved the participation of government employees working on issues around election integrity and security, while we have rejected the participation of those working for state migration services. For police officers, we have only narrowly approved applicants, such as those working on issues of child exploitation and trafficking, but rejected most others. We also conduct basic due diligence for non-government employees to be sure both the participant and their employer do not have a track record that would clearly make our trainers and other participants uncomfortable with providing training in research techniques that could be abused.

That said, the vast majority of participants are approved without any issue.