Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "Google" ...

  • WSJ: Big Tech's Hidden Costs

    Congress and federal regulators do very little to police Amazon, Facebook and other big technology platforms that dominate the global economy and modern life. The companies say it's not their responsibility to protect consumers from online hazards, due to carve-outs in federal law for digital platforms. The Wall Street Journal investigated the many ways tech companies are passing on that responsibility—and the potential risks—to unwitting consumers. The Journal's reporting stopped Facebook from collecting sensitive personal data including users' menstrual cycles and heart rates; alerted parents to the lack of vetting for prospective nannies with police records including child abuse, sexual assault and murder; and forced Amazon to remove thousands of federally banned and unsafe products including toys with dangerous levels of lead.
  • WRAL: Police and Google

    WRAL investigation finds that Raleigh police have been using Google to find suspects in crimes. They are not gathering information on specific individuals; they are using warrants to obtain information on every Google-equipped cell phone that was within a mile or two of a crime scene. The users have no way to know that their movements are being reviewed by police.
  • NYT: Privacy, Propaganda and Profit in Silicon Valley

    Internet titans, including Facebook, empowered hucksters and propagandists stoking fear and hate, and misled the public about their behavior.
  • The Digilantes Try to Find Out Who Is Behind Mugshot.com

    The Digilantes uncovered a multi-million dollar extortion-based industry that’s wreaking havoc upon tens of millions of Americans’ lives, especially minorities. It’s the business of mugshot websites. Operators of these sites scrape public arrest records from online police databases, put them on their own websites, making them easily searchable on Google, and then charge hundreds of dollars to remove them, whether you are guilty or not. These mugshots, which can live forever online, are a form of digital scarlet letter ruining people's’ reputations, job and housing opportunities, even their dating lives. http://fusion.net/story/252451/digilantes-mugshots-dotcom-investigation/
  • The Poor Kids of Silicon Valley

    Silicon Valley is built on the promise of the American Dream. Rags to riches. Anyone can make it. Apple and Google grew out of garages there. Yet CNN Opinion columnist John Sutter and videographer Brandon Ancil found this valley of riches, the heart of the U.S. tech industry, to be plagued by widespread and severe child poverty. Sutter argued that this is not only a moral outrage in this era of income inequality, it also undermines this valley’s future and that of the country. http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2015/03/opinion/ctl-child-poverty/#0
  • CIA Torture, a Senate Investigation, and the Google Search That Launched a Spying Scandal

    In December 2014, the US Senate released the executive summary of its long-awaited 6,700-page report on the CIA’s torture program. The heavily redacted document answered some questions—but it raised far more. In January 2015, VICE News set out to reveal more about both the CIA’s program and the Senate’s investigation of it. But we faced a daunting task: covering the story in the face of intense secrecy at the CIA, the Department of Justice, the White House, and Congress. We needed to figure out how to report a story when no sources were willing to go on the record—or, in many cases, to speak to us at all. VICE News found a way, producing a series of 10 groundbreaking and exclusive investigative reports that succeeded in closing the books on many of those unanswered questions surrounding the CIA’s torture program and the Senate’s investigation into it, laying bare previously unknown details about one of the darkest chapters in US history
  • The Biggest Bribe in Swedish History? TeliaSonera and Azerbaijan’s dictator

    As a result of Swedish Television's previous revelations, with suspected bribes in Uzbekistan, telecom TeliaSonera's new management said it would clean up the company's dirty past. But SVT, TT and the OCCRP this year revealed yet another suspect bribery affair - with a dictatorship – which the management had not reported to the police. It is by far the biggest alleged bribe in Sweden’s history, where the Swedish telecom giant is suspected of having enriched the Azerbaijani presidential family with up to 1 billion US dollars (depending on exchange rate) – for an asset taken from the Azeri people. [[https://www.occrp.org/corruptistan/azerbaijan/azerbaijan-telecom/offshores-close-to-president-paid-nothing-for-share-of-state-telecom.php#]] [[http://www.svt.se/ug/documents-reveal-telia-sonera-involved-in-suspected-large-scale-bribery]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nh3CayWd29M]] [[https://www.occrp.org/corruptistan/azerbaijan/azerbaijan-telecom/khadija-calls-latest-teliasonera-bribe-story-dangerous.php]] [[https://www.occrp.org/en/investigations/2531-teliasoneras-behind-the-scenes-connection-to-azerbaijani-presidents-daughters]] [[https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxZjxumuFAv8Q1dWd2NSSnlFNGM/view]]
  • Testing Theranos

    Americans have been fascinated with successful entrepreneurs since the days of Horatio Alger. In recent years, Silicon Valley billionaires like Apple’s Steve Jobs, Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg have become icons. Elizabeth Holmes looked to be next. Claiming she was transforming medicine with her blood-testing company, Theranos Inc., the 31-year-old Stanford University dropout became a celebrity. The New Yorker and Fortune published admiring profiles. Time named her one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. Harvard’s medical school appointed her to its prestigious board of fellows. President Obama named her a U.S. ambassador for global entrepreneurship. Theranos became the nation’s largest private health-care startup, with Ms. Holmes’s stake valued at more than $4.5 billion.
  • Google Play Store Lets Your Kid Spend Like a Drunken Sailor

    This investigation, performed under extremely tight time constraints and in the face of intense competition, delivered previously unreported consumer news about a longstanding problem that had cost customers of the world's biggest brand, Google, millions of dollars. The published report, which presented a technical problem in a dramatic and understandable way, had significant impact: It prompted Google to fix the problem within a matter of weeks; the report itself was sent by Google's biggest competitor, Apple, to the chairman of the Federal Trade Commission; the report was cited extensively as evidence in a class action suit against Google in Federal Court; and it helped lead to a settlement between Google and the Federal Trade Commission in which Google agreed to reimburse aggrieved consumers at least $19 million.
  • Unmasking the NRA's Inner Circle

    On Friday, December 21, 2012, one long week after the Newtown, Connecticut Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the National Rifle Association's longtime CEO, Wayne LaPierre, finally addressed the nation. He spoke at length but took no questions from the press. LaPierre refused to draw any link between the nation's gun policies and the grisly tragedy, or to acknowledge any possible negative role played the NRA to influence gun policies. Instead the longtime NRA CEO suggested that the fault of the tragedy lied with local authorities and educators as no one at the grade school was armed. Less than four weeks later, on January 16, 2013, Mother Jones ran the story, "EXCLUSIVE: Unmasking the NRA's Inner Circle." The piece revealed the shadowy, inner workings of the NRA leadership through a previously unpublished internal "Report of the Nominating Committee" to the NRA board: The CEO of the firm that made the Bushmaster rifle used inside the school had quietly served on the NRA board's Nominating Committee to help control the NRA's latest elections, and the "chairman" of the Nominating Committee was a longtime (and still) NRA board member who --unbeknownst to all the press that had recently scoured Newtown-- lived and owned a home in Newtown less than three miles from the Sandy Hook school. The story revealed --within less than 30 days of LaPierre's national television address-- the depth of the NRA's ties to the gun industry including Freedom Group whose profits have led the industry through sales of Bushmaster AR-15 rifles. The piece, which noted that the NRA board operates in secrecy more like a private corporation or Communist-era politburo than any nonprofit group, showed how the NRA board's ruling clique tightly controls who is nominated for the NRA board to thwart any possible challenges to their power. The "exclusive" went viral on the Internet, as any Google search can confirm, and led me to become an MSNBC contributor , identified repeatedly by Lawrence O'Donnell over the ensuing year as the investigative reporter "who went inside the NRA."