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essay mill ban

  • Education, training and skills
  • Further and higher education, skills and vocational training

Essay mills to be banned under plans to reform post-16 education

Unscrupulous ‘essay mills’ to be criminalised as part of the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill

essay mill ban

Services offering to provide students with essays for money, known as essay mills, are to be made illegal under plans announced by the government today (5 October).

The government intends to make it a criminal offence to provide, arrange or advertise these cheating services for financial gain to students taking a qualification at any institution in England providing post-16 education including universities.

The move is one of a number of measures being introduced to the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill , to transform the skills and training landscape and help level up opportunities across the country.

The law will also be changed to give equality to technical education in careers advice in schools, so all pupils understand the wide range of career routes and training available to them, such as apprenticeships, T Levels or traineeships, not just a traditional academic route.

Minister for Skills Alex Burghart said:

Essay mills are completely unethical and profit by undermining the hard work most students do. We are taking steps to ban these cheating services. We have also announced a new measure to make sure all young people receive broader careers guidance so everyone can get the advice that’s right for them.

Banning essay mills will help to safeguard the academic integrity and standards of post-16 and higher education in England and protect students from falling prey to the deceptive marketing techniques of contract cheating services.

This follows a number of steps already taken to tackle unscrupulous essay mills, including government working alongside the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, Universities UK and the National Union of Students to produce guidance for institutions on how to combat the threat of contract cheating and guidance for students to make them better aware of the consequences, sending a clear message that these services are not legitimate.

Additional measures being introduced to the Bill include enabling sixth form colleges with a religious faith designation to become a 16-19 Academy, boosting diversity in 16-19 academies and allowing more faith school providers to open 16-19 academies with a religious character.

The Bill, which will enter its report stage in the House of Lord on 12 October, underpins the government’s transformation of post-16 education and skills as set out in the Skills for Jobs White Paper . The reforms outlined in the Bill will help to create more routes into skilled employment in sectors the economy needs such as engineering, digital, clean energy and manufacturing, so more people can secure well-paid jobs in their local areas, levelling up the nation and supporting communities to thrive.

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Essay mills explained: What they are and why you should avoid them

Essay mills explained: What they are and why you should avoid them

Essays and term papers can be stressful, especially for international students who sometimes doubt their ability to research in depth and write thousands of words in English, all to a tight deadline.  

That’s where essay mills come in, exploiting the fears of students and offering to do the hard work for them in exchange for money. 

But here’s the spoiler alert - you should absolutely avoid essay mills. All the time.

They don’t work for you. They don’t even work for the essay writers themselves, and you should see that as a big warning sign. But more on that below.

What are essay mills? 

Essay mills are pretty straightforward: You pay a company to write your essay for you. The company in turn offloads the essay to a (usually freelance) writer. A couple days or weeks later, and you get your completed essay in return. 

It’s not like a proofreading service, where someone can check your spelling, grammar and citations for a fee (though even those are controversial in universities). No, essay mills offer to write you an entire essay from scratch. 

In other words, they allow students to commit academic fraud. In fact, they exploit the worries and stresses of students and entice them into cheating. They’re considered deeply unethical, and put students themselves at risk of severe punishment if caught. 

Another business model of this kind are essay banks. Here, students can buy essays that have already been written. But there’s a much higher risk of getting caught for plagiarism, since who knows how many hundreds or thousands of people have used that very same essay. 

Are essay mills legal or illegal?

The legality of essay mills depends on where you go to university, but the unethicality is clear no matter the location. Here’s a quick rundown of essay mills’ legal status in popular study abroad countries:  

Anti - essay mill legislation in the UK was passed in the House of Commons in February 2021, and will soon be made law. It’s not totally illegal yet, but it’s just a matter of time. 

The Republic of Ireland has also passed a number of bills to help tackle essay mills, while the practice is totally illegal in Australia and New Zealand. 

As for the USA and Canada, some US states have made them illegal, while Canada is under mounting pressure to follow suit.  

But the content and nuances of these laws changes from place to place. For example, in some US states it’s illegal for the student to use them, whereas the bills in Ireland, the UK, New Zealand and Australia are an attempt to criminalise essay mill companies themselves.

However, when we talk about legality, we’re of course talking about the law. But just because you might not cause a criminal offense by using essay mills, it’s still academic fraud and/or plagiarism. And getting caught for that can come with some dire consequences. 

Long story short, you really shouldn’t use them, regardless of their legality. 

Why you should avoid essay mills

1. if it doesn’t make dollars, it doesn’t make sense.

The writer's pay is awful. I mean really bad. Trust me -- I write for a living, and I’ve seen hundreds of advertisements for essay mill jobs. Every time I see one I can’t believe how little money the writers make for so much time and effort.  

But does this affect you? Totally! Would you care about doing great work if, a) the money was terrible, and b) it wouldn’t take you anywhere in your career? I know I wouldn’t...

Let’s talk about cost and time to put this into some perspective. The price range of essay mills varies wildly depending on the writers they employ. You can pay anywhere between £10-£35 per page. Roll this out over a 10 page essay, and it could be anywhere between £100 and £350 for the final product. But you can also come across offers for much, much less money than this.

While that higher end of £350 might seem like a lot of money, trust me -- it’s really nothing for the amount of research, writing, citations, editing and proofreading required. 

If £100 per day is considered a “just fine but not great” sum of money in the UK, a writer would have to do all the work on your essay in 2.5 days just to make it worthwhile. And they’d have to do it without the subject knowledge that you have. 

2. The writers aren’t subject experts

Think about it: if they were a subject expert, would they really be working for a shady company that facilitates cheating? Not a chance. 

The main point is that these writers are badly underpaid and they’re not experts, therefore they’re putting very little effort or expertise into your essay. They just want to do it as quickly as possible before moving onto the next one. 

3. There’s no guarantee of a good grade

None. Since the writers are underpaid, lack expertise and rush their work, it’s a recipe for a bad final product. Multiple studies have shown that essay mills do mediocre work at best. 

The essay you pay hundreds of pounds for might get you a pass grade, but you could do much better yourself. 

4. The punishment is harsh

Every university has severe laws on plagiarism and academic fraud, which is the exact result of using an essay mill. At its most lenient, a student caught breaking rules on plagiarism will receive no grade at all for the work, but at worst they can be suspended or even expelled from your university.  

But the perfect “crime” goes unnoticed, right? Well, it’s unlikely in this case. 

5. Essay mills and detection services

Most universities use pretty innovative plagiarism detection software these days, which can pick up on any hint of fraudulent work. Thus, the risk of getting caught is very high. And by the time a student does get caught, they’ve already lost their hard earned cash to the essay mill company. 

6. Essay mills don’t care about you

The company doesn’t care about you, and nor does the writer. That’s a pretty bad starting point for doing business! Once they’ve got their money and done their sub-standard work, they can move on to exploiting someone else’s fears. 

7. There’s a risk of scams 

Most essay mill sites demand a deposit of the final amount, or sometimes the entire fee up front. Either way, you won’t see your essay until you’ve paid them something. This makes it a prime opportunity for scam artists to take your money without giving anything in return. 

You see, it’s extremely easy for scam artists to launch a website advertising essays for sale, then just shut the operation down once they’ve made some quick cash without doing any work. 

Speaking of scams, here’s an article on some other international student scams to watch out for !

8. There’s a risk of bribery too

And then there’s the risk of bribery. Even if a student thinks they’re anonymous while dealing with essay mills, they’re not. There’s an email address, bank account name, even their IP address to worry about. 

So if the company or the writer decides that they want to blackmail or bribe a student by threatening to unveil the truth, they can. And they’ll always be able to.  

A final word on essay mills: Honest work is the best work

It sounds old fashioned, but there’s no replacement for smart, hard, honest work. Any student can write a great term paper or essay assignment on their own. All it takes is time, research, and some focus. 

Even if you’re under pressure or lack some confidence in your English ability, there are so many better ways to deal with it. Use a study abroad education counsellor , speak to your teachers and your friends. They’ll be able to point you in the right direction and help make that essay easier. 

As for essay mills? Forget about them. They’re exploitative, they serve no good purpose, and you can do a better job yourself!

So you’re thinking about studying abroad? Great! Check out the range of amazing courses available through Edvoy. Click here to get started or click the button below!

author avatar

Sean is a writer, copywriter & editor from Ireland.

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Essay mills are now illegal - Skills Minister calls on internet service platforms to crack down on advertising

essay mill ban

Skills Minister Alex Burghart has written to internet service platforms to make sure they know that essay mills - which facilitate cheating by helping academic writing, often by appearing to be legitimate - have been made illegal and to call on their support in making sure they can no longer advertise online. Here you can read that letter.

The Skills and Post-16 Education Bill has become law. Through this act, the Government has legislated for landmark reforms that will transform post-16 education and skills, including criminalising essay mills.

As you may know, Essay Mills are online platforms that facilitate contract cheating. Contract cheating happens when a third party completes work for a student which is passed off by the student as their own work. Many essay mill companies use marketing techniques which indicate they are offering ‘legitimate’ academic writing support for students. Reports also indicate that some essay mills seek to blackmail students who use these services. It is right that we have legislated against these insidious crimes.

It is now a criminal offence to provide or arrange for another person to provide contract cheating services for financial gain to students taking a qualification at a post-16 institution or sixth form in England, enrolled at a higher education provider in England and any other person over compulsory school age who has been entered for a regulated qualification at a place in England.

Similarly, it is now an offence for a person to make arrangements for an advertisement in which that person offers, or is described as being available or competent, to provide or arrange for another person to provide a cheating service. Importantly, the offence centres around the act of advertising to students, and for the offence to be committed it does not need to be seen by its target demographic.

There is now a strengthened, collaborative effort across the sector to tackle essay mills and we want you to be part of this campaign. Platforms such as yourself play an integral role in helping us to make the most effective use of the legislation; marketing and advertising are the lifeblood of any successful industry. We are aware that high numbers of essay mills have used your platform to promote their services to students in the past, paying for advertising to promote their companies. Essay mills are now illegal entities, and you should not carry their advertising. It is no longer a moral question; you will be facilitating an illegal activity. I ask you to do everything in your power to prevent the advertising these unscrupulous practices.

Removing essay mill access to online marketing will seriously hamper their efforts to target vulnerable students and I implore you to do so following the introduction of this legislation. We must now all work together to capitalise on it.

I hope that in writing to you today I have underlined the urgency of this issue and the important role that companies like yours play in stamping out essay mills once and for all and am sure I can be confident in your support.

Thank you for your support with this important matter.

Tags: cheating , essay mills , internet service platforms

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I run an essay-writing company for students – this is how it works

There have been fresh calls to make so-called essay mills illegal – but what are the actually like.

More than 40 university chiefs have called on the Education Secretary to ban so-called essay mills (Photo: Chris Radburn/PA)

More than 40 university chiefs have called on the Education Secretary to ban so-called “essay mills” amid fears they are undermining the integrity of university courses.

In a letter to Damian Hinds , those backing the call urged him to tackle those who provide the services, rather than the students that use them.

Essay-writing services have long been accused of facilitating cheating – but what is it actually like to work for one of them?

One such company providing students with model answers for a fee is UK Essays, an essay-writing service owned by the company All Answers.

Ten-day turnaround

Chief operations officer Daniel Dennehy spoke to i about what it’s like to run such an operation, which he says is used by a couple of thousand students every year.

The essays themselves, he explained, are written by a team of freelance researchers.

At any one time they have a few hundred researchers working on live projects, though their wider database of potential writers comprises more than a thousand.

Jobs are passed on to researchers with the relevant knowledge and experience, with the typical turnaround for an essay about 10 days.

He argues some students will go to a private tutor or family member when they don’t understand a topic and that using a model answer is just another way of seeking help.

And he said that those writing the essays also had faith in the service. “Our researchers believe in it too, that the work they are providing is a model answer, that they are helping the students. They will sit down and explain it.”

University bosses want Education Secretary Damian Hinds, pictured, to ban essay-writing services. (Photo: Reuters/Hannah McKay)

According to Mr Dennehy, there are two types of company in the essay-writing industry. “Those that don’t promote cheating and try to stop it like ourselves and those who promote cheating and couldn’t care less about academic integrity.”

He said the latter tended to be overseas companies or lone-operators, adding UK Essays sets out clear guidelines in their ‘fair use’ policy as to how their answers should be used.

These state that students should not submit the model answer as their own work and instead use it as a “basis for your own further research” to create an entirely original work.

Mr Dennehy told i they regularly rejected students should they give the impression they simply want to hand in the essay as it is.

‘We turn people away on a daily basis’

“If they don’t understand and say ‘I just need to hand it in’ then we turn them away. We turn people away on a daily basis,” he said

But he admits there is little they can do if a student who does receive an essay chooses to go against their advice.

It is a problem which has already prompted a number of other countries, such as New Zealand, Ireland and Australia, to make essay mills illegal.

Mr Dennehy said that the best way to deal with issues arising from essay-writing services would be to “regulate” the industry, adding he was “more than happy” to work with universities and the government to address their concerns.

He claimed that making students declare they have used a service would allow universities to use plagiarism-detection technology to check final essays against model answers purchased.

‘This is about academic integrity’

Last year academics at Swansea University Medical School called on the government to impose fines on firms providing custom-written essays following a study that looked at 21 such companies.

Michael Draper, associate professor at Swansea’s College of Law and Criminology and co-author of the research, said any fine would need to be large enough to hurt the company’s bank balance.

“It can’t be something that could be looked at as an added overhead, it must be big enough to hit their profits,” he said.

“But the challenge is also about changing students’ behaviour, this is about academic integrity and ensuring students learn.”

The signatories of this week’s letter, who include university vice chancellors, the chief executive of the Russell Group of universities and the former head of Ucas . also consider the essay mills cheating.

They state: “This form of cheating is particularly hard to detect and, whilst universities must continue to do their part, it is clear to us the time has come for the Government to give legislative backing to the efforts to shut down these operations.

“Legislation will not be a magic bullet; it is, however, a vital part of the broader package of measures.”

Universities minister Sam Gyimah said work was ongoing to tackle the problem by other means, saying that essay-writing services were “normalising and enabling cheating”.

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UK Government ban on Essay Mills

essay mill ban

As a Liverpool student you are expected to uphold the highest level of academic integrity by demonstrating authentic and ethical behaviour and conduct in all of your academic work.

Using Essay Mills is a type of academic misconduct, and earlier this this year, the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill became law . Through this act, the Government has passed changes that will transform higher education, including criminalising Essay Mills.

It is now a criminal offence to:

  • provide, or arrange for another person to provide, contract cheating services to students taking a qualification at a University or Higher Education Institution in England. A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine.
  • to advertise any service or individual that is offering a cheating service. A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction to a fine.

What are Essay Mills?

Essay Mills are online platforms that facilitate contract cheating. Contract cheating happens when someone else completes work for a student (in full or in part) which is passed off by the student as their own work.

What does the ban mean for students?

Following the latest legislation, Essay Mills are now illegal and you should not engage with or respond to their advertising.

In line with our Academic Integrity policy, students should not use any material provided as a result of an Essay Mills service in completing all or part of the assignment. Please be aware that while it is not a criminal offense to make use of a contract cheating service, this is deemed as ‘severe academic misconduct’ and could lead to disciplinary action by the University.

What should I do if targeted by Essay Mills?

Essay Mills will often disguise themselves as ‘proofreading’, ‘tutorial’ and ‘academic support’ services. They may target you via email, text, pop-up and social media advertising.

If you receive this type of marketing you should:

  • Delete it immediately
  • Do not use click though links
  • Do not offer any personal information or contact details

If you need any academic or assessment support, please also remember that you can contact your School Office . You can find a range of online resources in the Know How area on Canvas and KnowHow also offer in person workshops to support the development of academic skills.  As a starters, all students should complete this KnowHow tutorial to find out more about what academic integrity is and why it is so important.

The  Liaison Librarian for your subject  can offer specialist subject support when researching for your assignments. You can  book an online appointment with a Liaison Librarian online .

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UK clamps down on academic fraud with ‘essay mills’ ban

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International Edition

Essay cheat companies face university ban

  • Published 9 October 2017

Hands on keyboard

The universities watchdog has announced a clampdown on "essay mills" which help students cheat to gain their degrees.

An investigation last year by the Quality Assurance Agency found hundreds of companies were producing work for students to pass off as their own.

The companies charge from as little as £15 to almost £7,000 for a PhD dissertation, the QAA found.

Universities minister Jo Johnson says new guidelines will help prevent "unacceptable and pernicious" cheating.

He asked the QAA to produce the guidelines, which urge universities to

  • ban essay mills from advertising on campus and block their websites
  • use software to spot changes in students' personal writing styles
  • make clear that cheats could miss out on their qualifications
  • help struggling students with their writing and study skills
  • include students on academic policy and misconduct panels
  • improve support for whistleblowers

Mr Johnson said this form of cheating "not only undermines standards in our world-class universities, but devalues the hard-earned qualifications of those who don't cheat and can even, when it leads to graduates practising with inadequate professional skills, endanger the lives of others".

And QAA chief executive Douglas Blackstock said it was important that students were not "duped by these unscrupulous essay companies".

"Paying someone else to write essays is wrong and could damage their career," he said.

'Overwhelming' pressure

Last year there were posters advertising essay writing services at London Underground stations near universities, and another company was distributing flyers to students on the Queen Mary University of London campus.

The National Union of Students is launching its own campaign against essay cheats.

Amatey Doku, NUS vice-president for higher education, said some students were turning to essay mills because the pressure to get the highest grades when they faced debts of £50,000 was often "overwhelming".

He said some were having to spend so much time earning money to pay for their studies that time for academic work was squeezed.

"Many websites play on the vulnerabilities and anxieties of students, particularly homing in on students' fears that their academic English and their referencing may not be good enough.

"Making money by exploiting these anxieties is disgusting."

Universities UK, which represents vice-chancellors, helped produce the guidance and welcomed its publication.

A spokesman said universities were increasingly engaging with students "from day one" to underline the risks of cheating and to support struggling students.

"Universities have severe penalties for students found to be submitting work that is not their own," he said.

"Such academic misconduct is a breach of an institution's disciplinary regulations and can result in students, in serious cases, being expelled from the university."

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Watchdog to pursue essay-cheat websites

  • Published 21 February 2017

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The man who helps students to cheat

  • Published 12 May 2016

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Jo Johnson

Plan to crack down on websites selling essays to students announced

Universities minister Jo Johnson has asked institutions and students for guidance to combat plagiarism via so-called essay mills

Ministers concerned about the growing scale of cheating at university have announced a crackdown on so-called “essay mill” websites that provide written-to-order papers for students to submit as part of their degrees.

Jo Johnson, the universities minister, has asked student bodies and institutions for guidance to help combat “ contract plagiarism ”, where tens of thousands of students are believed to be buying essays for hundreds of pounds a time.

A report by the independent university regulator last summer found that essay writing websites often advertise their services to students for a fee and many promote “plagiarism-free guarantees” or essays tested against plagiarism detection software.

According to the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), there are now more than 100 essay mill websites in operation. The amount they charge is dependent on the complexity of the essay and tightness of deadline, ranging from several hundred pounds for a single essay to £6,750 for a PhD dissertation.

In Britain it is left to individual institutions to develop their own plagiarism policies. But in its research, the QAA recommended new laws to make it illegal to help students “commit acts of academic dishonesty for financial gain”, punishable with fines of up to £5,000. It suggested the UK look to New Zealand, where essay mills have been fined and their assets have been frozen.

The Guardian was on Monday able to access several websites that offered essays on most if not all degree subjects. Most sites required a name, email address and debit card details to purchase an essay, with no restriction on the area of study being requested.

On one site,, students were required to enter the requested attainment level for the essay, the desired length and deadline as well as a description of the assignment. Most sites also asked the desired format of the essay, including line spaces and footnote style. The prices quoted to the Guardian varied from £36 for a two-page essay to £154 for 1,500 words.

The site also carried a message saying use of the essay writing service did not constitute cheating.

How to buy an essay....

The new guidance, expected to be available for the beginning of the 2017-18 teaching year, is to include tough penalties for those who use the websites and offer more information on the potential impact on students’ future careers.

Calling on universities to do more to crack down on contract plagiarism, Johnson said: “This form of cheating is unacceptable and every university should have strong policies and sanctions in place to detect and deal with it.”

Thomas Lancaster, an associate dean at Staffordshire University and one of the UK’s leading experts on essay cheating, said that while universities had anti-plagiarism software to detect copying of academic texts, they could not prevent the process of contract cheating, where students employ ghostwriters to complete new assignments.

“We think this is a substantial problem affecting universities, that students can go and pay other people to do their assignments for them,” he said.

Working in collaboration with Prof Robert Clarke of Birmingham City University, Lancaster identified at least 30,000 examples of students purchasing essays online.

“We’ve been looking at sites where students publicly post their request, but a lot of sites are hidden so that number is just a tiny proportion of all the work,” he said. “We’re confident there’s tens of millions of pounds of business going through essay mills sites every year. It’s big business.

“Advertising appears around university campuses, we observed people giving out business cards in car parks, people putting up flyers on lampposts, even sometimes getting their adverts into secure parts of university buildings.”

The sites are based all over the world, Lancaster said, and quite often the same company operates under a number of domains. “We can put legislation in place to prevent sites from operating from within the UK but they could just move overseas,” he said, adding that the focus could be placed on tackling UK-based advertising of the services on campuses, search engines and social media.

The QAA has been tasked with taking action against the online advertising of the services and to work with international agencies to tackle the problem.

Meanwhile, an amendment has been proposed by Lord Storey, co-chair of the committee on education, families and young people, to the higher education and research bill that would make it an offence to provide or advertise cheating services.

“It’s not illegal for sites to offer to write model essays, it’s not illegal for somebody to buy an essay, but of course if they buy an essay, hand it in, and get a degree they don’t deserve and use that degree to get a job, then there is some kind of fraudulent transaction going on there,” Lancaster said. “I do think universities should do more to tackle essay mills and work with students but universities also need support from the government and a legal framework, it’s a two-way street.”

The government’s move also comes a month after researchers at Swansea University recommended the state bring in tougher new regulations to impose fines on essay mills after concluding the 2006 Fraud Act was unlikely to be effective in tackling the issue, largely due to disclaimers and caveats used by the companies.

“We would hope that a legal approach would at least act as a deterrent to would-be users of these services and serve as a lever to change behaviour,” Michael Draper and Philip Newton, co-authors of the report, wrote in a blogpost .

“However, legal changes alone are not the answer to this problem. We need to ensure that assessments are rigorous and less open to completion by a third party ... we need to make sure it is preferable for students to ‘do the right thing’.”

Ian Kimber, QAA’s director of universities, quality enhancement and standards, said: “Essay mills are a major challenge for universities and colleges because, unlike other forms of cheating, the practice is notoriously difficult to detect.”

Dame Julia Goodfellow, president of Universities UK, emphasised that submitting work written by someone else constituted cheating, and said she would continue to work with QAA and the National Union of Students to update sector guidance in the area.

“Universities have severe penalties for students found to be submitting work that is not their own,” Goodfellow added. “Such academic misconduct is a breach of an institution’s disciplinary regulations and can result in students, in serious cases, being expelled from the university.”

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Most viewed.

PayPal Exterior Shot

PayPal’s Essay Mill Ban Has Had No Impact

Six weeks later... nothing has changed..

essay mill ban

Update: I’ve added the statement from PayPal at the footer of the article.

On April 3rd, PayPal announced that it would no longer serve essay mill firms . The services, which offer to write “plagiarism free” essays on behalf of students for a fee, have long been the bane of educators at all levels.

Though there was skepticism about the move, especially since it came on the heels of the UK Education Secretary Damian Hinds calling on PayPal to take action , many (myself included) saw it as a great opportunity to strike a blow against such sites since nearly all used PayPal to process transactions.

At the time, PayPal had warned that the process could take “several weeks” as the processor was going to reach out to essay mills and let them know they should “move their business elsewhere.”

However, six weeks later, that doesn’t appear to have happened. In a check of the top essay mill websites on a Google Search, all are still listing PayPal as their payment processor and, when I was able to test, the sites had functioning PayPal buttons.

Whether this is because the ban is happening slower than anticipated, the sites were able to set up new accounts or there has been an unannounced change in policy is unclear. I reached out to PayPal for comment on this story but, after 24 hours, they have not responded. I will update this story when and if they reply.

The result of this is very simple: At the very least, PayPal’s blockade of essay mills is taking longer than expected. At the worst, may not be effective at all.

PayPal Buttons Everywhere

essay mill ban

When it comes to payment processors for essay mills, PayPal is the runaway favorite.

Where Stripe , Square , 2Checkout and most other payment processors already have policies against essay mills (dubbing them “high-risk businesses”), PayPal has generally welcomed them.

The announcement in April caused a twinge of optimism among those combatting essay mills. Losing PayPal, though not necessarily a death blow, would be a significant loss for essay mills that rely on stable, low-cost transactions to stay in business.

essay mill ban

However, in testing ten of the top essay mill web sites found in a Google query, all were still using PayPal as of this morning.

Though I wasn’t able to test all of the carts due to privacy concerns, of the five I could test all of the PayPal buttons were functioning. I could not find a single instance of a site that had dropped PayPal.

Instead, what I did note was that more and more providers were adding backup payment processors. Only one of the sites, on this viewing, had PayPal as their exclusive processor.

essay mill ban

What this means is that the cautious optimism that followed PayPal’s announcement needs to, at the very least, be tapered a bit.

Whether PayPal is simply taking longer than expected or is struggling to execute its new policy is impossible to say. But even if they do turn things around and are successful, the warning has given many essay mills ample time to find a new partner.

This just further shows why the move would have been much more effective with strong and decisive action. By waiting many weeks and they threw a lifeline to essay mills and, even worse, they did it right as finals were ramping up.

Lessons From Piracy – Follow the Money

essay mill ban

In many respects, essay mill sites have a lot in common with pirate websites. Even though the service essay mills provide may not be outright illegal, at least not in most countries, if students use them as advertise they are violating their school’s honor code.

Yet, like pirate sites, they serve to fill a black market demand.

Over the past few decades, countless approaches have been tried to reduce piracy and there have been varying degrees of effectiveness with them.

However, when it comes to shuttering the sites themselves, two processes have been effective: Legal action and following the money.

Legal action, including both civil and criminal action, have shuttered many sites. Just last week Ukrainian authorities shuttered one poplar group of websites through direct criminal action .

However, since essay mills aren’t illegal, at least in their host countries, that approach isn’t very viable. The other approach, following the money, is.

With pirate sites it’s been effective even when legal maneuvers haven’t worked. For example, in 2011 two of the largest porn BitTorrent trackers went down simply because they couldn’t make the investment in upkeep . Many other pirate sites have likely done the same but they rarely make the news since there are almost never press releases about them.

This is also an approach that essay mills are vulnerable to. Though pirate sites can rely on large numbers visitors contributing a small amount each, either through advertising or donations, essay mills need a relatively small number of customers to pay larger amounts.

Such a shift can make following the money very powerful but only if payment processors cooperate. Without a ban from Mastercard and Visa, there will likely always be processors willing to take essay mill money. However, eliminating PayPal does take away one of the most common and easiest processors for such sites.

Sadly though, PayPal’s ban has not had any discernible impact yet. Hopefully that will change and get the ball truly rolling in this battle.

Bottom Line

When it comes to essay mill services, their money is probably their biggest weakness. If credit card transactions are blocked, such sites can’t survive.

Though PayPal’s announcement last month was a cause for celebration, it hasn’t borne any fruit yet. However, even if it does it’s going to be crucial for academics to keep on top of it, reporting sites that still use PayPal and restricting the flow of dollars.

On the anti-piracy side, rightsholders have organizations that do that right now. Academics may want to look at doing the same.

That said, it’s also going to be important to place pressure on Visa and Mastercard. Until the credit card companies themselves consider essay mills off limits, there will always be new partners willing to work with them.

Still, it’d be nice if PayPal weren’t one of them…

After this article was published PayPal got back with me and said that the site’s I listed in my email to them are in the “review process” and that they are working with businesses associated with essay writing services. I’ve pasted their full statement below:

PayPal is working with the associated businesses to ensure our platform is not used to facilitate deceptive and fraudulent practices in education. PayPal will continue to diligently review and take appropriate action on accounts found to facilitate cheating that undermines academic integrity.

Want to Reuse or Republish this Content?

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Internet firms told to remove adverts as England bans essay mills

‘essay mills are now illegal entities, and you should not carry their advertising,’ says minister’s letter to sector.

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Ostersund, Sweden - August 14, 2011 Close up of Google's Advertising Program's website on a computer screen.

The Westminster government has written to internet search providers asking them to remove advertising for essay mills after legislation making contract cheating illegal became law.

With the Skills and Post-16 Education Act receiving royal assent, it is now illegal in England to  offer to complete assignments or examinations for financial gain to students enrolled at a higher education provider, or to make arrangements to advertise such services.

In a letter published as the legislation passed its final hurdle , skills minister Alex Burghart tells internet service providers that “high numbers” of essay mills advertised online, with many using marketing “which indicate they are offering ‘legitimate’ academic writing support for students”.

Removing essay mill access to online advertising would “seriously hamper their efforts to target vulnerable students”, the minister writes.

“Essay mills are now illegal entities, and you should not carry their advertising. It is no longer a moral question; you will be facilitating an illegal activity. I ask you to do everything in your power to prevent the advertising of these unscrupulous practices,” the letter says.

The passing of the legislation brings England into line with other sectors that have outlawed contract cheating , including Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and several US states.

Experts have indicated that they do not expect significant numbers of prosecutions under the new law , since many essay mills are based overseas and it can be hard to trace their operators. In Australia, where legislation has been in place since 2020, there has been only  one court injunction against a foreign essay mill  to date.

However, academics have suggested that the legislation’s real role will be in sending a clear message that paying for help with assignments is illegal, helping to change student attitudes.

There have been calls for the UK’s devolved nations to follow suit with similar legislation against contract cheating .

Tom Yates, director of corporate affairs at the Quality Assurance Agency, which has campaigned for the UK to take action to protect academic standards, said that the new law was “an important step forward in the campaign against essay mills”.

“It will mean that universities and colleges can make clear to their students that using an essay mill means engaging with a criminal entity. QAA will continue to work closely with higher education and other institutions and with the Department for Education to address the threat posed by these unscrupulous businesses,” Mr Yates said.

“We will also continue our discussions with the other UK governments – we hope to see a similar ban applied in the other UK nations in due course. Criminalisation of essay mills is just one part of a broader sector-wide effort to protect and promote the academic integrity of UK higher education, and this work becomes ever more important as technology grows more sophisticated .”

The passing of the Skills and Post-16 Education Act also clears the way for the creation of a  lifelong loan entitlement , which would allow adults to borrow funding for the equivalent of four years of post-18 education over their lifetime. Under the plans – currently being consulted on – people could use the money to study a single module or build up a full degree over time.

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Guest Essay

The Story of Our Universe May Be Starting to Unravel

essay mill ban

By Adam Frank and Marcelo Gleiser

Dr. Frank is an astrophysicist at the University of Rochester. Dr. Gleiser is a theoretical physicist at Dartmouth College.

Not long after the James Webb Space Telescope began beaming back from outer space its stunning images of planets and nebulae last year, astronomers, though dazzled, had to admit that something was amiss. Eight months later, based in part on what the telescope has revealed, it’s beginning to look as if we may need to rethink key features of the origin and development of the universe.

Launched at the end of 2021 as a joint project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency, the Webb, a tool with unmatched powers of observation, is on an exciting mission to look back in time, in effect, at the first stars and galaxies. But one of the Webb’s first major findings was exciting in an uncomfortable sense: It discovered the existence of fully formed galaxies far earlier than should have been possible according to the so-called standard model of cosmology.

According to the standard model, which is the basis for essentially all research in the field, there is a fixed and precise sequence of events that followed the Big Bang: First, the force of gravity pulled together denser regions in the cooling cosmic gas, which grew to become stars and black holes; then, the force of gravity pulled together the stars into galaxies.

The Webb data, though, revealed that some very large galaxies formed really fast, in too short a time, at least according to the standard model. This was no minor discrepancy. The finding is akin to parents and their children appearing in a story when the grandparents are still children themselves.

It was not, unfortunately, an isolated incident. There have been other recent occasions in which the evidence behind science’s basic understanding of the universe has been found to be alarmingly inconsistent.

Take the matter of how fast the universe is expanding. This is a foundational fact in cosmological science — the so-called Hubble constant — yet scientists have not been able to settle on a number. There are two main ways to calculate it: One involves measurements of the early universe (such as the sort that the Webb is providing); the other involves measurements of nearby stars in the modern universe. Despite decades of effort, these two methods continue to yield different answers.

At first, scientists expected this discrepancy to resolve as the data got better. But the problem has stubbornly persisted even as the data have gotten far more precise. And now new data from the Webb have exacerbated the problem. This trend suggests a flaw in the model, not in the data.

Two serious issues with the standard model of cosmology would be concerning enough. But the model has already been patched up numerous times over the past half century to better conform with the best available data — alterations that may well be necessary and correct, but which, in light of the problems we are now confronting, could strike a skeptic as a bit too convenient.

Physicists and astronomers are starting to get the sense that something may be really wrong. It’s not just that some of us believe we might have to rethink the standard model of cosmology; we might also have to change the way we think about some of the most basic features of our universe — a conceptual revolution that would have implications far beyond the world of science.

A potent mix of hard-won data and rarefied abstract mathematical physics, the standard model of cosmology is rightfully understood as a triumph of human ingenuity. It has its origins in Edwin Hubble’s discovery in the 1920s that the universe was expanding — the first piece of evidence for the Big Bang. Then, in 1964, radio astronomers discovered the so-called Cosmic Microwave Background , the “fossil” radiation reaching us from shortly after the universe began expanding. That finding told us that the early universe was a hot, dense soup of subatomic particles that has been continually cooling and becoming less dense ever since.

Over the past 60 years, cosmology has become ever more precise in its ability to account for the best available data about the universe. But along the way, to gain such a high degree of precision, astrophysicists have had to postulate the existence of components of the universe for which we have no direct evidence. The standard model today holds that “normal” matter — the stuff that makes up people and planets and everything else we can see — constitutes only about 4 percent of the universe. The rest is invisible stuff called dark matter and dark energy (roughly 27 percent and 68 percent).

Cosmic inflation is an example of yet another exotic adjustment made to the standard model. Devised in 1981 to resolve paradoxes arising from an older version of the Big Bang, the theory holds that the early universe expanded exponentially fast for a fraction of a second after the Big Bang. This theory solves certain problems but creates others. Notably, according to most versions of the theory, rather than there being one universe, ours is just one universe in a multiverse — an infinite number of universes, the others of which may be forever unobservable to us not just in practice but also in principle.

There is nothing inherently fishy about these features of the standard model. Scientists often discover good indirect evidence for things that we cannot see, such as the hyperdense singularities inside a black hole. But in the wake of the Webb’s confounding data about galaxy formation, and the worsening problem with the Hubble constant, you can’t be blamed for starting to wonder if the model is out of joint.

A familiar narrative about how science works is often trotted out at this point to assuage anxieties. It goes like this: Researchers think they have a successful theory, but new data show it is flawed. Courageously rolling up their sleeves, the scientists go back to their blackboards and come up with new ideas that allow them to improve their theory by better matching the evidence.

It’s a story of both humility and triumph, and we scientists love to tell it. And it may be what happens in this case, too. Perhaps the solution to the problems the Webb is forcing us to confront will require only that cosmologists come up with a new “dark” something or other that will allow our picture of the universe to continue to match the best cosmological data.

There is, however, another possibility. We may be at a point where we need a radical departure from the standard model, one that may even require us to change how we think of the elemental components of the universe, possibly even the nature of space and time.

Cosmology is not like other sciences. It’s not like studying mice in a maze or watching chemicals boil in a beaker in a lab. The universe is everything there is; there’s only one and we can’t look at it from the outside. You can’t put it in a box on a table and run controlled experiments on it. Because it is all-encompassing, cosmology forces scientists to tackle questions about the very environment in which science operates: the nature of time, the nature of space, the nature of lawlike regularity, the role of the observers doing the observations.

These rarefied issues don’t come up in most “regular” science (though one encounters similarly shadowy issues in the science of consciousness and in quantum physics). Working so close to the boundary between science and philosophy, cosmologists are continually haunted by the ghosts of basic assumptions hiding unseen in the tools we use — such as the assumption that scientific laws don’t change over time.

But that’s precisely the sort of assumption we might have to start questioning in order to figure out what’s wrong with the standard model. One possibility, raised by the physicist Lee Smolin and the philosopher Roberto Mangabeira Unger, is that the laws of physics can evolve and change over time. Different laws might even compete for effectiveness. An even more radical possibility, discussed by the physicist John Wheeler, is that every act of observation influences the future and even the past history of the universe. (Dr. Wheeler, working to understand the paradoxes of quantum mechanics, conceived of a “ participatory universe ” in which every act of observation was in some sense a new act of creation.)

It is not obvious, to say the least, how such revolutionary reconsiderations of our science might help us better understand the cosmological data that is flummoxing us. (Part of the difficulty is that the data themselves are shaped by the theoretical assumptions of those who collect them.) It would necessarily be a leap of faith to step back and rethink such fundamentals about our science.

But a revolution may end up being the best path to progress. That has certainly been the case in the past with scientific breakthroughs like Copernicus’s heliocentrism, Darwin’s theory of evolution and Einstein’s relativity. All three of those theories also ended up having enormous cultural influence — threatening our sense of our special place in the cosmos, challenging our intuition that we were fundamentally different than other animals, upending our faith in common sense ideas about the flow of time. Any scientific revolution of the sort we’re imagining would presumably have comparable reverberations in our understanding of ourselves.

The philosopher Robert Crease has written that philosophy is what’s required when doing more science may not answer a scientific question. It’s not clear yet if that’s what’s needed to overcome the crisis in cosmology. But if more tweaks and adjustments don’t do the trick, we may need not just a new story of the universe but also a new way to tell stories about it.

Adam Frank ( @AdamFrank4 ) is a professor of astrophysics at the University of Rochester and the author of the forthcoming book “The Little Book of Aliens.” Marcelo Gleiser ( @MGleiser ) is a professor of physics and astronomy at Dartmouth College and the author of “The Dawn of a Mindful Universe: A Manifesto for Humanity’s Future.”

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips . And here’s our email: [email protected] .

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook , Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram .

Air Booking

Tham quan Moscow metro – chiêm ngưỡng những kiệt tác kiến trúc

Nếu có cơ hội du lịch Nga, du khách không thể không du ngoạn trong hệ thống tàu điện ngầm hiện đại và nổi tiếng nhất thế giới – Moscow Metro. Chỉ cần đặt chân đến Moscow Metro, du khách sẽ có cảm giác như đang lạc vào mê cung dưới lòng đất và có cơ hội thỏa sức chiêm ngưỡng những công trình kiến trúc và nghệ thuật vô cùng đặc sắc nơi đây.

Moscow Metro – hệ thống tàu điện ngầm khổng lồ

Moscow Metro được mệnh danh là thành phố ngầm khổng lồ ở Nga. Với 12 tuyến đường, 177 nhà ga, 276 km, trong những ngày làm việc, thủ đô ngầm dưới đất Moscow chuyên chở từ 8.5 đến 9 triệu lượt người trong ngày, đông thứ hai thế giới (sau hệ thống tàu điện ngầm Tokyo, Nhật Bản). Vào những ngày cuối năm 2004, khi trận bão tuyết xảy đến lưu lượng vận chuyển của metro trong một ngày đêm lên tới 10 triệu lượt người. Mỗi ngày có trên 10.000 chuyến tàu chạy trên 12 tuyến với tổng chiều dài hơn 310km qua 187 nhà ga. Trung bình các chuyến tàu chạy cách nhau từ 1-3 phút, tốc độ 70-75 km/h.

Moscow MetroCrowded

Hệ thống tàu điện ngầm của Mátxcơva không chỉ được đánh giá là một trong những hệ thống chuyên chở hành khách có tải trọng lớn nhất thế giới mà còn nổi tiếng bởi những nhà ga được trang trí lộng lẫy, có nhiều tác phẩm nghệ thuật cổ điển đan xen phong cách hiện đại…

moscow metro

Ngày 15/5 cách đây 78 năm, hệ thống tàu điện ngầm Moscow, Nga ra đời với chuyến đầu tiên đi qua 13 ga từ ga Sokolniki tới ga Park Kultury trên tuyến đường dài 11,2km và trở thành hệ thống tàu điện ngầm nổi tiếng thế giới. Hiện nay, với quỹ đất hạn hẹp, phương tiện cá nhân tăng nhanh, các nhà quản lý giao thông của Moscow đang thực hiện mở rộng hệ thống này, coi đây là lời giải duy nhất của bài toán ùn tắc tại thủ đô nước Nga hiện nay.

Tham quan Moscow metro chiêm ngưỡng những kiệt tác kiến trúc

Hệ thống metro Moscow được xem là đẹp nhất thế giới. Hàng loạt các nhà ga của nó thực sự là những cung điện ngầm dưới đất. Tham gia tạo lập và trang trí cho chúng, có những hoạ sỹ và nhà điêu khắc nổi tiếng của Liên bang Xô-viết cũ, trong số đó, có các tên tuổi đã lừng danh như Pavel Korin, Alecsandr Deineka, Vera Mukhina.

Bàn tay, khối óc của các nhà bác học, kỹ sư, công nhân và cả nghệ nhân Nga đã tạo nên nhiều công trình nghệ thuật về kiến trúc. Những bức họa khổng lồ trên trần ga, các pho tượng, biểu tượng, hoa văn, họa tiết cả cổ kính lẫn hiện đại, đan xen cùng màu sắc hài hòa. Người ta có cảm tưởng đây là một góc của bảo tàng nghệ thuật chứ không phải công trình giao thông công cộng. 163 ga là 163 kiến trúc khác nhau và mang rõ nét từng chặng đường lịch sử hào hùng của nước Nga và Liên bang Xô Viết trước đây, đặc biệt lịch sử cận, hiện đại: Puskinskaia, Komsomolskaia, Park-Kultur, Cách mạng Tháng Mười, Thư viện Lenin…

moscow metro 2

Riêng tại các ga trung tâm, trong quá trình xây dựng, chính quyền thành phố đưa vào sử dụng gần 30 loại đá cẩm thạch, hoa cương và pocffica. Thậm chí, những nhà ga đầu tiên đều có bàn tay thiết kế của các kiến trúc sư nổi tiếng, tượng đài trong làng thiết kế như: Gelfreich, Fomin, Shchusev và Deineki. Nhà ga nổi tiếng nhất nằm sâu dưới lòng đất hàng trăm mét là nhà ga “Công viên chiến thắng”. Du khách lần đầu chiêm ngưỡng đều phải ngỡ ngàng trước những công trình nghệ thuật mang đậm phong cách Nga này.

Khám phá Moscow Metro hiện đại

moscow metro 3

Do có hệ thống thông gió tốt (bản thân tàu chạy đã thông gió rất mạnh), lại sâu trong lòng đất nên mùa hè trong metro rất mát, còn mùa đông thì ấm áp (dao động từ +18 đến +22 độ C), dù trên mặt đất nhiệt độ có thể từ -35 độ C (mùa đông) và đến +35 độ C (mùa hè). Metro Nga là sự kết hợp một cách hài hòa giữa hiện đại và cổ kính, và không phải ngẫu nhiên mà hầu hết các tour du lịch Nga đều dành chương trình đi tham quan các ga metro. Hầu như ngày nào người ta cũng bắt gặp du khách chụp ảnh, quay video và miệng luôn thì thào thán phục tại Moscow Metro.

Moscow Metro như một thành phố văn minh dưới lòng đất

Park Metro station in Moscow

Ở Moscow Metro, du khách có thể dễ dàng tìm thấy những cửa hiệu, quầy bán hàng. Các quầy sách, báo, tạp chí và quầy hoa tươi càng làm cho metro thêm phần đẹp rực rỡ. Có thể nói rằng tàu điện ngầm là phương tiện công cộng sạch nhất ở Nga. Người ta thường xuyên lau chùi, quét dọn, không bao giờ thấy rác, bụi bặm ở đây. Ðể giữ được sự sạch, đẹp như thế, ngoài công sức của các nhân viên phục vụ, còn phụ thuộc vào ý thức cao của hành khách. Người ta ví rằng trúng xổ số độc đắc còn dễ hơn bắt được ai đó hút thuốc lá khi bắt đầu vào cửa Moscow Metro.

Moscow Metro là một trong những địa điểm tham quan và khám phá mà du khách không thể bỏ qua trong chuyến du lịch Nga với vé máy bay giá rẻ của Airbooking . Hãy cùng Airbooking đến Nga và khám phá vẻ đẹp, nét độc đáo có một không hai của hệ thống tàu điện ngầm nổi tiếng này nhé!

Du lịch Nga và ngắm phong cảnh hồ Baikal

Du lịch nước anh và dạo quanh những ngôi làng đẹp như tranh vẽ, related articles.

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The Texas Bans on Abortion “Trafficking” Are Even Scarier Than They Sound

Last week, the Washington Post reported on a major new anti-abortion strategy: local “trafficking” laws that make it a crime to transport anyone to get an abortion on roads within city or county limits. Specifically, in certain counties in Texas, anyone can sue an organization or individual they suspect of violating the ordinance .

The architects of these laws, Jonathan Mitchell and Mark Lee Dickson, previously teamed up to create the roadmap for Texas’ bounty bill, S.B. 8. The success of that law, which made it past the Supreme Court prior to Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization and dramatically undermined abortion access before Roe v. Wade was even overturned, means that no one should dismiss this latest plan, even if Mitchell and Dickson’s focus on highways seems bizarre. And tactically, it is certainly a bit bizarre. Most abortions today involve pills —and organizations like Aid Access are effectively mailing them to patients in states where abortion is a crime. This ordinance does nothing to stop that. [ Update, Sept. 7:  The ordinances make it illegal to deliver or transport abortion drugs to any individual or organization within county lines, but as explained below there are many practical and constitutional obstacles to enforcement that the ordinances do nothing to resolve.] Enforcing the law will raise all kinds of other challenges. Ultimately, though, it could still offer a meaningful road map of where opponents of reproductive rights are going next.

Among the problems with enforcement is the question of how the ordinance and others like it could ever be enforced. How would anyone know if a driver on a road in or out of Texas is driving an abortion-seeker? By setting up a roadblock? Investigating everyone of reproductive age? None of that would be politically palatable—or financially feasible—for a state with a big budget, much less a small town like Llano or a rural county with limited resources. Besides, it’s hardly an efficient strategy for the anti-abortion movement: To build a “wall” limiting travel, abortion opponents need to pass ordinance after ordinance—and hope against hope that someone will enforce them.

So why bother with this kind of ordinance at all, when it does nothing to stop the mailing of abortion pills and seems impossible to enforce?

Obviously, fear is part of the point, as abortion fund leaders told the Post —even if you’re not going to be stopped and arrested while driving a friend to an abortion clinic across state lines, a vindictive partner could find your texts setting up the drive, sue you, and attempt to use geo-tracking data to collect in a civil suit . Still, it’s a circuitous road to enforcement. Perhaps the real significance of these laws is that they create room for abortion opponents to experiment. Dickson and Mitchell have successfully looked at small towns as laboratories for anti-abortion strategies in the past. In small towns, they can experiment with legislation that Republican lawmakers aren’t ready to pass at the state and federal levels and work out problems before the ordinances are ready for prime time. That’s what’s going on with these trafficking laws. Dickson and Mitchell have every intention of seeing them enforced, but they hope their movement comes out ahead even if enforcement is impossible.

First, the ordinance allows abortion opponents to figure out how to limit interstate travel without violating the U.S. Constitution—or at least being called on it. The trafficking laws try to do this by assigning enforcement entirely to private actors, just like S.B. 8, which will make it hard to get lawsuits into federal court. There are limits on when plaintiffs can seek relief against states in federal court—and one of the key exceptions involves state officials enforcing unconstitutional laws . But there seems to be no state official who can enforce this ordinance, just like the Supreme Court ultimately held to be the case with S.B. 8 .

And there are limits on when states can enforce their laws outside state lines. If Texas tried to punish an abortion-seeker for getting an abortion in New Mexico, that would create all kinds of constitutional problems, potentially violating the right to travel, the due process clause, and even the federal full faith and credit clause , which requires states to honor court judgments and laws from other states. This ordinance tries to circumvent this problem by focusing on—or at least claiming to focus on—activity that takes place partly in Texas. It’s not clear that a state can punish someone for activity that is a right, not a crime, in another state, but Mitchell and Dickson are betting that conservatives will have the best chance if they focus on “crimes” that take place at least partly in red states. All of that adds up to the possible payoff for these ordinances: a trial run for other limits on the right to travel.

They are also trial runs for an enforcement strategy that relies on activist networks and personal rivalries. That’s how the federal Comstock Act, an anti-vice law that Dickson and Mitchell are also trying to revive, used to be enforced when it was otherwise impossible for postal inspectors to know what was in the mail. It’s obvious that a law like this won’t catch most abortion-seekers, but controlling husbands, angry exes, romantic rivals, and others could weaponize what they know and sue. Dickson had just this in mind when he described how the ordinance might get enforced, explaining, “A husband who doesn’t want his wife to get an abortion could threaten to sue the friend who offers to drive her.” Any abortion ban will be easier to enforce when private volunteers and vengeful acquaintances and family members step up to supply information.

Finally, every trafficking ordinance builds the case for later recognition of fetal personhood. In Dobbs , Justice Brett Kavanaugh stressed what he saw as a surge in sentiment that Roe had been wrongly decided: state laws that obviously conflicted with abortion rights and support from the Republican Party. To date, there is no equivalent right-wing swing toward the idea that a fetus is a rights-holding person under the Constitution—and that progressive abortion laws in states without bans are unconstitutional.

Dickson and Mitchell have ambitions to change that. The proponents of the ordinance stress that any travel for abortion involves trafficking, even if the abortion-seeker desperately wants to end a pregnancy. That’s because they focus on the fetus, not the pregnant patient—and argue that bringing a fetus across state lines violates the rights and personhood of the fetus. Even if the law is never enforced, it will be one more data point that anti-abortion activists can point to later when returning to the Supreme Court—and insisting that the conservative judiciary revisit the idea of personhood.

It’s worth remembering that this is hardly the only tactic that Dickson and Mitchell have in mind: They were the first to push the idea that the Comstock Act is a de facto national ban, a theory that has caught on with major anti-abortion organizations and is making its way through the courts. But on their own merits, these local laws are not as illogical as they may seem. Before Texas’ S.B. 8, it was easy to dismiss local ordinances as unenforceable publicity stunts. We all know how that story ended.

Update, Sept. 7, 12:25 p.m.: This post includes an update for clarity.

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    [kkstarratings] Nếu có cơ hội du lịch Nga, du khách không thể không du ngoạn trong hệ thống tàu điện ngầm hiện đại và nổi tiếng nhất thế giới - Moscow Metro. Chỉ cần đặt chân đến Moscow Metro, du khách sẽ có cảm giác như đang lạc vào mê cung dưới lòng đất và

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