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 Decade: 2000-2009
 Year: 2008
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: A Sketch of Selected Issues

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: A Sketch of Selected Issues

Date: July 7, 2008
Creator: Bazan, Elizabeth B.
Description: This report briefly outlines three issues relating to electronic surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and touches upon some of the perspectives reflected in the ongoing debate. These issues include the inherent and often dynamic tension between national security and civil liberties, particularly rights of privacy and free speech; the need for the intelligence community to be able to efficiently and effectively collect foreign intelligence information from the communications of foreign persons located outside the United States in a changing, fast-paced, and technologically sophisticated international environment or from United States persons abroad, and the differing approaches suggested to meet this need; and limitations of liability for those electronic communication service providers who furnish aid to the federal government in its foreign intelligence collection. Two constitutional provisions, in particular, are implicated in this debate — the Fourth and First Amendments. This report briefly examines these issues and sets them in context.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Enemy Combatant Detainees: Habeas Corpus Challenges in Federal Court

Enemy Combatant Detainees: Habeas Corpus Challenges in Federal Court

Date: July 29, 2008
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.; Garcia, Michael John & Thomas, Kenneth R.
Description: This report provides an overview of the Combatant Status Review Tribunal (CSRT) procedures, summarizes court cases related to the detentions and the use of military commissions, and summarizes the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA), as amended by the Military Commissions Act of 2006, analyzing its effects on detainee-related litigation in federal court. The report summarizes pending legislation and provides an analysis of relevant constitutional issues that may have some bearing on Congress's options with respect to the Guantanamo detainees.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The United Nations Human Rights Council: Issues for Congress

The United Nations Human Rights Council: Issues for Congress

Date: June 5, 2008
Creator: Blanchfield, Luisa
Description: This report provides historical background of the Council, including the role of the previous Commission. It discusses the Council's current mandate and structure, as well as U.S. policy and congressional actions.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The United Nations Human Rights Council: Issues for Congress

The United Nations Human Rights Council: Issues for Congress

Date: July 31, 2008
Creator: Blanchfield, Luisa
Description: This report provides historical background of the Council, including the role of the previous Commission. It discusses the Council's current mandate and structure, as well as U.S. policy and congressional actions.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Congress and U.S. Policy on North Korean Human Rights and Refugees: Recent Legislation and Implementation

Congress and U.S. Policy on North Korean Human Rights and Refugees: Recent Legislation and Implementation

Date: October 22, 2008
Creator: Chanlett-Avery, Emma
Description: The passage of the reauthorization of the North Korean Human Rights Act in October 2008 reasserted congressional interest in influencing the Bush Administration's policy toward North Korea. In addition to reauthorizing funding at original levels, the bill expresses congressional criticism of the implementation of the original 2004 law and adjusts some of the provisions relating to the Special Envoy on Human Rights in North Korea and the U.S. resettlement of North Korean refugees. Some outside analysts have pointed to the challenges of highlighting North Korea's human rights violations in the midst of the ongoing nuclear negotiations, as well as the difficulty in effectively reaching North Korean refugees as outlined in the law. Further, the law may complicate coordination on North Korea with China and South Korea.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Delegation of the Federal Power of Eminent Domain to Nonfederal Entities

Delegation of the Federal Power of Eminent Domain to Nonfederal Entities

Date: May 20, 2008
Creator: Meltz, Robert
Description: Congress has on several occasions delegated its power of eminent domain to entities outside the federal government -- public and private corporations, interstate compact agencies, state and local governments, and even individuals. The constitutionality of such delegation, and of the exercise of such power by even private delegates, is today beyond dispute. However, among delegates with both federal and private characteristics, there is some subjectivity to deciding which to list in a report limited to "nonfederal entities." For delegatees of federal eminent domain power listed here, delegations since 1920 have primarily been to Amtrak, hydroelectric facilities (for dams and reservoirs), and entities engaged in the movement of electricity, gas, and petroleum (the last one expired), and for interstate bridges.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Satellite Surveillance: Domestic Issues

Satellite Surveillance: Domestic Issues

Date: June 27, 2008
Creator: Best, Richard A., Jr. & Elsea, Jennifer K.
Description: This report provides background on the development of intelligence satellites and identifies the roles various agencies play in their management and use. Issues surrounding the current policy and proposed changes are discussed, including the findings of an Independent Study Group (ISG) with respect to the increased sharing of satellite intelligence data. There follows a discussion of legal considerations, including whether satellite reconnaissance might constitute a "search" within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment; an overview of statutory authorities, as well as restrictions that might apply; and a brief description of executive branch authorities and Department of Defense directives that might apply. The report concludes by suggesting policy issues Congress may consider as it deliberates the potential advantages and pitfalls that may be encountered in expanding the role of satellite intelligence for homeland security purposes.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances

Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances

Date: July 30, 2008
Creator: Sullivan, Mark P.
Description: The first half of this report looks at the background of U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba over the last 40 years. The second half of this report looks at several initiatives from the 110th Congress that would ease U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances

Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances

Date: September 28, 2008
Creator: Sullivan, Mark P.
Description: The first half of this report looks at the background of U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba over the last 40 years. The second half of this report looks at several initiatives from the 110th Congress that would ease U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Data Security: Federal Legislative Approaches

Data Security: Federal Legislative Approaches

Date: June 6, 2008
Creator: Stevens, Gina Marie
Description: This report discusses the core areas addressed in federal legislation, including the scope of coverage (who is covered and what information is covered); data privacy and security safeguards for sensitive personal information; requirements for security breach notification (when, how, triggers, frequency, and exceptions); restrictions on social security numbers (collection, use, and sale); credit freezes on consumer reports; identity theft penalties; causes of action; and preemption.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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