The Berkeley Protocol is designed as a teaching tool and a reference guide for open source investigators. It provides guidelines, on international standards for conducting online research into alleged violations, guidance on methodologies and procedures for gathering, analysing and preserving digital information in a professional, legal and ethical manner.
Berkeley Protocol does not focus on specific technologies, platforms, software or tools for conducting effective open source investigation, but rather on the underlying principles and methodologies that can be consistently applied, even as the technology itself changes. These principles outline minimum legal and ethical standards for conducting such investigations. By following the guidance in the Berkeley Protocol, investigators will help to ensure the quality of their work, while minimizing the physical, psychosocial and digital risks to themselves and others.
The Protocol is co-published by the United Nations, on behalf of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and the Human Rights Center at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law.