Our people

Who works at Rudiment?

Rudiment was founded by Tom Longley and Sam Smith.

Tom Longley is a human rights and technology researcher. After studying law at university in the UK, since 1999 he has worked on field investigations of war crimes investigations in Kosovo and Sierra Leone. Since then he has worked with scores of organisations documenting large scale human rights violations in Zimbabwe, Cambodia and others. Tom has also worked for specialised technical and methodological support groups like Human Rights Information and Documentation Systems (HURIDOCS), leading the development of the first web-based open source tool for documenting human rights violations and Tactical Technology Collective where amongst other things he co-wrote the book Visualising Information for Advocacy. As consultant to others including Global Witness, Open Society Foundations and mySociety, he has written reports about the dramatic worldwide rise in killings of environmental defenders, the state of technology to assist human rights lawyers and the impact of online freedom of information tools.

Sam Smith spends much of his time looking at various issues around data, “open”, privacy and democracy. He’s currently freelancing and co-coordinator at medconfidential. From 2012-2013, Sam worked for Privacy International on export controls and other aspects of UK policy. For a decade, Sam worked in a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary academic research group, doing internet infrastructures for academic social science data for the group, national data services, and beyond. It also included a good chunk of delivery work to make some of that data available. Sam’s other freelance work has included a range of human rights technology projects, building search engines to help rights activists track violence in Chechnya, working with large datasets about political violence in Zimbabwe, and making research about modern slavery more easy for the public to understand. He has also done other work for the Nominet Trust, Indigo Trust, Web Foundation, and Open Society Foundations among others. Irrespective of the setting, his work has repeatedly involved providing constructive challenges and innovating solutions to identified and agreed problems.

Who advises Rudiment?

During Rudiment’s startup phase we have created an informal group of advisors to assist us in refining our program, developing the organisation and staying focussed on real investigative and research requirements. Currently advising Rudiment are:

Crofton Black, a consultant investigator specialising in the application of open source data to research counter-terrorism practices. He has worked with Reprieve, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism and legal teams worldwide. His recent publications include the first comprehensive analysis of the CIA’s secret detention programme and an in-depth look at private sector ISR services to the US military. He has a doctorate in the history of philosophy from the University of London and was formerly a Humboldt fellow at the Freie Universität Berlin.

Lucy Chambers is a free-range tech translator, specialising in finding common language between technologists and domain experts across a variety of fields. She is currently working as a Product Owner for eHealth Africa, where she helps design products that strengthen health systems, improve psychosocial support for families affected by illness, and aid data driven decision making in public health policy. Previously she led the School of Data programme at the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKF), enabling journalistic and non-profit organisations to use data to improve their workflows, investigations and organisational decision making. While at OKF, she also co-edited the Data Journalism Handbook, mentored NGOs on their technology projects and authored a number of white papers including the Technology for Transparent and Accountable Public Finance report. She writes about her learnings at techtohuman.com.

Scott Edwards, the Managing Director of Crisis Prevention and Response at Amnesty International USA. He has written and consulted extensively on complex humanitarian crises, protection, and armed conflict, and notable publications include “The Chaos of Forced Displacement,” advancing a computational model of forced migration for use in operational planning. Current professional activity focuses on the development of early warning mechanisms for humanitarian crises, as well as the practical use of geospatial technologies for human rights compliance monitoring and research. Scott previously served as Amnesty’s Advocacy Director for Africa, and Director of the Science for Human Rights Program, and is a Professorial Lecturer at George Washington University’s Elliot School of International Affairs. He completed his doctoral work in Political Science from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, focusing on causes and consequences of violent political conflict.

Niccolò Figà-Talamanca, the Secretary General of No Peace Without Justice. Niccolò holds a PhD in International Criminal Law from the University of Palermo, a LL.M. in International Law from the University of Nottingham, a Laurea in International Studies from the University of Bologna and a Bachelors of Arts with Honours from the University  of Leeds. Niccolò joined No Peace Without Justice in May 1998 as Legal Counsel; since 2002 he served as Program Director, responsible for policy development and operational management of the projects.  Before joining No Peace Without Justice, he was a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University in New York and worked for the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights (now Human Rights First) as their  International Criminal Court consultant. From 1995 to 1997, he clerked for Judge Sir Ninian Stephen, at  the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. He has extensive field experience in human rights documentation and has led conflict mapping operations in various conflict and post-conflict countries. He has advised many governments and institutions on the establishment and operating methodology of international criminal justice institutions and other accountability processes. In July 1998, he represented the delegation of Bosnia and Herzegovina at the Diplomatic Conference that adopted the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, and at subsequent sessions of the Preparatory Commissions and the Assembly of States Parties.

Sam Gregory helps people use the power of the moving image and participatory technologies to create human rights change. He is Program Director of WITNESS, the leading organization supporting millions of people to use video for human rights; he also teaches on human rights and participatory media at the Harvard Kennedy School. Sam launched the Webby and Shorty nominated Human Rights Channel on YouTube, leads WITNESS’ work on the award-winning ObscuraCam and InformaCam tools and helped co-found the global Video4Change network. In 2015, he launched the ‘Mobil-Eyes Us’ initiative focused on combining the experience of live video with the power of on-demand APIs to drive more meaningful and useful global activism.

Eliot Higgins, the founder of Bellingcat and the Brown Moses Blog. He is an award winning investigative journalist and publishes the work of an international alliance of fellow investigators using freely available online information. He has helped inaugurate open-source and social media investigations by trawling through vast amounts of data uploaded constantly on to the web and social media sites. His inquiries have revealed extraordinary findings, including linking the Buk used to down flight MH17 to Russia, uncovering details about the August 21st 2013 Sarin attacks in Damascus, and evidencing the involvement of the Russian military in the Ukrainian conflict. Recently he has worked with the Atlantic Council on the report “Hiding in Plain Sight”, which used open source information to detail Russia’s military involvement in the crisis in Ukraine.

About

Rudiment is a research and development organisation founded in 2015 by human rights defenders specialised in the use of modern digital technologies. We experiment with ways to acquire, analyse and present information that open new possibilities for people investigating human rights violations, war crimes and abuses of power. We draw on techniques of open source intelligence and civic hacking to create the sort of resources, tools and approaches which have revolutionised government, humanitarian work and investigative journalism.

Blog

Oct 16, 2015

‘Notes from Technotopia’ exhibition features imagery from Rudiment’s ARCADE project

Our exhibit shows the ups and downs of using computer vision algorithms to help journalists and human rights investigators evidence war crimes

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