Category talk:Investigation

From A Closer Look On Syria
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Accessing YouTube metadata via URL

This page tells how to access YouTube metadata from the YouTube site, including upload time. How to Get Accurate “Birth Times” of YouTube Videos

Format for URL to YouTube server:

Note, that YouTube stamps all videos 24 hours too early in the embedded time stamp accessible via MediaInfo and other similar programs.

I haven't ever tried this until now. Not sure I can trust political astrology's Gdata programmer, but ... on my end the dates do not seem a day off. I checked a couple Houla massacre videos I was curious about. It gives a different format on my computer, just raw text. --Caustic Logic (talk) 02:59, 21 July 2014 (UTC)
  • iAprAaeEO3s (7 bodies) = uploaded>2012-05-26T05:45:02.000Z -= 8:45 AM local - could be morning, or delayed - but my computer says the file was created May 26, 5:34 AM - edited March 10, 2014 (my computer may have clock issues)
  • XbrXUUNtCFE (16 bodies) <published>2012-05-26T06:35:23.000Z</published><updated>2012-05-28T16:07:33.000Z</updated>
  • Odcich5h88o - 20-27 bodies <published>2012-05-25T20:34:45.000Z</published>

Amnesty International has created a tool for this:

-- Petri Krohn (talk) 20:25, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

Update April 2015

Watching videos with closed caption in a foreign language


  1. Use Google Chrome
  2. Turn on automatic translation from Russian to English
  3. Turn on captions for video in YouTube

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

From Sharmine Narwani:

‏@snarwani – The most disgusting #UN whitewash of #Syria rebel violations: "Sometimes you cannot apply the rules"

-- Petri Krohn (talk) 13:01, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

I saw this earlier but didn't really read it. Very informative and overly even-handed (oxymoron) piece from Iranians (IRIN). Linked there, the direct quotes of the fighters interviewed. What was the U.N. whitewash here? The quote was by FSA guy "Manhal Abu Bakr in Hama." --Caustic Logic (talk) 11:59, 18 November 2013 (UTC)


Dr Radwan Ziadeh, the director of the Damascus Centre for Human Rights Studies, clicks on to the next slide in his presentation. It shows a trench filled with the dead bodies of those killed in a massacre in Syria in 2012, the corpses lying jumbled, packed tightly on top of one another.
"That man in the blue T-shirt," says Ziadeh, looking at his audience, "is my cousin." He pauses, looking at the assembled Kurds, Iraqis, Libyans, Bosnians, Serbs, Mexicans, Americans and others in front of him, gathered in the airy auditorium of the Peace Palace in The Hague.

Using Google satellite images


-- Petri Krohn (talk) 02:47, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

Analyzing EXIF metadata

EXIF Data and Sniffing Out Rats

Moved from Talk:Torture Photos from "Caesar"
Example 1: Peru or Bangladesh

He he! I was searching for a sample image to demonstrate meta-data of a torture victim photograph. I chanced on this image from HRW.

And what do you know!! It's been photoshopped!


  Picture Orientation = normal (1)
  X-Resolution = 3000000/10000 ===> 300
  Y-Resolution = 3000000/10000 ===> 300
  X/Y-Resolution Unit = inch (2)
  Software / Firmware Version = Adobe Photoshop CS4 Windows
  Last Modified Date/Time = 2011:03:29 16:46:58
  Artist = choig


   Record Version = 35475
   By-line = choig
   Object Name = Microsoft Word - peru_2011.doc

It came from or went into a Microsoft Word Document- peru_2011.doc. So the usage is related to Peru while the image is titled Bangladesh.

--Charles Wood (talk) 04:08, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

Interesting, and probably the first fully naked ass we've shown here. "Photoshopped" of course doesn't mean altered, just it opens the possibility, right? Could just be where they pasted it after copying from the document. As for the Peru clue, maybe it was drafted in Peru, etc., but definitely a valid point, and a cool side-finding. I'm not an expert in anything in the room, but it and the guy's jeans to me say something like Peru over Bangladesh. --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:02, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

O.K. Here's a better example that's not been obviously photoshopped

Example 2


   Camera Model = C40Z,D40Z
   Picture Orientation = normal (1)
   Last Modified Date/Time = 2002:09:23 04:29:47


   Exposure Time (1 / Shutter Speed) = 10/400 second ===> 1/40 second ===> 0.025 second
   Lens F-Number / F-Stop = 34/10 ===> ƒ/3.4
   ISO Speed Ratings = 200
   Original Date/Time = 2002:09:23 04:29:47
   Exposure Bias (EV) = 10/10 ===> 1
   Flash = Flash fired
   Focal Length = 112/10 mm ===> 11.2 mm
   Image Width = 3200 pixels
   Image Height = 2400 pixels

So we have an object lesson the the usefulness of EXIF metadata in sniffing out rats. --Charles Wood (talk) 04:34, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for getting both motivated and concrete. This is a great start. If I can though ... what's the lesson? --Caustic Logic (talk) 10:02, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
The lesson is that there are many ways a faker can give themselves away. Although the HRW image may have been innocently altered, the metadata suggests that the location is in doubt. In a court of law this would be good enough to discard the image as evidence without further corroborating facts. The Chinese image on the other hand has consistent metadata but we have no idea whether the image was staged or not. Again it would be of dubious probative value.
In my business in the criminal defence area, every bit of evidence you can get dropped by the prosecution is a bonus. Both these images and especially the HRW image would be easily contested.
As a practical example, in one of my cases a jpeg scan of a document on a memory stick showed EXIF metadata from a time and date when the defendant was known to not be in possession of the stick. The prosecution hadn't checked that, but your's truly did. The implication was that the document was placed on the stick to incriminate the defendant (the document was linked strongly to the defendant). This fact alone was sufficient to get a hung jury.
The lack of metadata on the Ceasar images is a sign of a legal team intimately aware of the dangers of releasing data that may affect their narrative - not their case, there isn't one. --Charles Wood (talk) 12:18, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
Excellent, thanks. It can be all kinds of data (maybe even the file name to some extent) that provides clues "meta" to the image itself. Sometimes this can even include GPS data? (I intend to organize all this into the front page, if no one else does, once I feel I have a grasp) (also, I appreciate the narrative vs. case distinction and will keep it in mind.) --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:48, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

Accessing sources

SEA site Blocked in Australia

Moved from Talk:Alleged Chemical Attack, August 21, 2013#Matthew VanDyke leaks

(Side-conversation) --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:31, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

The website is down or blocked or DOS'd. I have a google cache copy --Charles Wood (talk) 09:36, 10 December 2013 (UTC)

Works fine for me. So, blocked for you. --CE (talk) 09:48, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
Wow! I'd heard the Australian authorities were blocking child-porn sites but didn't know they also did political blocks. I can get round it of course. Though it seems they've dropped it out of the DNS system and blocked the IP address! Bastards!
I wonder if they are as good as China? I was there a few months ago and they blocked lots of sites including youtube and blogspot (but not liveleak) and they blocked proxies as well. --Charles Wood (talk) 10:06, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
Thank goodness they haven't blocked ! By the way, I have my own class-c and don't use any ISP upstream proxy. This block is quite full-on. They've blocked it at DNS and international router level rather than at ISP level! Bastards! --Charles Wood (talk) 10:11, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
Wow, that sucks. Wasn't it Australia whose great firewall list was published by WikiLeaks a couple of years ago, with some poor dentist who fought tooth & nails to get off the list again? We got around that "child porn filter" stuff with a lot of public effort here in Germany last time, but they'll try again after they manage to form a new government. --CE (talk) 11:36, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
In my day-job I deal with a lot of child-porn (professionally). The hard-core users all use Tor which is not blockable or traceable and has search facilities to find huge amounst of child porn as well as buy and sell drugs and any other vice you can think of. The Australian firewall is basically a joke designed to make a certain demographic feel safe when they're not. --Charles Wood (talk) 11:55, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, fortunately we have the fabulous Chaos Computer Club here who are quite accepted as "white hat" hackers in society and were invited to explain to the politicians and judges how ridiculous that "child porn" argument is and how easy it is to circumvent such a firewall even without using tools those to-stop evil-doers are using already, but the average internet user doesn't know about. That was one of the main points that prevented these laws. Focus on taking them off the net (as most are hosted in the US or other rule-of-law countries anyway) instead of creating infrastructure inviting abuse. --CE (talk) 12:06, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
In my day job I deal with a wide spectrum from the amateur who's picked up a DVD in a Thailand street market through the hard-core professional who's been doing this stuff since before the invention of the web browser and knows all the tricks. The only possible benefit I can see of a firewall is to make it harder for the 'merely curious' to make the first step.
Tor knows no boundaries. The content is encrypted. The access paths are encrypted. The search tools are encrypted. Tor is in fact an entire alternative Internet that rests in the heart of the ordinary internet entirely unseen. The content can be anywhere.
Luckily Tor leaks. Or at least certain implementations of it do. There are sufficient fingerprints left on computers that it's often possible to get a conviction. Even more interesting is that a large percentage of Tor end nodes are operated by intelligence agencies. In many cases the last leg communications are in-clear and can be monitored. Not all cases, but most Tor users aren't sophisticated enough to make sure there is 100% security on all legs to the communications.
If you want to be especially secret don't use electronic communications. Use couriers and encrypted USB sticks or DVDs. Cracking encrypted media is still a very hard task if it's done right. --Charles Wood (talk) 12:27, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
The problem with that "merely curious" argument is that maybe no topic has a smaller part of the population just taking a look. But you're right, at least it is an argument. Which reminds me and brings me back to topic - in case your overlords want to protect you from learning about "sheep shagging" as they call it... there are indications that that fellow Van Dyke is into it or has been joking about it, and the term "bestiality" is used somewhere on that page... --CE (talk) 12:53, 10 December 2013 (UTC)


These people are sexy, we are not!

When human atrocities run rampant, when ruthless dictators hold a nation captive, that's when the E-Team is called into action. From Academy Award winning filmmaker Ross Kauffman and Emmy Award nominee Katy Chevigny, the latest Netflix Original Documentary brings you behind enemy lines and into the teeth of the world's most dangerous war zones. A group of fierce idealists, The E-Team intrepidly risks their lives to expose the truth behind the horrific warcrimes of Bashar al-Assad and Muammar Gaddafi among others, providing a voice to the helpless victims of global genocide.
Anna, Ole, Fred and Peter are four members of the Emergencies Team — or E-Team — the most intrepid division of a respected, international human rights group. Trained to deal with unfolding crises, the E-Team flies to hotspots all over the world as soon as allegations of human rights abuse surface. Then they get to work — gathering crucial evidence to determine if further investigation is warranted and, if so, to investigate, document, and capture the world's attention. They also immediately challenge the responsible decision makers, holding them accountable. Human rights abuses thrive on secrecy and silence, and the work of the E-Team, backed by their international human rights organization, has shone light in dark places and given voice to thousands whose stories would never otherwise have been told.
Using a cinema verite approach, our camera follows the E-Team investigators in the field as they piece together the actual events that take place in troubled spots around the globe. Together we smuggle across the border into Syria to conduct undercover investigations as the civil war rages; amidst bullets and bombs we watch as Fred and Peter work to halt human rights abuses in the aftermath of the Gaddafi regime. We also spend time with each E-Team member at home — from a quiet farm outside of Geneva to bustling urban lives in Berlin and Paris — as they balance the intricacies of family and personal relationships within the challenges of their exceptional work life.
Though they are different personalities, Anna, Ole, Fred and Peter share a fearless spirit and a deep commitment to exposing and halting

-- Petri Krohn (talk) 19:30, 28 October 2014 (UTC)

I threw up a little bit just from watching the trailer. We here in Germany have a local fake-ass astroturf pseudo-alternative outlet now as well. Started last week with bashing Udo Ulfkotte: Krautreporter. Yes, the "crowd" pun isn't bad, but I don't think the anglo-reference is a coincidence. ;o) --CE (talk) 20:03, 28 October 2014 (UTC)

It seems to me, films or books always have commercial aspect, for the mainstream at 100 %, for independents, less so but still 'always' there. And at this stage, all this seems too real, like it is really happening, and may mix with commerce as 'well' as gasoline with water. But there are some attempts out there, there is a movie about Maidan, described here in Russian russvesna-Sharii, which won some price (and probably will be seen by very few, or may go with start-up content providers (like netflix, amazon) . There is also some book on Amazon, about something Maidan-related The Ukrainian Crisis: A call to pray big & pray bold. Paperback – October 14, 2014. I know too little about those things. All those characters, amazingly, have something to say in their books, and somebody is buying them; for me, all that jazz is just so amazing. I guess it may be eventually a book; but than it's kind of in the process now. Anyways, I dunno. --Resup (talk) 22:15, 28 October 2014 (UTC)

I guess it is not difficult to publish some cleaned-up version of a story, at some appropriate time, if so desired. Many ways to publish something this days (e.g., receive ISBN number for cataloging, and deposit on Amazon to take care of the rest, as a quicky option). But this seems to be a separate matter from investigation itself (latter has too many details , all too gory and too serious. So, I guess, to 'publish,' a way needs to be found to tell the story in streamlined and accessible --to more that just a few readers--- way, . --Resup (talk) 23:04, 28 October 2014 (UTC)