Glenn Martin’s “Prison-Like” White House Experience

Two weeks after criminal justice advocate Glenn Martin was nearly denied access to a White House event he was invited to, he's still waiting for an explanation. In a widely distributed “open letter” to President Barack Obama last week, Martin revealed that he was required to have a special escort in order to enter the White House complex for a discussion with senior officials on breaking down barriers facing ex-prisoners. Martin, who is one of the country's leading advocates for ending those barriers, is an ex-inmate himself. Now head of JustLeadershipUSA, he served time for a robbery conviction 20 years ago—and has since achieved national prominence for his work with former prisoners. Although he was invited to the meeting, along with a select group of advocates, scholars, elected officials and law enforcement authorities, he was treated as a security risk.

Public Defenders: Don’t Cap Student Loan Forgiveness

A White House proposal to cap payments for those participating in the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program could mean fewer young attorneys will choose to work as public defenders, according to a survey by the National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA), an advocacy group. The PSLF forgives federal student loan balances on which a borrower has paid 10 percent of her income while working in public service for 10 years, but President Barack Obama included as part of his 2015 budget proposal capping PSLF forgiveness at $57,000. Some in Congress would eliminate the program entirely, according to the NLADA. The NLADA surveyed 2,007 public interest attorneys between December 2, 2014 and January 13, 2015 about how the proposed cap would affect their career decisions. “For our clients, having an attorney can mean the difference between whether they will be sleeping on the street or not.

Your Data at Risk

The day after President Barack Obama declared cybercrime a “national emergency”, senior executives from AIG and Verizon admitted that corporate boards and management often don't know enough about the risks that cyber breaches pose. Companies around the world increasingly rely upon each other to insure that they don't compromise each other's data—but often fail to grasp the financial risks associated with interconnectivity, Peter Hancock, President and CEO of AIG, said yesterday. Hancock, who delivered the keynote speech to a meeting of experts and top corporate officials at the New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering, in Brooklyn, N.Y., pointed to the largest retail data breach in history, the 2013 attack on Target, as an example of the inadequate defenses common to many companies. The Target incident was the result of a failure to recognize and protect the many access points that make troves of data susceptible to criminals, he said. “When you look at the Target breach, who would have thought that the air conditioning system would have been the way in?”

Catching Child Sex Traffickers on the Internet

As child sex traffickers increasingly turn to the Internet to facilitate their black market activities, law enforcement and advocates are following them into cyberspace. Researchers, policy makers and advocates gathered at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore yesterday to discuss innovations that could save victims of child sex trafficking. “We are working energetically, as part of a growing movement, to mobilize the power of data and tech innovation, to help win the fight against the evil of child sex trafficking,” said Todd Park, who serves as Chief Technology Officer of the United States, a White House position created by President Barack Obama in 2009. The new technologies discussed yesterday have the potential to revolutionize how America targets one of society's most disturbing crimes. Authorities can track the digital footprints of traffickers and are building online communications platforms to share information about victims, the group was told.