Stories

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

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Search results for "monitoring" ...

  • Pentagon secretly struck back against Iranian cyberspies targeting U.S. ships

    In the middle of June, tensions were rising between the United States and Iran. Iran had attacked oil tankers traveling through the Strait of Hormuz, and then downed an expensive, high-tech Navy RQ-4 Global Hawk surveillance drone flying over the Strait, upping the ante of the conflict. Given previous rhetoric from Trump administration officials including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo against the Iranian regime, the decision to exit the Iran deal or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and the increasingly heavy sanctions on Iran, the Yahoo News team was monitoring for chances to report in more depth on specific Iranian capabilities as well as U.S. plans to counter them. Following the attack on the U.S. drone, Yahoo News began communicating with sources who had extensive detail on a specific unit within the Iranian military in the cross-hairs of the U.S. military, a unit that had advanced its cyber capabilities to the point that it was able to track nearly all ships traveling through the Strait through both social engineering, or pretending to be attractive women engaging with service members traveling on the ships, to actually compromising ship GPS data websites in order to digitally monitor their paths. In the course of reporting, Yahoo News discovered a key, news breaking event—that just hours prior, the U.S. Cyber Command had launched a retaliatory strike aimed at limiting the capabilities of the specific Iranian cyber group the team had already been investigating. Yahoo was the first to break the news of the retaliatory strike, leading dozens of major news outlets to race to match the story. However, given the fact Yahoo News was investigating details into the cyber unit, our story was not only first but best and most detailed. The story demonstrates our ability to jump into the news cycle, provide key breaking news to our readers, as well as dig deep into illuminating new details. The story also revealed that Iranian capabilities to intercept and down drones to study them for espionage purposes was highly advanced, a fact previously unknown. Given President Trump’s recent decision to authorize a strike to kill IRGC Commander Qasem Suleimani, our reporting will continue to provide value to readers, analysts, and other interested parties hoping to better understand Iranian capabilities and how the U.S. might respond to them.
  • TX Observer: Prison by Any Other Name

    Since the 1990s, Texas has run a controversial, constitutionally dubious “civil commitment” program that keeps hundreds of sex offenders in intensive monitoring and treatment long after they’ve finished their prison sentences. In 2015, after the agency running the program nearly imploded amid mismanagement, Texas lawmakers essentially turned civil commitment over to a scandal-ridden private prison contractor eager to gobble up contracts at the intersection of incarceration and therapy. The result: non-existent treatment, shoddy medical care, and a new taxpayer-funded, privately operated lockup in middle-of-nowhere Texas, where men under civil commitment are now confined indefinitely. Since the facility opened, only five men have been released — four of them to medical facilities where they later died.
  • Ohio Parole System Problems

    Over the course of 18 months, three young women were killed in separate murders by violent ex-felons who were supposed to be closely monitored by Ohio’s Adult Parole Authority. They weren’t. Time and time again, WBNS-TV’s investigative unit, 10 Investigates, found lapses in judgment and failures by the state’s parole system to closely monitor these ex-felons. In one case, a Georgia judge’s order to place a GPS ankle monitor on a twice convicted rapist was ignored. The reason: Ohio’s Adult Parole Authority believed it would be too expensive. Six months later, the man was arrested for the rape and murder of a young woman. We also uncovered data showing part of the problem might be many of these parole officers are overwhelmed. State corrections records show there are 450 parole officers in Ohio tasked with monitoring 37,000 ex-prisoners who are under some type of post-release supervision. Given that workload, it’s hard for anyone to understand why these parole officers would be assigned to watch an empty parking lot. But that’s where we found some of them sitting every day, for nearly a month. Our reporting on this issue has already changed state law and led to the ire of some state lawmakers who are calling for additional changes.
  • Cosecha de Miseria (Harvest of Misery)

    A yearlong investigation by Telemundo and The Weather Channel gathered evidence that child labor is commonplace during the coffee harvest in Chiapas, the poorest state in Mexico -- illustrating in stark, human terms the failures and limitations of an elaborate global system of third-party monitoring established by the coffee industry to assure its sourcing is ethical, and a violation of international agreements and laws meant to prohibit child labor. By following the supply chain to the source, the investigation also revealed how global agreements and the laws of nations prohibit such labors by children, who were found filling and lugging heavy bags of coffee while living in harsh conditions. Result: A documentary in which reporters take viewers on a gritty, real-world tour to the bottom of the murky coffee supply chain, where feel-good marketing clashes with harsh realities socially conscious consumers may find surprising if not shocking.
  • Not So Securus: Massive Hack of 70 Million Prisoner Phone Calls Indicates Violations of Attorney-Client Privilege

    The Intercept obtained a massive database of leaked phone records belonging to prison telecom giant Securus Technologies — accessed by an anonymous hacker and submitted to The Intercept via SecureDrop. By analyzing its contents, “Not So Securus” provided an unprecedented illustration of the sheer scale of phone surveillance of detainees within the criminal justice system, revealing how such monitoring has gone far beyond the stated goal of ensuring the security of prison facilities to compromise the privacy of inmates and their loved ones — and potentially violate the confidential communications guaranteed to prisoners and their lawyers.
  • School Desegregation Orders

    The highest performing school district in the state of Florida, St. Johns County schools, still has an open desegregation order. I submitted FOI requests with the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida and the St. Johns County school district to obtain records and information needed for the story. Records show currently the majority of students in the St. Johns County school district are white but the district is now fully integrated and complies with the federal order. I learned that that the federal government has been inconsistent in its monitoring of the open desegregation orders in Florida. After my story aired, the St. Johns County school district has said they are working with the federal government to have the desegregation order closed.
  • NBC5 INVESTIGATES: OFF THEIR GUARD

    After a pregnant college student was sexually assaulted on Chicago’s south side, NBC5 Investigates began looking into the background of the suspect, and discovered he was supposed to be on juvenile electronic monitoring for a past arrest. Over the next several days, Phil Rogers continued to uncover serious flaws in Cook County’s system for monitoring juvenile offenders. By the end of the week – and a direct result of Rogers’ week-long reporting – the county completely reformed its system to – finally -- provide true 24-hour monitoring for juvenile offenders.
  • Harsh Treatment

    In Illinois, hundreds of juvenile state wards are assaulted and raped by their peers each year at taxpayer-funded residential treatment centers as authorities fail to act on reports of harm and continue sending waves of youths to the most violent facilities, the Tribune's "Harsh Treatment" investigation found. Prostitution becomes a fact of life at facilities where experienced residents introduce others to pimps, escort websites and street corners. And thousands of kids flee to the streets, where some sold drugs and sex to survive and others broke into homes and mugged passers-by. Dozens have never been found. The reporters gathered thousands of pages of highly protected juvenile case files, successfully petitioned the Cook County juvenile court for access to delinquency files and through relentless FOIA appeals pried free police and state monitoring reports on violent incidents inside the facilities.
  • Death in the Ring

    After 24-year-old Dennis Munson Jr. of Milwaukee collapsed following his first amateur kickboxing match in March, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter John Diedrich got a tip and started digging into what happened. What he uncovered was a series of errors by fight officials in an unregulated bout. The ringside doctor, referee and coach in the corner all missed obvious signs that Munson was in serious trouble, according to a dozen independent experts who reviewed the fight video for the Journal Sentinel. The doctor was looking at his cell phone when he should have been monitoring the fighters. The corner man propped up Munson between rounds and slapped him in the face and was holding him by the neck and face just before he collapsed. And the referee did not intervene to assess Munson. Medical care was delayed over a disagreement on care and confusion about how to get out of the building. Emergency medical protocol was not followed. And then video of the fight, provided to police, was missing 32 seconds at a key time, just before Munson collapsed. The Journal Sentinel investigation uncovered more problems in unregulated kickboxing in Wisconsin. For instance, state regulators attended a match at a Harley-Davidson dealership — but only to oversee boxing events.
  • Nowhere to Turn

    “Nowhere to Turn” found that a failure of Seattle-area government officials to comply with technicalities in an obscure state law was causing hundreds of severely mentally ill patients to be released to the streets without any treatment or monitoring. The patients, who had all been found to be in imminent danger of hurting themselves or others, were being released on average every other day in King County. Local officials knew about the problem three years before the investigation began but had never notified the state about the releases or even attempted to count how often they occurred. In fact, county officials violated the Public Disclosure Act to hide information released to their failure. Only the threat of a lawsuit forced the release of emails that revealed the problem.