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Office of Public Affairs

Gwendolyn Osborne, Director
565 W. Adams St., Room 665
Chicago, IL 60661
gosborne@kentlaw.iit.edu
P: (312) 906-5251
F: (312) 906-5363

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Weekly Media Advisory

CHICAGO—January 2015—IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law has experts available to discuss current legal issues. To reach experts on IIT's Downtown Campus, please call Gwen Osborne, director of public affairs, (312) 906-5251. Press releases and media advisories are available on our website: www.kentlaw.iit.edu/news. For assistance with breaking news stories, follow us on Twitter @ChicagoKentLaw.

President Barack Obama will deliver his sixth State of the Union address to Congress on January 20. The president has indicated that a portion of his speech will introduce new initiatives designed to increase cybersecurity, and to improve sick leave and paid family leave options for working Americans.

  • IIT Chicago-Kent Professor Richard Warner is available for media comment about cybersecurity. Professor Warner is the co-author of Unauthorized Access: The Crisis in Online Privacy and Security and a member of the U.S. Secret Service's Electronic and Financial Crimes Task Force. 
  • Professor Martin H. Malin, director of IIT Chicago-Kent's Institute for Law and the Workplace, can comment on leave programs. Professor Malin is the author of The Legal and Administrative Context of Work and Family Leave and Related Policies in the USA, Canada and the European Union.

Must the president deliver an annual State of the Union address? Constitutional scholars are available to discuss the "State of the Union" clause in Article II, Section One of the U.S. Constitution.  

The January 18, 2012, Internet blackout was the shot heard 'round the cyber world. More than 115,000 websites, including Wikipedia, Google and Twitter, "went black" in a day of self-censorship. "It was an incredible example of democracy in action, of civic engagement when the people — not the lawyers, lobbyists, government officials or courts — were at the forefront of the fight to save the Internet," says IIT Chicago-Kent Professor Edward Lee, author of How People Defeated Hollywood and Saved the Internet — For Now. According to Professor Lee, the Internet battle is not over. He is the founder of The Free Internet Project (TFIP), a nonprofit organization that provides a user-friendly resource for the international public to follow, share, and comment on the latest bills, decisions, constitutional amendments, and technologies to protect the Internet. He is available for media comment.  

What would Professor Kingsfield do? The Paper Chase's fictional Harvard Law Professor Charles Kingsfield and his use of the Socratic method have been immortalized by John Jay Osborn, Jr.'s novel and by the late actor John Houseman's portrayals on television and in film. Technology has changed the teaching of law since the paper chase of the 1970s, but IIT Chicago-Kent Distinguished Professor Sheldon H. Nahmod says use of laptops use by students in the Socratic classroom can have adverse effects. Professor Nahmod, who uses the Socratic method in his constitutional law classes, further explained his concerns in a recent Nahmod Law blog post. He may be reached for comment.   

Digital Peepholes: Remote Activation of Webcams: Technology Law and Policy is a report following a two-year investigation undertaken by the CK Privacy Program at IIT Chicago-Kent. While webcams have transformed entertainment, medicine, home security, and many other fields, hundreds of thousands of people have been the targets of surreptitious remote webcam activation. To date, there has been no meaningful legislative response to the problem. Digital Peepholes is available for download at www.ckprivacy.org. IIT Chicago-Kent Distinguished Professor Lori Andrews and attorney Dan Massoglia, part of the team that compiled the report, are available to discuss the risks and propose policy solutions related to remote webcam activation.  

On January 16, 1865, Union Army General William Tecumseh Sherman issued Special Field Orders, No. 15. Under the military orders, 400,000 acres of land along the coast of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina were confiscated from former slave owners and divided into 40-acre parcels to be given as settlements for newly emancipated slaves. IIT Chicago-Kent Professor Bernadette Atuahene says those slaves who never received the land were deprived of their property and dignity and likens the episode to the "dignity takings" experienced by blacks in South Africa whose land was taken during apartheid. Professsor Atuahene, the author of We Want What's Ours: Learning from South Africa's Land Restitution Program, interviewed more than 150 participants in the first phase of the land restitution program. She is available for interviews about that program's successes and failures and what the next phase of the program should encompass. 

Can a well-being analysis be applied to evaluating laws? IIT Chicago-Kent Professor Christopher Buccafusco is a co-author of Law and Happiness, a new book that examines the impact of laws on happiness. Professor Buccafusco is available for media comment.