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 "Internet" ...

  • 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.
  • ProPublica: Unprotected

    Katie Meyler leveraged the internet and a compelling story to launch a charity to educate vulnerable Liberian girls and save them from sexual exploitation. ProPublica revealed how, as Meyler gained international plaudits and fundraised over $8 million, girls as young as 10 were being raped by founding staff member Macintosh Johnson, with whom Meyler had a sexual relationship. The charity then misled donors and the public about what had happened, failed to safeguard all his possible victims even once they knew Johnson had AIDS when he died, and later abandoned to prostitution at least one of the girls who had testified against him in court.
  • 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.
  • Trump's Doctor

    Everybody was talking about Donald Trump’s doctor's note about the candidate's health, which included typos and language like "laboratory test results were astonishingly excellent" and "his physical strength and stamina are extraordinary." But who was the character behind this bizarre letter? In a story that broke news and broke the internet, NBC News revealed that Dr. Harold Bornstein wrote the letter in five minutes with Trump's limo waiting outside his office.
  • It Doesn't Make Cents: Hidden 529 Fees

    A tiny number can make a huge difference in how much you "pay to save" using government-sponsored 529 college savings plans. The D.C. government scrambled to completely overhaul its 529 program after the News 4 I-Team found D.C. residents pay thousands more in fees than parents in neighboring states. The team created a special "529 Calculator" that lets parents type in the age of their child, how much they make and where they live to see a side-by-side comparison of how much they could save in each 529 plan in our region...and how much they end up paying in hidden fees. The seemingly simple mobile-friendly design belies an incredibly complex back-end formula, making it the only calculator of its kind available anywhere on the internet. This calculator helped the team definitively show D.C. parents were getting a raw deal - prompting the D.C. Treasurer's office to fire the plan's administrator and award a new contract less than six weeks after the initial investigation aired - saving D.C. parents hundreds of thousands of dollars previously wasted on hidden and unnecessary fees. Story #1: http://www.nbcwashington.com/investigations/Avoiding-High-529-Fees-Navigating-College-Savings-Plan-Pitfalls-397010181.html Story #2: http://www.nbcwashington.com/investigations/DC-Council-Demands-Action-on-College-Savings-Plans-After-I-Team-Report-401179346.html Story #3: http://www.nbcwashington.com/investigations/DC-Announces-New-Administrator-for-College-Savings-Plans-407522785.html
  • Broadband Inequality

    The Center for Public Integrity combined large datasets to measure in hard numbers who doesn’t have access to high-speed internet and for the first time illuminate the issue through a socioeconomic lens. The Center found that people living in areas in the lowest quintile of median household income were nearly five times more likely not to have access to broadband than those living in areas in the top quintile. This analysis had never been done before.
  • How an internet mapping glitch turned a random Kansas farm into a digital hell

    This series found people who have been affected by mistakes in digital cartography, or the mapping of internet-connected devices via their IP addresses to the physical world. The story's major finding was that a widely-used Boston-based company called MaxMind that maps IP addresses had chosen default locations around the country for devices it could not map precisely. Some of those locations were on the property of homeowners. It resulted in millions of IP addresses being inaccurately mapped to these people's homes, and when the IP address was used to do something bad online, legal authorities and internet vigilantes assumed the people who lived at the homes were the culprits. https://gimletmedia.com/episode/53-in-the-desert/
  • IP Mapping

    This series found people who have been affected by mistakes in digital cartography, or the mapping of internet-connected devices via their IP addresses to the physical world. Our major finding was that a widely used Boston-based company called MaxMind that maps IP addresses had chosen default locations around the country for devices it could not map precisely. Some of those locations were on the property of homeowners. It resulted in millions of IP addresses being inaccurately mapped to these people's homes, and when the IP address was used to do something bad online, legal authorities and internet vigilantes assumed the people who lived at the homes were the culprits. https://gimletmedia.com/episode/53-in-the-desert/
  • Tech Behind Bars

    "Tech Behind Bars" is a deeply reported, multi-media three-part examination of the growing intersection of the corrections system and the technology industry. Part 1, "Inside the prison system’s illicit digital world," explores the growing problem of smartphone smuggling inside federal and state prisons, and reveals dozens of social media profiles of inmates currently serving time in several states, many of whom were using the internet illicitly from their cells. Part 2, "After years behind bars, can prisoners re-enter a digital society?", explores what happens to inmates after they're released from length prison stays, and are forced into a world and a job market that expects them to have familiarity with the tools of the digital age, and profiles Code 7370, a program at San Quentin State Prison that is equipping inmates with computer skills in preparation for their re-entry. Part 3, "Can technology and prisons get along?", is an examination of the growing number of attempts to integrate modern technology into correctional facilities, through the lens of the Napa County Jail, which is giving tablets to its inmates in attempt to keep them up to speed with the digital revolution.
  • Wired for Profit

    Sports gambling sites have taken advantage of loopholes in gambling laws, or flouted them completely, creating a multibillion-dollar business that skirts regulators and international borders, using Internet tools that deceive even about where the sites are located.