Citizen investigation toolkit residency 2018

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A 10-day event hosted by Tactical Tech and Share Foundation to produce the first Citizen Investigation Toolkit, a guide on evidence-gathering for those passionate about digital and non-digital investigations.

Taking place in the idyllic surroundings of a Montenegran monastery, the first part of the residency was about creating a shared understanding of what we want to do to empower individuals to conduct their own investigations. From then on, the group decided collectively how the investigation kit should look and what content it should include.

It was a unique and challenging experience, with 16 participants who were selected from over 100 applications. The task was to build a backbone for an investigation kit aimed at individuals who may have the passion to conduct their own investigations but not necessarily the starting point as to what tools and techniques they can use safely. The challenge over the 10 days was to get all the participants aligned with the common goal and agree on a strategy and a work plan to produce the kit.

For nine working days, participants toiled under the sun - and in the clear blue waters surrounded by mountains - discussing investigation tools and techniques in order produce a body of text that would be inspiring, empowering and useful. We wanted to write it in a way that branched out beyond the expected framework of investigative journalism or law enforcement investigation.

In addition to the exchange of experiences among participants, discussions and debates, the residency produced over 65,000 words that cover over 15 topics and a shared understanding of how this collectively authored kit will move forward.

For participants, and the Tactical Tech team working on Exposing the Invisible, this is just the beginning and we’re excited to finish what we started, using the outcomes of the residency.

The event, which took place between 21 – 31 July 2018, is part of Tactical Tech’s Exposing the Invisible project which focuses on the ability of individuals and investigators to extract information from objects and data that surround them even when that information seems hidden at first glance. Last year we did a Data Investigation Camp at the same location which will also play an important role in informing the development of the kit.