ProfNet Experts Available on Patriot Act, FIFA Indictments, College Funding, More

Also in This Edition: Jobs for Writers, Media Industry Blog Posts

Jun 03, 2015, 12:35 ET from ProfNet

NEW YORK, June 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Below are experts from the ProfNet network that are available to discuss timely issues in your coverage area.

You can also submit a query to the hundreds of thousands of experts in our network – it's easy and free! Just fill out the query form to get started:


  • The Historic End to Section 215 of the Patriot Act
  • Renew Section 215 of the Patriot Act
  • Analysis of Hillary Clinton's Body Language and Micro-Expressions
  • FIFA Indictments Raise Jurisdiction Questions
  • Elonis v. U.S.: Use of Rap Lyrics as Evidence in Criminal Prosecutions
  • A Better Way to Pay for College
  • The New EPA Water Rule


  • Sports Producer – Seattle Times (WA)
  • Food, Farming and Science Writer – Genetic Literacy Project (DC)
  • Writer/Editor – (GA)


  • Upcoming Twitter Chat: The Keys to Better Corporate Content
  • Behind the Scenes of PR Trade Publications
  • PR Newswire Media Moves, June 1 Edition


The Historic End to Section 215 of the Patriot Act
David Fidler
Professor of Law
Indiana University Maurer School of Law
"The expiration of Section 215 of the Patriot Act is historic because it involved congressional refusal to re-authorize a surveillance program exposed through the violation of federal law by Edward Snowden. You don't often see American legislators coming down on the side of an alleged felon on matters of national security. That said, there is still work to do in shaping policies and laws for this post-bulk surveillance period. The end of Section 215 does not resolve continuing controversies about other surveillance programs, and it is unlikely to bring the U.S. any relief from the credibility damage it continues to suffer in other countries because of Snowden's revelations about NSA programs. The bulk telephone metadata program was a domestic program, and those overseas angry about the scale and intensity of U.S. foreign surveillance will not be mollified by the expiration of Section 215."
Fidler is a leading expert on the relationship between international law and cyberspace and on cybersecurity law and policy. He is the editor of the recently published "The Snowden Reader" (Indiana University Press), which examines Snowden's disclosures and their aftermath and is currently serving as a Visiting Fellow for Cybersecurity at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Contact: Brianne O'Donnell,

Renew Section 215 of the Patriot Act
Ryan Vogel
IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law
"Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act will expire May 31 at midnight unless Congress renews it. This portion of the act allows the government to collect certain types of information only where it is able to prove to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that there is reasonable, articulable suspicion that the records are relevant and related to terrorist activity. Making effective use of intelligence depends on obtaining a wide variety of sources, both big and small, over time to paint a more complete picture. Removing any one source or string of sources alters that picture and could present officials with critical deficiencies in information that may leave the country vulnerable to attack. Section 215 is critical to America's counterterrorism strategy and must be renewed."
Prior to joining IIT Chicago-Kent, Vogel served at the Pentagon as a senior policy adviser in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He has provided policy recommendations and strategic support to the president, the secretary of defense, and other high-ranking defense officials on issues related to the law of armed conflict, international criminal law, international courts, human rights, legislation and detention. He also worked for Senator Orrin Hatch on foreign affairs and national security issues.
Contact: Gwendolyn E. Osborne,

Analysis of Hillary Clinton's Body Language and Micro-Expressions
Carl Christman
Mentalist and Communication Professor
"What candidates say is not nearly as important as how they say it. Their body language and micro-expressions often tell us more about their true feelings than their actual speeches. In the few questions that Hillary Clinton answered for reporters, we can see subtle micro-expressions indicating contempt. She appears resigned to the fact that she must answer the questions, but is not excited to be dealing with the press."
Christman is a teacher, author, and mentalist. He plays with language, psychology and non-verbal communication to educate and entertain audiences. His bestselling book, "How to Read Minds and Influence People," explores communication from a radically different perspective. It unlocks the science of mindreading and helps people harness the power of persuasion. It offers readers the tools to relate to people and positively influence them.
ProfNet Profile:
Expert Contact:

FIFA Indictments Raise Jurisdiction Questions
William Birdthistle
IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law
"The indictments of high-ranking soccer officials in FIFA raise fascinating questions about the legality and prudence of America's ability to prosecute foreigners in international jurisdictions. America may be the only country on earth with both the power to bring these charges and the lack of concern about possible soccer-related retribution. The United Kingdom, France, and Germany might seem like more obvious countries to prosecute corruption in world soccer, but they would also be greatly concerned about losing tournaments or suffering other punishment if FIFA doesn't change its ways. The biggest open question now is whether the Department of Justice wants to -- and can -- go after Sepp Blatter."
Contact: Gwendolyn E. Osborne,

Elonis v. U.S.: Use of Rap Lyrics as Evidence in Criminal Prosecutions
Michael A. Olivas
William B. Bates Distinguished Chair of Law
University of Houston Law Center
"This Elonis v. U.S. decision will not resolve the tension between free speech and criminal law concerns about stalking and violent threats, but it does require that courts provide clearer instructions and better account for a greater 'mental state requirement.' Given the rise of social media, immediate access to large audiences, and the ease with which virtual postings can circle the world, cases such as this are sure to return, no matter the review by the lower courts on remand."
Olivas is the host of the public radio program "The Law of Rock and Roll" on New Mexico NPR station KANW, where he reviews legal developments in music and entertainment law. He is fluent in Spanish.
Contact: Carrie Criado,

A Better Way to Pay for College
Pamela Yellen
Financial Security Expert
Bank On Yourself
"The vast majority of Americans have been sorely misled, time and again, by so-called experts who preach widely accepted investing and savings methods that history has repeatedly proven simply do not deliver."
Is there a way to pay for college without spending your life savings, seeing your kids in horrendous debt, or going into debt yourself? Yellen's research led her to a little-known method that prudent, fiscally savvy Americans have used to secure their savings in every period of boom or bust for over 160 years. The New York Times best-selling author of "The Bank on Yourself Revolution: Fire Your Banker, Bypass Wall Street and Take Control of Your Own Financial Future," she is available to discuss the hidden drawbacks to 529 Plans, UGMAs and UTMAs, along with a little-known, but proven alternative.
ProfNet Profile:
Contact: Michelle Tennant,

The New EPA Water Rule
Adam Ward
Indiana University School of Public & Environmental Affairs
"The newly released Clean Water Rule clarifies the jurisdiction of the EPA in enforcing the Clean Water Act. The Act historically included navigable waters. However, several recent court decisions (e.g., Rapanos v. United States, 2006) have clarified that the physical, chemical, and biological integrity of these waters is dependent upon its connectivity to non-navigable waters. The rule stems from years of effort between the EPA and USACoE to define the scope of waters protected by the Act. Protected waters are now more clearly defined as including tributaries, adjacent wetlands, and several other types of waters with varying degrees of connectivity to navigable waters."
Ward is an Associated Professor at the Indiana University School of Public & Environmental Affairs.
Contact: Agata Porter,



Following are links to job listings for staff and freelance writers, editors and producers. You can view these and more job listings on our Job Board:

  • Sports Producer – Seattle Times (WA)
  • Food, Farming and Science Writer – Genetic Literacy Project (DC)
  • Writer/Editor – (GA)



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