In the News

“Career US Coast Guard Officer Retiring After 38 Years”

By U.S. News and World Report
May 19, 2018

NYLS Alumni: Francis Pelkowski ’94

A U.S. Coast Guard officer who has spent 38 years in the service is being honored at his retirement ceremony on Long Island.

New York City-based Coast Guard officials say the gathering for Rear Adm. Francis Pelkowski is being held late Saturday morning at the West Islip Fire Station in Suffolk County.

Pelkowski served as the Coast Guard’s deputy commandant for operations and senior reserve officer. He oversaw the readiness of 7,000 reservists who respond to emergencies in the U.S. and abroad.

Last year, he helped coordinate the Coast Guard reserve personnel’s response to three devastating hurricanes that hit the U.S. mainland and the Caribbean.

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“Data privacy issues may be coming to a campaign near you”

By NBC News
May 19, 2018

NYLS Faculty: Ari Waldman

In the wake of revelations about the misuse of user data by Facebook and a closely watched 10-hour grilling of CEO Mark Zuckerberg by lawmakers last month, the issue of data privacy is slowly muscling its way into the political conversation.

According to Jen Duffy, who as senior editor of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report monitors races across the country, data privacy as a campaign issue is “coming to a general election near you.”

Some examples of lawmaker attention have been highly visible. For example, Florida Democratic senator Bill Nelson, who is facing a tough re-election match-up against GOP Gov. Rick Scott, was among the most outspoken critics of Zuckerberg during his testimony.

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“Fight Hate Speech with More Speech, Not Censorship: ACLU’s Nadine Strossen”

By YouTube Channel ReasonTV
May 18, 2018

NYLS Faculty: Nadine Strossen

Few issues are as controversial as the right to free speech, especially when it’s pitted against people’s desire not to feel attacked or hated simply because of their race, gender, or sexual orientation.

Over the past 20 or 30 years, speech codes have proliferated in the workplace and at colleges and universities. By a narrow margin, says Gallup, today’s college students say promoting an inclusive campus environment is more important than protecting First Amendment rights of free speech. Yet large majorities also say they want a campus in which all speech is allowed and that their own campus stifles free expression.

Nadine Strossen, who served as the president of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) from 1991 to 2008, is the author of the new book Hate: Why We Should Resist It with Free Speech, Not Censorship, which lays out a compelling argument against policies that try to restrict what individuals are allowed to say. Attempts to legally prevent and criminalize hate speech, Strossen writes, typically end up being used against the very people and groups they are intended to protect. What’s more, she says, the alleged harms caused by ugly speech are routinely overstated.

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“Speak Freely and Hate Reviews: Teaching Tolerance”

By Wall Street Journal
May 17, 2018

NYLS Faculty: Nadine Strossen

Colleges are becoming increasingly soft on free speech when they should be adhering to an even higher standard than the societies they inhabit.

When it comes to tolerating offensive speech, American colleges and universities often hold themselves to a lower standard than the rest of society. Kentucky State University, for instance, includes “embarrassment” on its list of sanctionable “offenses against persons.” Dickinson College promises to sic its Bias Education & Response Team on those whose speech is deemed “offensive or inflammatory to some”—even if no rule has been violated.

In “Speak Freely: Why Universities Must Defend Free Speech,” Keith Whittington argues…

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“Patent on autism genetic test may stifle science”

By Spectrum
May 17, 2018

NYLS Faculty: Jake Sherkow

A new patent on variants in an autism gene is unlikely to hold up in court, some experts say, but may still hamper research.

In December, LabCorp, a healthcare diagnostics company in Burlington, North Carolina, received a patent that appears to cover any test that can identify three variants in the gene HOMER1. The patent relates to the testing of these variants to signal an increase in autism risk in a child or fetus.

But the patent might also allow LabCorp to charge a licensing fee to any scientists who wish to sequence HOMER1 in people who may have autism.

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“What Would Happen if the Technology Sector Becomes Regulated?”

By innovation & tech today
May 17, 2018

NYLS Faculty: Ari Waldman

In March 2018, the world got a wake-up call when news broke that a third-party firm called Cambridge Analytica harvested data from up to 87 million Facebook profiles. Even worse, Facebook learned Cambridge Analytica used the collected data in violation of the social media site’s terms and conditions in 2015, but didn’t alert users.

There are also reports that Facebook did not correctly police third-party companies to ensure they followed the rules. What might it look like if these tech companies were more closely monitored?

England’s House of Lords Weighs In

Lord Clement-Jones, head of England’s House of Lords select committee on A.I., thinks regulations should be connected back to ethics. He acknowledges that whether or not Cambridge Analytica used artificial intelligence to collect data, the extent of the incident shows why it’s so important for people to be aware of what happens to their information.

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“A crusading chief justice and a cautious president”

By Washington Post
May 17, 2018

NYLS Faculty: James Simon

Lily Geismer is a professor of history at Claremont McKenna College and is the author of “Don’t Blame Us: Suburban Liberals and the Transformation of the Democratic Party.”

‘Dumb son of a bitch” and “damn fool.” These insults did not come from President Trump about any of his many political adversaries. Rather, they are the words of President Dwight Eisenhower privately excoriating Chief Justice Earl Warren, whom he himself had appointed to the Supreme Court in 1953. Eisenhower’s antipathy challenges the conventional image of the relationship between these two highly respected moderate Republicans. It serves as a point of departure for James F. Simon’s illuminating and engaging account of their rivalry and a pivotal period in the history of civil rights and civil liberties.

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“Maribel Aber, CNN”

By KTBS-ABC
May 16, 2018

NYLS Alumni: Mariel O’Brien Aber ’02

Maribel Aber is a business correspondent for CNN Newsource and the “Money Talks” correspondent for HLN’s daily news program “Michaela.” Aber also appears regularly on “Morning Express with robin Meade” and “Weekend Express with Lynn Smith.”

Aber covers business, money, personal finance and the economy from the perspective of how it affects families and consumers. She has also reported breaking news for CNN and covered stories including the China Market Crash in 2015, the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting and Facebook IPO in 2012.

She began her career with the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (now known as FINRA) with a focus on securities regulation. Aber joined NASDAQ in 2000 as associate director, global sales & member services. Her work led to an appointment as chief of staff for the vice chairman of NASDAQ in 2001 and later promotion to vice president of the NASDAQ MarketSite, home of the NASDAQ Opening Bell. Aber was responsible for running the seven-story tower and broadcast studio. In her tenure at NASDAQ, she partnered with CNN in “America Votes 2004” live from the NASDAQ MarketSite and negotiated a partnership with Reuters Group Limited that combined the NASDAQ Tower and Reuters Sign properties to create the world’s largest outdoor digital display system, located in Times Square.

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“Unregistered with Thaddeus Russell”

By Thaddeus Russell Podcast
May 15, 2018

NYLS Faculty: Nadine Strossen

Nadine Strossen is the John Marshall Harlan II Professor of Law at New York Law School. She was the president of the American Civil Liberties Union from 1991 to 2008, and has written, taught, and advocated extensively in the areas of constitutional law and civil liberties. Her newest book, HATE: Why We Should Resist It with Free Speech, Not Censorship, is now available for sale and in Audible format performed by Nadine herself!

Mentioned in This Episode:

  • After Charlottesville, A.C.L.U. Braces for Next Alt-Right Case
  • National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie (wiki)
  • “Conservatives, Democrats and the convenience of denouncing free speech,” by Glenn Greenwald
  • National Civil Liberties Bureau (wiki)
  • Schenck v. United States (wiki)
  • Brandenburg v. Ohio (wiki)

To view this article in full, click here.

“Facebook’s free-speech dilemma is financial, not constitutional”

By Washington Examiner
May 15, 2018

NYLS Faculty: Ari Waldman

Facebook has no First Amendment obligation to treat conservative and liberal opinions equally.

There are, however, ethical and financial reasons for doing so that carry as much weight, if not more, than legal requirements. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based social media company’s response to a congressional hearing focused on discrimination complaints by two supporters of President Trump shows CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s keen awareness of both.

After telling Republican lawmakers repeatedly that the company he founded in college strives to be a platform for all voices and that he works to prevent any liberal Silicon Valley bias from influencing the decisions on which content is appropriate, Zuckerberg retained former Republican Sen. Jon Kyl this month to evaluate concerns that conservative voices are being slighted.

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