Spying on activists and spinning journalists – a review of Secret Manoeuvres in the Dark

Widening state surveillance of the web and stories about corporate phone hacking have made journalists increasingly concerned about the security of their communications. In this context Eveline Lubbers‘ book on corporate and police surveillance, Secret Manoeuvres in the Dark, is particularly timely. The book focuses on a number of well-researched cases from the past two decades involving […]

How to find out what data an organisation holds – use the Data Protection Register

Here’s a useful tip if you’re thinking of requesting information from an organisation – or just looking for ideas: check the Data Protection Register first. All organisations who collect data must register with the Information Commissioner’s Office. A copy of the public register is available to search on their website. You can search by name, […]

FOIA Without the Lawyer – review and highlights

I’ve been meaning to review FOIA Without the Lawyer for almost a year now. A natural companion to Heather Brooke’s introductory Your Right To Know, this takes the challenges that come after the FOI is submitted: the niggling exemptions and excuses used by public bodies to avoid supplying information requested under the Act. In the […]

Mapping bus stops in your local area

Recently I helped Pupul Chatterjee map bus stops in Birmingham for the BrumTransport. I thought I’d share the process here as it demonstrates a number of techniques in filtering data that isn’t helpfully categorised. Does the data exist? Searching in the right place I started my search for bus stop data at Google’s Tables search […]

LIVEBLOG: BBC Fusion Data Day 2013 #bbcdataday

We’ll be liveblogging from the BBC’s ‘Fusion Data Day’ from 10-3 today, embedded below and on Twitter @helpmeinvestig8

LIVEBLOG: CIJ Summer School

Abbey Hartley and Kristina Kashtanova will be liveblogging throughout the Centre for Investigative Journalism Summer School from Friday to Sunday. Follow her updates below:

Live coverage of the Centre for Investigative Journalism Summer School

Help Me Investigate have sent Abbey Hartley to cover the Centre for Investigative Journalism Summer School, which starts today from 9am. Speakers include former editor of Help Me Investigate Health, Alex Plough, the tax expert John Christensen; FOI specialists Paul Francis and Brendan Montague; and Andrew Jennings, the man behind investigations into the International Olympic Committee and FIFA […]

AUDIO: Accessing European information – #Dataharvest13

European data journalism event #Dataharvest13 kicked off this year with a panel on European information laws. Host Brigitte Alfter kicked off the introductions: listen to ‘Brigitte Alfter introduces #dataharvest13 ’ on Audioboo And the Corporate Europe Observatory talked about their experiences of using information laws to look at lobbying interests: listen to ‘@corporateeurope on lobbying […]

AUDIO: Offshore Leaks at #Dataharvest13

The investigation everyone was talking about at Dutch-Flemish data journalism event #Dataharvest13 was Offshore Leaks: a collaboration between over 80 journalists in dozens of countries on one of the biggest and ugliest data leaks in the history of journalism. The resulting stories on the use of tax havens have made front pages across the world […]

AUDIO: Investigating a bank using environmental information laws: #Dataharvest13

One of the most interesting talks at the data and investigative journalism conference #Dataharvest13 was Gavin Sheridan‘s talk about how they tackled an Irish bank using laws on environmental information. The bank in question was not subject to the Freedom of Information Act, despite being Government-owned. But the Environmental Information Regulations (EIR) applies differently, and […]