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

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Search results for "telecommunications" ...

  • The Hacker Who Took Down a Country

    The story chronicled how one hacker took nearly a whole country offline and revealed, for the first time, how and why he did it. Our reporting showed that Daniel Kaye was a mercenary, that he’d been paid to carry out the attack by the CEO of a large African telecommunications company, who had since gone into hiding. The story gave an unprecedented insight into the world of darkweb hackers and the unscrupulous figures who hire them.
  • The Center for Public Integrity: Wireless Wars: The Fight Over 5G

    One of the largest deployments of wireless technology in decades is occurring as telecommunications companies erect a new network of small cells to support the next generation of wireless communications called 5G. The problem, however, brings these small cells into neighborhoods and business districts, unlike the larger towers seen along highways and in fields far from centers of population. And with it, resistance from citizens. The clash pits telecoms, which want to ease regulations to reduce costs, against local governments and their residents, who want to control the look and placement of the cells and defend revenue and public property rights. The Center reports on how the telecoms are relying on money and tried-and-true relationships with politicians and regulators to get their way. And they are winning.
  • The Politics of Big Telecom

    The largest U.S. telecommunications companies have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on lobbying, political contributions and influence campaigns that shape laws and regulations that will have long-lasting effects on how American businesses and citizens will pay for and get the online information they need to manage their everyday lives. For "The Politics of Big Telecom," the Center for Public Integrity combed through large databases of campaign finances, tax filings and regulatory reports, and interviewed dozens of people from top government officials to average people on the street to show how large telecommunications companies shape public policy to defend profits, hold on to market power and reduce choices for the public.

    Behind vaunted promises of lightning-speed Internet access and an economic boon for 11 Utah cities lay a basic budgetary fact: The municipal fiber-optic network known as UTOPIA had been in operation for more than 10 years while consistently losing taxpayers millions of dollars annually and never reaching completion. So when a state audit flagged chronic fiscal problems with the Utah Telecommunications Open Infrastructure Agency, The Salt Lake Tribune took an in-depth look at all aspects of the troubled project — from the point of view of its sponsoring city governments whose budgets were jeopardized by mounting UTOPIA debts. Wading through thousands of city documents, meeting minutes and technical specs obtained through open-records requests and interviewing dozens of sources, Tribune reporters brought to light a picture of mismanagement and financial crisis even more dire than one painted by state investigators.
  • Cyber Espionage: The Chinese Threat

    It’s the biggest threat facing American business today but the least talked about by corporate executives. Experts at the highest levels of government agree, cyber espionage is threatening to steal American wealth, American jobs and ultimately America’s economic security and the biggest aggressor is China. Due to the nature of the crime, the cost to American businesses is nearly impossible to pinpoint. Experts say Chinese hackers are constantly probing corporate networks, sifting through endless amounts of data to decipher what is valuable intellectual property, chemical formulas or proprietary technology. One conservative estimate from the National Counter Intelligence Executive puts the cost of economic espionage at up to $400B annually, but the report states such estimates vary “so widely as to be meaningless,” reflecting the scarcity of data available. CNBC’s David Faber and the Investigations Inc. team spoke with many corporate executives about China’s aggressive effort to target American businesses and their most valuable assets, but many refused to comment on camera for our report, citing becoming more vulnerable to attack by speaking publicly about the issue. However, not one executive denied their company is at risk of cyber-attack on a daily basis or the possibility of losing valuable intellectual property to cyber spies. Government and industry experts we spoke with on-camera have witnessed such costly cyber-attacks during their careers and attest to the fact there are only two companies left in America today: Those who know they’ve been hacked and those who don’t. From a whistleblower claiming telecommunications giant Nortel was one of the first casualties of this all-out cyber war, to high profile and public attacks on Google and RSA, its clear defending against cyber espionage is the new normal for American business.
  • A 911 Emergency

    A WISH-TV (Indianapolis, IN) investigation exposed a public safety crisis resulting from a shortage of 911 operators. Inadequate staffing led to emergency calls being placed "on hold." Delays in answering led to delays in responding to emergencies. In addition, use of cell phones and computer-based phones adds to the response time as they do not provide dispatchers with the caller's location. Without this information, dispatchers are unable to determine where to send help. Reporters also looked at the historical problem of agencies not being able to "talk" to each other directly.
  • Well Connected in the States

    Well connected in the United States is an investigation into the political influence of the telecommunications industry at the state level.
  • Networks of Influence

    This investigation revealed the communication industry has spent $1.1 billion since 1998 to obtain political influence--more than twice a much as the oil and gas industry spent. Money spent on supporting candidates, lobbying, junkets and the practice of government officials leaving their jobs to work for the industries they used to regulate were all scrutinized. While broadcasters usually spent and equal amount of money supporting republicans and democrats, Sinclair Broadcasting Group spent more than 95% on republicans only. Detailed graphs included make the story easy to understand.
  • "Soft Target Security"

    Using hidden cameras, the KIRO Team 7 investigates the vulnerability of telecommunications plants, as well as the largest natural gas plant on the West Coast. While terrorism and security remain huge issues in the nation's capital, reporters were able to walk in without being questioned or asked to show ID. KIRO Team 7 also investigates the a FBI investigation of a criminal who has breached security at these plants several times, severing major wires and disabling lines to 911 dispatchers.
  • Split Decisions

    "Investment companies owned by Denver billionaire and Qwest founder Phil Anschutz put money into numerous telecommunications companies that sought or did do business with Qwest. Those companies often saw their stock shoot up after initial public offerings on the news that they might get contracts with Qwest, which was known as the 'kingmaker' of telcos in the go-go days. The potential conflict was that Anschutz was making money off companies who were seeking contracts with the company where he was co-chairman of the board."