A conflict has been waging across the Internet in the past few years between “hacktivists” attempting own their own to expose public and private abuse and prosecutors and private companies trying to stop them. Peter Ludlow, a philosophy professor from Northwestern University, details this struggle in a lecture at John Jay College. Ludlow explains why the activists feel compelled to act and also explores how the government has attempted to combat those efforts with what critics call questionable legislation.
As the number of major retailers hit by cybercriminals continues to grow, thousands of fresh credit- and debit-card numbers have turned up on so-called carding sites, where hacked credit-card data is sold. Tom Holt, associate professor at Michigan State University’s School of Criminal Justice, provides insight into the underworld of stolen financial information revealing a vast and intricate network.
With tensions bringing law enforcement officers and their civilian critics to an apparent standoff, both sides are now looking for ways to find a balance between safety and civil liberties. Civil rights activist Connie Rice sits down with New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton at John Jay College to discuss current issues dealing with police and their enforcement of the law by looking at what does work and what can be improved.
When it comes to reducing gang-related crime violence, ethics can often be a more effective tool than traditional law enforcement, according to criminologist David Kennedy. “In a place where people don’t believe in the law, calling something ‘wrong’ is much more powerful than calling it illegal,” says Kennedy, who directs the Center for Crime Prevention and Control at John Jay College. As part of the Symposium Series at the college, Kennedy, in a lecture “Gangs and Crime: Reduction Strategies,” discusses his groundbreaking work that brings gang members together with community members, social services representatives and law enforcement officials, to help bring “domestic tranquility” to high-crime communities.
Mercury — a complex environmental pollutant — is still on the rise. Indeed, it’s the only pollutant in the U.S. and around the globe for which advisories continue to increase, according to Anthony Carpi, professor of environmental toxicology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. When Mercury from natural or manmade causes, such coal-fired plants, leaves the atmosphere it “undergoes this hopscotching effect,” says Carpi, who recently led a team of researchers through the Amazon to study mercury mobility, “where a source in China could impact water resources in northern Canada.” The winner of the 2011 U.S. Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring, Capri’s talk focused on mercury levels in the Amazon, as part of the Serving Science Cafe lecture series.
With President Obama’s plan to close Guantànamo Bay detention camp blocked by Congress, the fate of 172 detainees still imprisoned remains in question, said Gita Gutierrez, an attorney for the defense. “Guantànamo really is a living death” for clients there, said Gutierrez of the Center for Constitutional Rights, at an event at John Jay College, “The Guantànamo’s Lawyers Panel.” The discussion was held in conjunction with the “Art of Justice: 9/11 Performance Project” at the Gerald W. Lynch Theater and moderated by the award-winning actress and social advocate, Kathleen Chalfant.
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CUNY’s class of 2011 celebrated their achievements at commencement events held across the City. Playwright Tony Kushner, attorney and activist Lynn Paltrow, essayist and The New Yorker staff writer Adam Gopnik, educator Geoffrey Canada and former New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein were among the distinguished speakers who challenged this year’s graduates to achieve and challenge wrong despite overwhelming resistance.
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A junior at Macaulay Honors College at Hunter and eyewitness to the massive demonstrations in Egypt, watched firsthand as social media platforms like Facebook were used to help mobilize the political protests. “People who normally would use the Internet as a distraction, now used it as a tool to organize,” says Alex Schindler, who was studying Arabic at the American University in Cairo during the weeks-long uprising. Schindler and Norhan Basuni, a senior at the CUNY Baccalaureate program at John Jay College, who was also in Cairo, shared their experiences at the CUNY Study Abroad Re-entry Conference at the Graduate Center. “The day after the government started messing with the Internet, Tahrir Square went from a few thousand protesters to 100,000 people,” says Schindler.
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In a White House ceremony earlier this year, Anthony Carpi, professor of Environmental Toxicology at John Jay College, was recognized with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring — the most prestigious honor in his field. “It was an absolute thrill to see the program that we had initiated become so effective and to be recognized on a national level,” says Carpi, who was nominated by the college and selected by the National Science Foundation for his work in creating PRISM. The undergraduate research initiative creates opportunities for forensic science students to engage in faculty-mentored research projects. It was also gratifying, Capri says, “to meet the president, who has been so involved with science and education.”
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For more than 70 years the court opinion in Frye v. United States set the standard for scientific evidence: It would be admissible in court if it was based on science generally accepted as reliable in the scientific community. But in 1993, a landmark decision by the Supreme Court in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, ruled the decision on scientific evidence would rest with the trial judge. In a lecture entitled, “Judge and Jury: Psychology in the Courtroom,” part of the Serving Science Cafe Series, Margaret Bull-Kovera argues that the Daubert ruling was too broad and judges are ill-suited gatekeepers of admissible scientific expert testimony. “Guess how many judges have training in science?” asks Bull-Kovera, professor of psychology at John Jay College of Criminial Justice. The answer: “Not many.”
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