Compliance Bricks and Mortar for January 27

These are some of the compliance related stories that recently caught my attention.

Trump Gets Subtle Pre-taliation Warning by Matt Kelly in Radical Compliance

On Wednesday the Office of Special Counsel issued a reminder that any policies about communications from government employees—like, say, telling them to stop talking about climate change; or to stop talking entirely—must include language that those employees are still free to raise alarms about misconduct. [More…]

How Independent Is The SEC And How Independent Should It Be? by Keith Paul Bishop in California Corporate and Securities Law

I have previously argued that the SEC and other independent agencies are the platypodes of the federal government.  If the SEC is truly an independent agency, perhaps it is time to reevaluate its status.

For more on the SEC’s status, or lack thereof, as an independent agency, see this Harvard Law Review note: The SEC is not an Independent Agency. [More…]

Will Yahoo’s Data Breach Reporting Become the Test Case for the SEC’s Cyber Disclosure Guidelines? b

Ever since the SEC released its cyber security disclosure guidelines in October 2011, commentators (including me) have been speculating whether the agency might try to nab a company whose disclosure practices the agency might use as sort of a test case on the guidelines’ requirements.  It now appears, at least based on media reports, the SEC is investigating Yahoo in what may yet become the long-anticipated test case. According to a front page January 23, 2017 Wall Street Journal article (here), the SEC has opened an investigation looking into Yahoo, Inc.’s disclosures of two massive data breaches the company reported last year. [more…]

No Coat, No Tie Leads to Rough Start for Accused Insider Trader by Christian Berthelsen for Bloomberg

He refused to bring his expected court attire when U.S. marshals arrested him. When he finally arrived in federal court in Manhattan late Monday, dressed in Under Armour workout gear, he tried to fire his lawyers. On Tuesday, he listened in silence as a prosecutor laid out the evidence against him — wearing a jacket, shirt, tie and pants that his mother brought him.

Thus began one of the more unusual insider-trading trials in recent memory in New York federal court. Afriyie, 29, attended Cornell University and worked as an analyst at Michael Dell’s MSD Capital LP. He’s accused of using confidential information gleaned from MSD’s computer system to score $1.5 million in illegal trading profits last year on Apollo Global Management LLC’s takeover of alarm-manufacturer ADT Security Services. [More…]

There have been just four documented cases of voter fraud in the 2016 election By Philip Bump in The Washington Post

The burden, as we’ve noted before, is on those who say rampant fraud is occurring. I can claim that there’s a burglary epidemic in my city that has gone unnoticed, but you would be justified in pointing out that no one is coming forward to say their houses were broken into. And if I point at a recent spike in sales of crowbars as evidence — voter registration fraud, in this analogy — you would be right to draw a distinction between that and my initial claim. [More…]