Journal of Regulatory Compliance
Florida recently passed the “Stop W.O.K.E” Act (Senate Bill 147 / House Bill 7) (The “Act”), effectively banning public colleges in the state from using funds on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs. Florida’s governor and current Presidential candidate, Ron Desantis, defines W.O.K.E as “Wrongs to Our Kids and Employees”. The passing of this legislation follows another highly controversial piece of legislation passed earlier this year, Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, that largely bars Florida educators from discussing LGBTQIA+ topics with students. Governor Desantis has led an aggressive campaign against academic freedom to combat a perceived “woke indoctrination in [U.S] schools, that is a road to ruin for this country”. The implementation of this legislation brings up valid concerns regarding the First Amendment rights of the State’s educators and population at large.
On May 18, 2023, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a new rule to address the concern of a previous loophole that allowed pits of coal ash to sit inactive and unmonitored. The new proposed rule was created in response to the August 21, 2018 opinion by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in Utility Solid Waste Activities v. EPA.
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced that they have awarded upwards of $37 million to one whistleblower in 2022. This individual gave important information to the SEC that led to a successful enforcement action against a large European healthcare company. This award took the cake for being the highest payout to a whistleblower in 2022. What does a whistleblower program look like from the regulator’s point of view and why is it important?
The US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has sanctioned nine entities involved in the production, sale, and shipment of Iranian petrochemicals and petroleum to buyers in Asia, in violation of US sanctions. Six Iran-based petrochemical manufacturers and three firms in Malaysia and Singapore have been targeted for facilitating the sale and shipment of petroleum and petrochemicals on behalf of Triliance Petrochemical Co. Ltd., which OFAC previously designated for facilitating the sale of Iranian petroleum products. The sanctions are aimed at targeting Tehran’s sources of illicit revenue, and all property and interests in property of the targeted entities must be blocked and reported to OFAC.
On January 4th, 2023, the New York State Department of Financial Services made public that a $100 million settlement with the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global Inc. (Coinbase) has been agreed to. The settlement follows an enforcement action imposed this past August aiming to regulate cryptocurrencies. With a lot of discussion happening given the recent collapse of FTX and anti-money laundering violations by Robinhood Markets, this action begs the question: should the digital currency industry be regulated nationwide and, if so, what should these regulatory agendas look like?
In Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (Dobbs), the US Supreme Court ruled that abortion is not a fundamental right protected by the Constitution. This decision resulted in additional abortion protections in California, Michigan, and Vermont, and prompted many patients, providers, regulators, and tech companies to rethink data privacy. However, because most abortions are still banned in at least 13 states, this patchwork of state abortion laws, combined with the lack of any sufficient national privacy law, puts patient privacy at risk.
In an action to keep company executives in check, the Justice Department (DOJ), created a policy where executives and compliance chiefs sign and personally attest to the effectiveness of their compliance programs. The individuals would therefore be held personally liable for their roles in the company’s wrongdoing. The DOJ and Google had a pending dispute, which was due to Google’s non-compliance with assisting authorities in an investigation. The DOJ and Google reached an agreement, with a stipulation attached, resolving the dispute over Google’s loss of data responsive to a 2016 search warrant. In the stipulation, Google has said that it has spent over 90 million dollars on additional systems and resources to improve its compliance programs, including an agreement to allow an Independent Compliance Professional to serve as a third party to monitor that Google is fulfilling its compliance legal obligations. This policy, as already seen in the settlement with Google, is forcing compliance to become a top-tier concern for big companies or face serious consequences.
It’s no secret that companies like Google, Alpha, Meta, and Twitter use and sell our data. However, in recent years, the content that companies display to us while we use their platform, from the ads we see to the websites that we find on search engines, has become a major contentious issue. While Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act shields Big Tech and other online platforms from liability for user-generated content, the Supreme Court recently announced that it will hear Gonzalez v. Google. The outcome of this case could have a huge impact on tech policy and could fundamentally change the type of content that we see online.
Anna Delvey, the alleged scammer who attempted to obtain financial backing of anywhere from $22 million to $40 million in loans, is once again the subject of much debate due to the new Netflix series chronicling her alleged crimes and other actions. The question this article attempts to answer is whether she ever had a chance of realizing her goal of creating an exclusive, members-only, art club much like Soho House. This question hinges on whether she ever had a real chance to secure the funding to make it possible.
On January 19, 2022, a searchable database of inspection reports from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) became publicly accessible. The ATF carries out firearms compliance inspections to ensure that federal firearms licensees (FFLs) are complying with federal gun control regulations, as well as local laws. Brady, the organization responsible for compiling the inspection database, reports that even when FFLs have violated regulations, the ATF only rarely revokes their licenses.