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 "TWA" ...

  • PublicSource: Revelations of police technology problems spark FBI scrutiny, alleged retaliation and unfinished work

    For the first time, PublicSource reported how Pittsburgh's reform-minded police chief touched off an FBI investigation into how city employee's handled software contracts. Included were projects that were never implemented by 2018, though they were fully paid for five years earlier using federal funds. The federal investigation ended without any charges, but internal investigations in the city were ongoing. A former officer also claims he faced retaliation for reporting concerns about tech projects, specifically from one of the city's highest ranking public safety officials. He is currently suing the city over several of the same concerns first publicly reported in our stories. Our stories led directly to internal changes in city purchasing and increased scrutiny of purchasing by City Council.
  • PublicSource: Pittsburgh's lack of cybersecurity and transparency

    The City of Pittsburgh's cybersecurity is lacking, according to a commissioned report, and officials won't address the issues publicly. That same report found serious issues with the way the city handles software and other IT projects and how it structures its Department of Innovation & Performance. Through a public records request and "copy and paste" sleuthing, PublicSource revealed details about how city cybersecurity and IT practices are lacking, potentially putting citizens and local government at risk.
  • Verizon: Fighting Data Overages

    Many Verizon Wireless customers are being billed for unexplained data overuse. In September, The Plain Dealer wrote about a few people who questioned exorbitant charges. Those stories quickly led to 4,000 Verizon customers from around the country contacting the paper with similar concerns. The reporters have stayed on the story, trying to determine what is wrong. All the while, Verizon says there is no widespread problem with its billing software -- while often erasing the charges that customers complain about.
  • Machine Bias

    With our Machine Bias series, we are investigating the algorithms that are increasingly making decisions about our lives, from what news or ads we see online to what sentences are meted out for crimes. Algorithms are often proprietary "black boxes," raising important questions about transparency and due process. By collecting and analyzing the output of these systems, we set out to reverse-engineer and make accountable some of the algorithms that were having the biggest impact on people’s lives. Our investigative methods included linear regression, statistical analysis, and the creation of our own software. Among the series’ findings were evidence of racial bias in risk assessment systems, and the preferential treatment of Amazon’s own products in its so-called open market.
  • Hanergy - behind the empire of China’s richest man

    This investigation into suspicious trading in one of the most highly-valued yet mysterious companies on the Hong Kong stock exchange combined innovative software-driven analysis and exclusive forensic reporting to explore apparent market manipulation at Hanergy, the Chinese solar giant. After the FT’s stories, Hanergy shares crashed to earth, pre-empting the broader plunge in Chinese equities and highlighting concerns over the true financial state of some of the new Chinese companies that have rocketed to prominence in the last few years.
  • In North Dakota Oilfield Spill Problems Worsen; State Officials Misrepresent North Dakota’s Spill Problem

    Wastewater - also called saltwater or brine - is a common by product of oil and gas drilling. Wastewater spills are a common occurrence in North Dakota's oilfield. Inside Energy looked into state data to find out HOW common, and then used this analysis when the largest saltwater spill in state history occurred in January of 2015. We found that spills were on the increase, and that state officials regularly downplayed or misrepresented the spills. While oil spills generate headlines, wastewater spills are more devastating and can leave farmland sterile for generations.
  • Infosys

    Infosys, the world's 5th largest technology consulting firm is a company most Americans have never heard of. Based in Bangalore India, Infosys does 63% of its business here in the United States overhauling and redesigning software systems for fortune 500 companies like Walmart, Home Depot and Goldman Sachs. In order to staff their contracted projects, the company claimed it had to bring in specialized employees from India who had skills that could not be readily found in the United States. A CBS News investigation uncovered documents and witnesses that said the oversees employees had no special skills and were brought in to displace higher-paid American workers.
  • Waiting for Help

    The breaking news was a mobile home fire on a bitterly cold night. A WSPA photographer captured the aftermath, wrecked home, shivering children, flashing lights on the trucks. The people there, the neighbors mostly, kept asking the same question, “Why did it take so long for firefighters to show up?” It was easy to check and see just how long it took those first responders to arrive and the answer didn’t make sense. WSPA discovered the 911 calls from the fire gave all the correct information including the right address and a full description of the emergency. 911 dispatchers heard that information clearly and repeated it back exactly. Then, they sent the wrong stations to the wrong address in a different city. WSPA used dispatch logs, 911 recordings and interviews to expose a problem with the automated dispatch software that was happening in agencies across the area. With lives at stake, a simple oversight was causing dangerous delays. As a result of WSPA's report, the 911 agency promised sweeping changes. The follow-up reports hold them accountable for that effort.
  • Bigger Mess: Costly New Twist In Ongoing Nassau Police Crime Lab Scandal

    Despite assurances from top Nassau County officials to the contrary, an investigation by the Long Island Press discovered that unsuspecting taxpayers had in fact unknowingly been footing a more than $2.4 million bill for evidence testing and review as a consequence of years of lax oversight, mismanagement, gross negligence and/or willful ignorance at its critically important police department crime laboratory, which had been shuttered in 2011 after a national accreditation agency discovered mass noncompliance in its operations—and it’d be county taxpayers who’d be footing hundreds of thousands of dollars more because of those improprieties far into the foreseeable future.
  • Daily Beast: The Apple ‘Kill List’: What Your iPhone Doesn’t Want You to Type

    "Spell ‘electrodialysis’ wrong in a text, and Apple will correct you. Miss ‘abortion’ by one letter? You’re on your own. A Daily Beast investigation into your iPhone's hidden taboos." We investigated iPhone's spellcheck algorithm writing a series of scripts and iOS programs to mimic spellcheck hundreds of thousands of words and up to 14 different types of misspellings of those words. We found a list containing politically sensitive words that the iOS software will not accurately correct, even for slight misspellings.