How Much is Too Much? College and University COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates

As schools attempt to return to “normalcy”, approximately 1,000 colleges and universities have mandated vaccines for students. While the majority of these schools have relatively high vaccination rates, students complain that extra precautions including student surveillance and monitoring are going too far. Conversely, many schools in states with notoriously lax COVID-19 mandates struggle to keep students safe while following state mandates.

The “Cyber Pandemic” – COVID-19’s Influence on Cybersecurity Practices

There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected almost every aspect of life for people around the globe. While the internet has allowed people to stay connected and continue working from home, it has also presented an opportunity for cybercriminals to take advantage of susceptible remote working setups. Cybercrime has significantly increased since the start of the pandemic, prompting corporations to mitigate the risk of a data breach against an onslaught of new vulnerabilities to their internal systems.

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.

The Story That Sounded Too Good to Be True Was, Indeed, Too Good to Be True.

The process of the criminal trial of the youngest woman self-made billionaire, has recently started up again after being stalled due to Covid restrictions in the past year. Former CEO and founder of Theranos, Elizabeth Holmes, and her former president and one-time boyfriend, Ramesh Balwani, have been accused of misleading investors and raising hundreds of millions of dollars by making false or exaggerated claims in defiance of the anti-fraud provisions of federal securities laws. While she is currently facing a federal indictment on twelve different charges, including two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and ten counts of wire fraud, Holmes has already settled her civil charges, which were brought forth by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). The civil charges brought forth by the SEC have now put Silicon Valley on alert by ensuring that technology companies who claim that they have a new groundbreaking technology that can change the world must be based on factual evidence, not purely myths.

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.

SEC Brings First Charges Involving Regulation Crowdfunding

On September 20, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission charged three individuals with conducting fraudulent crowdfunding schemes while also bringing charges against the crowdfunding portal where the offerings were conducted in SEC v. Shumake. As the first case being pursued under Regulation Crowdfunding, a number of questions wait on the horizon regarding the responsibility of crowdfunding platforms to protect investors when orchestrating such offerings.

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.

Regulating Government Agencies & Contractors: Banning the Use of ‘Hostile Architecture’ Through A City-Wide Ordinance

The way we construct our buildings, parks, and communities are reflective of our collective interests and values. Often when constructing public spaces, contractors and city officials employ deliberate methods of design that discourage their use by homeless people, this is known as hostile architecture. From bifurcated city benches to boulders being placed under city overpasses, hostile architecture is an affirmative policy action that is used by cities to discourage and eliminate use of public spaces by those who are unhoused. Collectively, these actions amount to another weapon in the arsenal of government actors in their war against homeless people, instead of homelessness. In order to stop these harmful building and design policies, cities around the United States, including Chicago, should implement regulatory policies banning their use with public funds or through governmental contractors.