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Ticks Or It Didn’t Happen*

In late 2013, WITNESS and Guardian Project released a new app called InformaCam. It was designed to help verify videos and images by gathering metadata, tracking image integrity and digitally signing pieces of media taken with the app. Six years later, both the need for and awareness of apps like this have boomed, and InformaCam, now known as ProofMode, has been joined by a host of other apps and tools, often known as ‘verified-at capture’ or ‘controlled capture’ tools. These tools are used by citizen journalists, human rights defenders and journalists to provide valuable signals that help verify the authenticity of their videos.

This report was written by interviewing many of the key community of companies developing verified-at-capture tools and technologies, along with media forensic experts, lawyers, human rights practitioners and information scholars. After providing a brief explanation of how the technology works, this report focuses on 14 dilemmas that touch upon individual, technical and societal concerns around assessing and tracking the authenticity of multimedia. It focuses on the impact, opportunities, and challenges this technology holds for activists, human rights defenders and journalists, as well as the implications for society-at-large if verified-at-capture technology were to be introduced at a larger scale.