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 "surveillance" ...

  • Vanished- China's Missing Muslims

    ABC News’ Bob Woodruff and his crew went searching for China’s infamous “re-education camps,” where more than a million Chinese Muslims are allegedly being held, and possibly tortured.
  • 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.
  • Aggression Detectors: The Unproven, Invasive Surveillance Technology Schools Are Using to Monitor Students

    In response to mass shootings, some schools and hospitals have been installing devices equipped with machine learning algorithms that purport to identify stressed and angry voices before violence erupts. Our analysis found this technology unreliable. Our goal was to reverse-engineer the algorithm, so we could see for ourselves if it actually worked as the company advertised. (One salesperson suggested to us that the device could prevent the next school shooting.) We purchased the device and rewired its programming so we could feed it any sound clip of our choosing. We then played gigabytes of sound files for the algorithm and measured its prediction for each. After this preliminary testing, we ran several real-world experiments to test where the algorithm could be flawed. We recorded the voices of high school students in real-world situations, collected the algorithm's predictions and analyzed them.
  • DFP: Trooper tases teen on ATV. Police video reveals what happens next

    Readers had known about the tragic death of 15-year-old Damon Grimes, who crashed his ATV while running from State Police in Detroit. People knew a trooper had been charged with murder after leaning out of his patrol car to use his Taser on Grimes, causing the crash. But the details were limited. That’s until the Free Press used the Freedom of Information Act to obtain documents, raw video and radio broadcasts to reconstruct the scene before, during and after the accident. In a published story and never-before-seen video, the newspaper shined a spotlight on the actions of police that day. The video was made by piecing together hours of video and audio footage from police body cameras, dashboard cameras, surveillance tape and broadcasts. A Detroit officer whose inappropriate comments were caught on the video was reassigned.
  • Boston Globe: Quiet Skies

    Spotlight fellow Jana Winter received a tip in June that TSA was running a rogue -- and possibly illegal -- new domestic surveillance program in which US citizens not under investigation or on any terrorist watchlist were followed at the airport and in-flight by air marshals who then filed detailed reports about their behavior.
  • Trouble on the Tracks

    The NEWS4 I-Team in Washington, DC uncovered a staggering number of horse deaths at a major thoroughbred racing track in the area. Using never before seen video, surveillance and exclusive interviews the investigation gave viewers an inside look at the dark side of horse racing. The series led to new state regulations and Congressional reaction of what's known as the "Sport of Kings". The digital timeline we created of the deaths from 2014-2016 also became a reference guide for the public and stakeholders in the industry.
  • Watched

    Police forces across the United States are stockpiling massive databases with personal information from millions of Americans who simply crossed paths with officers. A person can end up in one of these databases by doing nothing more than sitting on a public park bench or chatting with an officer on the street. Once there, these records can linger forever and be used by police agencies to track movements, habits, acquaintances and associations – even a person’s marital and job status. What began as a method for linking suspicious behavior to crime had morphed into a practice that threatens to turn local police departments into miniature versions of the NSA. In the process, critics contend, police risk trampling constitutional rights, tarnishing innocent people and further eroding public trust.
  • Transparency

    A four-month KHOU investigation reveals how Houston’s $8 million police body camera program is falling short of its promises. Police and politicos touted it as the blueprint for transparency and accountability, but six months into the program, KHOU discovered that “transparency” has become more of a city hall buzzword than benchmark for the truth. The Houston Police Department violates its own policies. The public can’t readily access video footage. And officers don’t always press the record button when it counts. https://youtu.be/7qbf_rgt__s http://www.khou.com/local/investigative/bodycamtransparency
  • Trouble on the Tracks

    The NEWS4 I-Team in Washington, DC uncovered a staggering number of horse deaths at a major thoroughbred racing track in the area. Using never before seen video, surveillance and exclusive interviews the investigation gave viewers an inside look at the dark side of horse racing. The series led to new state regulations and Congressional reaction of what's known as the "Sport of Kings". The digital timeline we created of the deaths from 2014-2016 also became a reference guide for the public and stakeholders in the industry. http://www.nbcwashington.com/investigations/160-Racehorses-Died-From-Injuries-at-Charles-Town-Races-Since-2014-390369632.html http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Behind-the-Scenes-Disputes-Between-W_Va_-Racing-Officials-and-Charles-Town-Races_Washington-DC-390508531.html http://www.nbcwashington.com/investigations/Renewed-Calls-for-Strict-Federal-Oversight-of-Thoroughbred-Horse-Racing-392941291.html http://www.nbcwashington.com/investigations/Horse-Racing-Safety-Reviews-Ordered-in-West-Virginia_Washington-DC-394516851.html
  • Charity Caught on Camera

    As an Indiana charity collected $7 million in donations, this undercover WTHR investigation exposed stunning mismanagement that violated public trust. Months of surveillance and undercover video revealed (literally) tons of food and donations intended for the homeless shelter never made it to the homeless at all. Instead, much of the food went directly to the charity’s leaders – some of the most respected and powerful clergy in the community – who took the food for themselves, their friends, their family members, and even for their pets. The managerial abuses, neglect and dangerous living conditions uncovered by WTHR’s 13 Investigates team prompted immediate resignations, ongoing local and state investigations, and significant changes to protect the charity’s homeless residents and its donors. http://www.wthr.com/tags/grant-county-rescue-mission-13-investigates