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 "privacy" ...

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • L.A. Times: How California Law Shielded Dishonest Cops

    For decades, California’s strict police privacy laws made it nearly impossible for anyone to find out basic information about police officer misconduct. A team of Los Angeles Times reporters spent months investigating the impact of this secrecy on the criminal justice system. They found that officers caught for dishonesty and other serious wrongdoing were able to continue testifying in court without prosecutors, defendants, judges and jurors ever finding out about their past. Countless defendants were convicted based on the testimony of these officers. Published at the height of a political debate over making police records public, the stories helped galvanize support to change state law and open up some records about officer misconduct, which had been kept confidential for 40 years.
  • FRONTLINE: The Facebook Dilemma

    The promise of Facebook was to create a more open and connected world. But from the company’s failure to protect millions of users’ data, to the proliferation of “fake news” and disinformation, mounting crises have raised the question: Is Facebook more harmful than helpful? This major, two-night event investigates a series of warnings to Facebook as the company grew from Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard dorm room to a global empire. With dozens of original interviews and rare footage, The Facebook Dilemma examines the powerful social media platform’s impact on privacy and democracy in the U.S. and around the world.
  • AP: China Clamps Down

    This AP series revealed the extent of China’s suppression of largely Muslim ethnic groups in a remote region and how it fits into a growing clampdown on individual freedom and privacy across the country.
  • 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.
  • Police Secrets

    For years, police agencies throughout the United States have conducted secret surveillance that skirts — and in some cases flouts — laws meant to safeguard Americans’ privacy. They did it to monitor drug traffickers and petty thieves, then sought to conceal their actions from the public and from judges. Our investigating throughout the year revealed the depths of some of that surveillance by federal, state and local authorities.
  • Fatal Foster Care: When newborns exposed to drugs in the womb are taken from their mothers, the results can be deadly

    Tighter drug laws in the United States increasingly mandate that newborns be stripped from drug-taking birth parents, and often placed in foster care. Even when the traces of drugs are minimal. But foster care is fraught with problems. Since 2000, at least 10 drug-exposed newborns have died in foster care — deaths identified in a New York City News Service analysis of court records, local news stories and interviews with family advocates across the nation. While a tiny fraction of the approximately 18,000 drug-exposed infants put into foster care over the same period, these tragedies show that foster care is not always a safer option for drug-exposed newborns. The number of foster care deaths is most likely larger since state officials often cite privacy laws barring them from disclosing details.
  • Inside the Mind of Edward Snowden

    The first reporting from NBC News based on Snowden’s documents to be broadcast and published by a U.S. network, was the spark for an exclusive primetime special called “Inside the Mind of Edward Snowden,” hosted by NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams. Snowden said that it was a combination of the Investigative Unit’s work and Williams’ credibility and national audience that led him to agree to the much-sought interview. “Inside the Mind of Edward Snowden” was an extraordinary television moment and an important public service. The hour-long special was the first-ever U.S. TV interview with the exiled intelligence analyst whose disclosures about government surveillance have sparked sweeping changes to U.S. policy and transformed the debate about the balance between personal privacy and national security.
  • Privacy on the Line

    “Privacy on the Line” documented security breaches and fraud in the implementation of a $2 billion federal phone subsidy for low-income families. We found tens of thousands of applicants to Lifeline, were put at heightened risk for identity theft when more than 170,000 sensitive records were posted publicly online. While researching companies participating in the Lifeline program, Scripps investigative reporter Isaac Wolf discovered a data breach touching residents of 26 states.