The platform Bellingcat was founded in 2014 by Eliot Higgins and is now one of the major players in investigative journalism. As an "intelligence service for the people" (Higgins), the Netherlands-based organization primarily uses openly accessible sources for its research. This open-source intelligence (OSINT) seeks to gain actionable intelligence by analyzing disparate information. This is information that, unlike secret sources, is in principle accessible to anyone with an Internet connection. Satellite photos, images from surveillance cameras and amateur photographs play a central role. In the digital age, they are produced in billions every day, documenting a myriad of events and leaving telltale traces such as social media postings or movement data. Among the crimes Bellingcat has been instrumental in solving are the Berlin Tiergarten murder, the Skripal case, and the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 over Ukraine in July 2017. Publicly available videos and images of an air defense brigade analyzed by Bellingcat provided evidence of Russian perpetration.
In his talk, Carlos Gonzalez will share his work as an analyst and trainer at Bellingcat, teaching how to reconstruct complex stories, actions, and events from seemingly simple footage. Gonzalez's digital forensics work focuses primarily on human rights abuses, war crimes and the sexual exploitation of children. As an open source analyst, he has worked in the past with BBC Africa Eye's online forensics team. His work has been featured in award-winning documentaries such as "Lagos Inferno" (Amnesty Media Awards Broadcast News 2021 & DIG Awards 2021). In 2020, Carlos Gonzalez was nominated for the European Press Award in the Innovation category.
With kind support:
Cultural Office of the State Capital Düsseldorf
In cooperation with:
PRE_INVENT, HSD/PBSA, Department of Photography