Amnesty Tech Digital Forensics Fellowship 2022 – Worldwide

Deadline: 12 June 2022

Amnesty Tech Digital Forensics Fellowship 2022 – Worldwide

Amnesty Tech – a global collective of advocates, hackers, researchers, and technologists – is excited to announce the launch of the inaugural Digital Forensics Fellowship.

This innovative Fellowship is an opportunity for five human rights defenders (HRDs), researchers, or technologists from around the world to learn and work with Amnesty Tech’s Security Lab to build skills and knowledge on advanced digital threats and forensics investigation techniques. This is a part-time Fellowship that will last 10 months and comes with a renumeration stipend.

Successful candidates will follow a remote training curriculum led by the Security Lab to learn how to conduct digital forensics, investigate digital attacks, and perform independent research into digital threats facing civil society. The Fellowship will culminate in the publication of a research project, conducted by each individual Fellow on a subject of their choice related to technology and human rights in their community or country. The Fellowship will focus on spyware and digital forensic investigations, but innovative technical research proposals are welcome about other topics relevant to human rights communities.

Why is this important?

Across the world, hard won rights are being weakened and denied every day. Increasingly, much of the repression faced by HRDs and journalists begins online. Since 2017, Amnesty Tech’s investigations have exposed vast and well-orchestrated digital attacks against activists and journalists in countries such as Morocco, Egypt, Azerbaijan, Qatar, Mexico and Pakistan.
Additionally, Amnesty Tech developed and published ground-breaking forensic tools and methodologies as a technical partner to the Pegasus Project, a global investigation into the misuse of NSO Group’s spyware against civil society.

While digital security trainers and incident responders are growing in numbers and reach, there is a shortage of advanced technical capacity. We believe that by fostering a more decentralized, global, and diverse network of well-trained incident responders and investigators, we can jointly contribute to more timely and effective protection of HRDs and journalists against unlawful surveillance, and ensure access to accountability and remedy when their rights are violated.

Eligibility Criteria for the Amnesty Tech Digital Forensics Fellowship 2022

The successful candidates will have experience working at the intersection of human rights and technology, with an interest in surveillance and protecting fundamental rights in the digital age. In particular, candidates must:

• Demonstrate an understanding of the technical threats, digital attacks and challenges faced by journalists, HRDs, and civil society organisations in their local context;

• Have a demonstrated interest in conducting investigations to identify digital attacks against civil society, with the goal of building resilience among civil society actors in the face of surveillance after the Fellowship;

• Commit to approximately 8-12 hours a month for the next 10 months;

• Be comfortable in engaging with the English language as the primary language throughout the Fellowship;

• Have access to a computer and a stable and reliable internet connection.

Technical Expertise:

We will accept applications from candidates from varied backgrounds, and the following skills and experience are some of the elements that are important in our decision making:

• Familiarity and experience in dealing with free and open source technology solutions.

• Familiarity using command line tools and basic scripting to analyse data, or an openness to learning these skills.

• Knowledge about basic concepts such as domain names, IP addresses and how devices communicate over internet networks.

• Experience in explaining complex technical topics to people from various backgrounds and specialists through trainings or workshops.

• Familiarity with at least two of the operating systems Windows, Mac and Linux, as well as Android and iPhones.

We encourage candidates to apply even if they may not meet all the technical expertise requirements. The Fellowship aims to identify and support individual HRDs who are already acting as a technical reference in their respective civil society organisations or movements. Strong communication skills and relationships with human rights communities are valued. Specific technical skills will be taught during the Fellowship.

Diversity and Inclusion:

Our goal is to share the knowledge and expertise of Amnesty International’s Security Lab with a wide range of HRDs, journalists and technologists from different world regions and backgrounds. We encourage all interested candidates to apply regardless of formal education, and will be actively seeking to include women, LGBTQ+, Indigenous, and other candidates who have been historically underrepresented in the technology field in the Fellowship.

How the Fellowship will work:

The Fellows will be expected to dedicate 8 – 12 hours a month to the Fellowship for a period of 10 months and will receive a stipend of £5,000 for the duration of the program. Due to current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Fellowship will be conducted remotely.

The five successful candidates will work in collaboration with different members of the Security Lab team, others in the Amnesty International Tech Programme, with each other, and independently to complete the trainings and individual research projects. A community platform will be accessible for spontaneous discussions and organizing.

How to apply for the Amnesty Tech Digital Forensics Fellowship 2022

If you are interested in this opportunity, please send your one-page CV including two references and a draft proposal (no longer than 500 words) that outlines ideas for a potential research project that you would like to complete during the course of the Fellowship. Your draft research proposal is meant to give us an idea of the research work you would like to carry out and can be amended later.

It should include the following components:

• The key questions that you would like to address in your research, and why these topics are important in your context;
• A description of the approach that you would use to conduct this research project;
• A description of the threats faced by the community that you are working with, or would like to work with, and how this research will protect their rights in the digital age.

If you are talented, passionate about human rights and want to use your skills, knowledge and experience to change the world then we would encourage you to click ‘Apply for this Role’ below.
Freedom, Justice, Equality. Let’s get to work.


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