The International Bar Association (IBA) has launched the eyeWitness app to document and report human rights atrocities in a secure and verifiable way, so the information can be used as evidence in a court of law. Using an Android-enabled smart phone, anyone, can use the eyeWitness to Atrocities app to help hold accountable the perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity, torture, and war crimes. When a user records an atrocity, the app automatically collects and embeds into the video file GPS coordinates, date and time, device sensor data and surrounding objects, such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi networks.
The user has the option of adding any additional identifying information about the image. This metadata will provide information integral to verifying and contextualising the footage. The images and accompanying data are encrypted and securely stored within the app. The app also embeds a chain of custody record to verify that the footage has not been edited or digitally manipulated. The user then submits this information directly from the app to a database maintained by the eyeWitness organization. Once the video is transmitted, it is stored in a secure repository that functions as a virtual evidence locker safeguarding the original, encrypted footage for future investigations and legal proceedings. The submitted footage is only accessible by a group of legal experts at eyeWitness who will analyze the footage and identify the appropriate authorities, including international, regional or national courts, to pursue relevant cases.
Keywords: Protecting Safety and Security, Data analysis and visualization for human rights, Data security for human rights, Apps for human rights, eyeWitness, International Bar Association (IBA)