Category:

Regulation

Fly Me (Safely) to the Moon: Regulating Commercial Space Travel

The recent successful trips to the edge of space by Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson are predicted to boost consumer confidence in the possibility of using commercial spaceflight as a global transportation system. However, as interest and involvement in commercial spaceflight grows, safety regulations are failing to keep up. The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has the authority to regulate spaceflight, but there is currently a moratorium on regulating the industry until 2023 to encourage innovation.

The DOJ Challenges Penguin Random House’s Acquisition of Simon & Schuster

In the United States, “The Big Five” denote the largest five publishing houses. These publishing empires print everything from medical textbooks to children’s books and together control over eighty percent of the publishing market. The Big Five includes Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Hachette, and Macmillan. In November of 2020, Viacom announced the sale of Simon & Schuster to Penguin Random House for $2.175 billion. A year later on November 2, 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice announced a lawsuit challenging the acquisition to ensure “fair competition in the U.S. publishing industry.”

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and Its Failure to Protect Our Undocumented Communities

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has proposed new regulations regarding DACA and is accepting comments on the proposed rule. USCIS claims that the new regulations will preserve and fortify the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) policy. As well as respond to President Biden’s memorandum from January 20, 2021, where Biden states in support of DACA, that “these immigrants (DACA recipients) should not be a priority for removal based on humanitarian concerns, and that work authorization will enable them to support themselves, and contribute to our economy, while they remain(in the U.S.)” USCIS further claims that DACA has been economically and socially beneficial to undocumented communities. It reiterates their “consistent judgment” that DACA recipients should not be a priority for removal citing Secretary Napolitano’s 2012 memorandum that DACA recipients lacked the intent to violate the law as children. Further, “removing productive young people (unless justified)” is not a prudent way to spend border resources. The agency continues to provide that the proposed regulation does not provide lawful status or path to citizenship. Despite the use of language that speciously centers on DACA recipients, the proposed provisions are at best superficial and continue to leave undocumented young people in a state of uncertainty.

Working From Home and Its Data Security Implications

Remote work was something once looked at as a gift, a day to work at home in your sweatpants on your couch. But now, some are stuck working from home until further notice or maybe even until they retire. This new method of work has made it much harder for businesses to keep the information of their workers and customers safe despite additional avenues of technology being used to work from home. An average employee may never think about the challenges associated with data security, but it is important to shed some light on this subject so that more people understand its importance. It is also important to understand why the lack of data security laws in the US could be so detrimental to any company doing work here. Company and consumer information is more vulnerable than ever with people working from home all over the country and without comprehensive data security regulations in the US, there is no end in sight.

Chicago’s “Decriminalization” of Sex Work

In the United States, according to a HG study, every year, between 70,000 and 80,000 people are arrested for prostitution related offenses, where roughly seventy percent of arrests are made against women sellers, twenty percent of arrests are made against men sellers, and a mere ten percent are made against buyers. In Chicago, the number of arrests are comparable, where according to a Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation study, in 2013, approximately seventy-four percent of prostitution-related arrests were for selling, and in 2017, ninety percent of prostitution-related arrests were for selling. 

Following the enactment of similar laws in other states, in 2014, Illinois passed Public Act 98-1013 which creates a financial incentive for the enforcement of prostitution laws against buyers and traffickers, rather than sellers. However, the Chicago Police Department (CPD) continues to prioritize arrests of sex sellers over buyers. Criminalization of sex work disproportionately harms LGBTQ people, communities of color, and immigrants. At a local level, Chicago needs to decriminalize sex work and reallocate CPD’s enforcement budget to social welfare services.

The Pandora Papers and the Bank Secrecy Act

The recent Pandora Papers leak in October 2021 shined the light on the massive and intricate web of offshore accounting that allows for insurmountable amounts of wealth to be hidden throughout the world. One of the most shocking revelations of these Papers was how heavily the United States was implicated in creating and perpetuating this system. As such, legislators have been pressured to find a way to crackdown on this sort of offshore money. One way that they have proposed addressing the problem is by amending the United States’ current criminal financial legislation, the Bank Secrecy Act.

Put the Salary in the Job Description – Pay Transparency Laws’ Impact on Hiring and Pay Equity

Lately, more and more job applicants seem to want to know the expected salary prior to applying to a job. In 2018, LinkedIn conducted a survey of 450 members asking which parts of a job description they found the most important. When surveyed, sixty-one percent reported that compensation was the most important, indicating that compensation is a key factor for many applicants in evaluating whether a potential job opening is worth their time. Although companies offer their reasons for keeping salary information from applicants, pay transparency, especially in the recruiting stages, is one of the main ways to achieve pay equity

Avengers Assemble for Battle Over Copyright Claims

The Walt Disney Company has filed multiple lawsuits in the hopes of retaining the copyright to some of their most popular Marvel superheroes, including the likes of blockbuster characters such as Spider-Man and Thor. While Marvel Entertainment, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, has been in multiple long-term licensing deals to maintain the rights to these characters for many years, some of those are approaching a potential expiration date as the original artists and illustrators of these characters seek to reclaim their creative rights.

A Case for Regulating Facebook

Recently, whistleblower Frances Haugen testified before a Senate subcommittee that Facebook has been deliberately putting its own profits before users’ safety. As Facebook’s former product manager for civic misinformation, Haugen calls for federal regulation of social media platforms and asserts that Facebook will not solve what she calls a “crisis” of deliberately ignoring users’ wellbeing for the sake of its own profits without Congress’s help. She points to tobacco, automobiles, and opioids, stating that when it became clear that those products were harming people, the government took action.

The Ableist and Racist Public Charge Rule

The Public Charge Rule perpetuates anti-immigrant sentiment and keeps poor, disabled migrants who were often Black, Brown, and ethnically oppressed out of the United States. It makes pathways to citizenship contingent upon wealth and the absence of disability. As the Autistic Self Advocacy Network puts it, the Public Charge Rule is a “clear echo of the racist and ableist policies of the eugenics era.”