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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
U.S.-EU Data Privacy: From Safe Harbor to Privacy Shield
This report provides background on U.S. and European Union (EU) data protection policies and the Safe Harbor Agreement, discusses the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruling, and reviews the key elements of the newly-proposed Privacy Shield. It also explores various issues for Congress, including implications for U.S. firms of Safe Harbor's invalidation and the role of the Judicial Redress Act in helping to ameliorate U.S.-EU tensions on data privacy and protection issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855920/
Access to Government Information in the United States: A Primer
This report offers an introduction to the four access laws and provides citations to additional resources related to these statutes. It includes statistics on the use of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) and on litigation related to FOIA. In addition, this report provides some examples of the methods Congress, the President, and the courts have employed to provide or require the provision of information to one another, as well as a list of resources related to transparency, secrecy, access, and nondisclosure. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847720/
United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR): U.S. Membership
This short report provides an overview of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR and Administration and Congressional responses to recent developments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847766/
Egypt: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides an overview of the key issues for Congress related to Egypt and U.S. foreign aid to Egypt. The United States has provided significant military and economic assistance to Egypt since the late 1970s. U.S. policymakers are now debating complex questions about the future of U.S.-Egypt relations, and these debates and events in Egypt are shaping consideration of appropriations and authorization legislation in the 114th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824679/
Judicial Redress Act 101 - What to Know as Senate Contemplates Passing New Privacy Law
This report briefly discusses the Judicial Redress Act (JRA), a bill that would amend the Privacy Act of 1974 and could have major implications on transatlantic data flows and the global economy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824705/
9/11 Commission Recommendations: A Civil Liberties Oversight Board
This report discusses the recommendation made by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (9/11 Commission) regarding the creation of a board within the executive branch to oversee adherence to guidelines on, and the commitment to defend, civil liberties by the federal government. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824510/
The Ebola Outbreak: Quarantine and Isolation Authority
This legal sidebar discusses recent quarantine policies announced by several states, including New York and New Jersey, for travelers arriving from areas affected by the outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease, which have raised legal and constitutional questions about federal and state authority to order quarantine and isolation measures. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824427/
Summary of the Proposed Rule for the Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information
This report provides a summary of the proposed rule issued November 3, 1999 to protect the privacy of individually identifiable health information. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc810763/
Immigration-Related Detention: Current Legislative Issues
This report examines policy issues surrounding detention of aliens, including concerns about the number of aliens subject to mandatory detention and the justness of mandatory detention, especially as it is applied to asylum seekers arriving without proper documentation. Some have raised concerns about the length of time in detention for aliens who have been ordered removed. Additionally, issues have been raised about the amount of detention space available to house DHS detainees. Another area of uncertainty is the Attorney General’s role in the detention of noncitizens, since the creation of DHS. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820948/
The United Nations Human Rights Council: Issues for Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822494/
Medical Records Privacy: Questions and Answers on the HIPAA Rule
This report discuses the HIPAA privacy rule, which gives patients the right of access to their medical information and prohibits health plans and health care providers from using or disclosing individually identifiable health information without a patient’s written authorization except as expressly permitted or required by the rule. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821479/
The War Crimes Act: Current Issues
This report discusses current issues related to the War Crimes Act of 1996 and Common Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, which sets out minimum standards for the treatment of detainees in armed conflicts "not of an international character (e.g., civil wars, rebellions, and other conflicts between State and non-State actors). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822452/
Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment
This report provides an overview of the major exceptions to the First Amendment, i.e., of the ways that the Supreme Court has interpreted the guarantee of freedom of speech and press to provide no protection or only limited protection for some types of speech. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795658/
Privacy Law and Online Advertising: Legal Analysis of Data Gathering By Online Advertisers Such As Double Click and NebuAd
This report discusses privacy issues arising from so called "e-havioral" advertising. This individual behavioral targeting has raised a number of privacy concerns. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795653/
Tying Up Loose Ends... Supreme Court To Evaluate Federal Firearm Provision Again
This legal sidebar discusses certiorari to hear Voisine v. United States, a decision examining the federal provision that makes it unlawful for an individual to possess a firearm or ammunition if he or she has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence (MCDV). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795446/
No Second Amendment Cases for the Supreme Court's 2014-2015 Term...Yet
This report discusses the reluctance by the Supreme Court to take cases involving the Second Amendment. Commentators have observed that the Court appears to have become "gun shy" regarding this issue, given that it has not taken up a Second Amendment case since its landmark rulings in District of Columbia v. Heller in 2008 and McDonald v. City of Chicago in 2010. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795465/
Congress and U.S. Policy on North Korean Human Rights and Refugees: Recent Legislation and Implementation
This report discusses U.S. policy and legislation in response to Pyongyang's human rights record. North Korea's systematic violation of its citizens' human rights and the plight of North Koreans trying to escape their country have been well documented in multiple reports issued by governments and other international bodies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795497/
The U.N. Convention Against Torture: Overview of U.S. Implementation Policy Concerning the Removal of Aliens
This report discusses the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), which requires signatory parties to take measures to end torture within their territorial jurisdictions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795753/
Military Base Closures: Socioeconomic Impacts
This report provides background on military base closures and an analysis of community economic impacts, planning for economic redevelopment, and environmental cleanup following closures. The most recent Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission rejected 13 of the initial Department of Defense recommendations, significantly modified the recommendations for 13 other installations, and approved 22 major closures. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795762/
The War Crimes Act: Current Issues
This report discusses current issues related to the War Crimes Act of 1996 and Common Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, which sets out minimum standards for the treatment of detainees in armed conflicts "not of an international character (e.g., civil wars, rebellions, and other conflicts between State and non-State actors). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795770/
Enemy Combatant Detainees: Habeas Corpus Challenges in Federal Court
This report provides an overview of the Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRTs) procedures. It summarizes relevant court cases and the effect of the Detainee Treatment Act, as well as pending legislation. The report also provides an analysis of relevant constitutional issues that may have some bearing on Congress's options with respect to detainees held at Guantanamo and elsewhere. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743639/
National Security Letters in Foreign Intelligence Investigations: A Glimpse at the Legal Background
This report discusses the USA PATRIOT Act (107-56) and its expanded authority to issue national security letters (NSLs). A report by the Department of Justice's Inspector General (IG) found that in its pre-amendment use of expanded USA PATRIOT Act authority the FBI had "used NSLs in violation of applicable NSL statutes, Attorney General Guidelines, and internal FBI policies," but that no criminal laws had been broken. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743553/
Egypt: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides an overview of the key issues for Congress related to Egypt and U.S. foreign aid to Egypt. The United States has provided significant military and economic assistance to Egypt since the late 1970s. Successive U.S. Administrations have routinely justified aid to Egypt as an investment in regional stability, built primarily on long-running cooperation with the Egyptian military and on sustaining the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743344/
Legal Analysis of Religious Exemptions for Photo Identification Requirements
This report analyzes the legal issues associated with religious exemptions to photo identification laws. Although no lawsuits appear to have challenged federal laws with photo requirements, state photo identification laws have been challenged for several decades. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700521/
Egypt: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides an overview of Egyptian politics and current issues in U.S.-Egyptian relations. It briefly provides a political history of modern Egypt, an overview of its political institutions, and a discussion of the prospects for democratization in Egypt. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700785/
Egypt: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides an overview of Egyptian politics and current issues in U.S.-Egyptian relations. It briefly provides a political history of modern Egypt, an overview of its political institutions, and a discussion of the prospects for democratization in Egypt. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700783/
Analysis of Selected Legislative Proposals Addressing Guantanamo Detainees
This report discusses the approaches that selected legislative proposals take regarding Guantanamo detainees. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700659/
Analysis of Selected Legislative Proposals Addressing Guantanamo Detainees
This report discusses the approaches that selected legislative proposals take regarding Guantanamo detainees. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700790/
Legal Standing Under the First Amendment's Establishment Clause
This report analyzes the constitutional issues associated with standing, specifically related to cases arising under the Establishment Clause. It provides a background on the doctrine of standing, including the U.S. Supreme Court's interpretation of various types of standing, including standing to sue as a citizen, as a taxpayer, and on behalf of another party. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689276/
Interrogation of Detainees: Requirements of the Detainee Treatment Act
This report discusses provisions of the Detainee Treatment Act concerning standards for the interrogation and treatment of detainees. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689213/
Science, Technology, and American Diplomacy: Background and Issues for Congress
is report analyzes China's mixed record on human rights -- major human rights problems, new human rights legislation, and the development of civil society, legal awareness, and social and political activism. This report discusses major areas of interest but does not provide an exhaustive account of all human rights abuses or related incidents. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689317/
Egypt: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides an overview of Egyptian politics and current issues in U.S.-Egyptian relations. It briefly provides a political history of modern Egypt, an overview of its political institutions, and a discussion of the prospects for democratization in Egypt. U.S.-Egyptian relations are complex and multi-faceted, and this report addresses the following current topics: the Arab-Israeli peace process, Iraq, terrorism, democratization and reform, human rights, trade, and military cooperation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689442/
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): Issues for the 111th Congress
This report includes a brief history of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), discusses subsequent modifications of FOIA, addresses statutory changes to FOIA that have not yet been implemented, examines Obama Administration efforts to modify the act, and outlines possible legislative issues related to the act. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689420/
Interrogation of Detainees: Requirements of the Detainee Treatment Act
This report discusses provisions of the Detainee Treatment Act concerning standards for the interrogation and treatment of detainees. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689428/
Protection of Children Online: Federal and State Laws Addressing Cyberstalking, Cyberharassment, and Cyberbullying
This report discusses Internet crimes, such as cyberbullying, cyberharassment, and cyberstalking, along with the limitations of such laws in the current environment. While Congress, under the Commerce Clause, has authority to regulate the Internet, Internet "harassment" presents new challenges for legislators in terms of defining and prosecuting such activity. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627192/
Protection of Children Online: Federal and State Laws Addressing Cyberstalking, Cyberharassment, and Cyberbullying
This report discusses Internet crimes, such as cyberbullying, cyberharassment, and cyberstalking, along with the limitations of such laws in the current environment. While Congress, under the Commerce Clause, has authority to regulate the Internet, Internet "harassment" presents new challenges for legislators in terms of defining and prosecuting such activity. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc626872/
Privacy Law and Online Advertising
This report will examine the application of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and the Communications Act to online behavioral advertising in more detail. It is likely that in many cases these laws could be held to apply to such activities and that these methods of data collection would be forbidden unless consent is obtained from one of the parties to the communication. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505388/
Satellite Surveillance: Domestic Issues
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505645/
Immigration-Related Detention: Current Legislative Issues
This report discusses issues for Congress in regards to the potential reform of the nation's immigration system. The detention of noncitizens in the United States will likely be an issue. Under the law, there is broad authority to detain aliens while awaiting a determination of whether the noncitizen should be removed from the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505430/
Human Rights in China: Trends and Policy Implications
This report analyzes China's mixed record on human rights, major human rights issues, PRC human rights legislation, and the development of civil society, legal awareness, and social and political activism. This report discusses major areas of interest but does not provide an exhaustive account of all human rights abuses or related incidents. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503345/
U.S. Initiatives to Promote Global Internet Freedom: Issues, Policy, and Technology
This report provides information regarding the role of U.S. and other foreign companies in facilitating Internet censorship by repressive regimes overseas. The report is divided into several sections: Examination of repressive policies in China and Iraq, Relevant U.S. laws, U.S. policies to promote Internet freedom, Private sector initiatives, and Congressional action. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503540/
Enemy Combatant Detainees: Habeas Corpus Challenges in Federal Court
This report provides an overview of the early judicial developments and the establishment of Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRTs) procedures; summarizes selected court cases related to the detentions and the use of military commissions; and discusses the Detainee Treatment Act, as amended by the Military Commissions Act of 2006 and the Military Commissions Act of 2009, analyzing its effects on detainee-related litigation in federal court. The report summarizes the Supreme Court's decision in Boumediene invalidating Congress's efforts to revoke the courts' habeas jurisdiction, and discusses some remaining issues and subsequent developments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503713/
Judicial Activity Concerning Enemy Combatant Detainees: Major Court Rulings
This report discusses major judicial opinions concerning suspected enemy belligerents detained in the conflict with Al Qaeda and the Taliban. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503404/
Egypt: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides an overview of the key issues for Congress related to Egypt and information on U.S. foreign aid to Egypt. It briefly provides a political history of modern Egypt, an overview of its political institutions, and a discussion of the prospects for democratization in Egypt, as well as addressing the following current topics: the Arab-Israeli peace process, Iraq, terrorism, democratization and reform, human rights, trade, and military cooperation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503441/
Enemy Combatant Detainees: Habeas Corpus Challenges in Federal Court
This report provides an overview of the early judicial developments and the establishment of Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRTs) procedures; summarizes selected court cases related to the detentions and the use of military commissions; and discusses the Detainee Treatment Act, as amended by the Military Commissions Act of 2006 and the Military Commissions Act of 2009, analyzing its effects on detainee-related litigation in federal court. The report summarizes the Supreme Court's decision in Boumediene invalidating Congress's efforts to revoke the courts' habeas jurisdiction, and discusses some remaining issues and subsequent developments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503494/
Enemy Combatant Detainees: Habeas Corpus Challenges in Federal Court
This report provides an overview of the early judicial developments and the establishment of Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRTs) procedures; summarizes selected court cases related to the detentions and the use of military commissions; and discusses the Detainee Treatment Act, as amended by the Military Commissions Act of 2006 and the Military Commissions Act of 2009, analyzing its effects on detainee-related litigation in federal court. The report summarizes the Supreme Court's decision in Boumediene invalidating Congress's efforts to revoke the courts' habeas jurisdiction, and discusses some remaining issues and subsequent developments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503470/
Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board: New Independent Agency Status
This report examines initial responses to the 9/11 Commission's call for a board to oversee adherence to presidential guidelines on information sharing that safeguard the privacy of individuals about whom information is shared, and the implementation of this board. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501809/
Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board: New Independent Agency Status
This report examines initial responses to the 9/11 Commission's call for a board to oversee adherence to presidential guidelines on information sharing that safeguard the privacy of individuals about whom information is shared, and the implementation of this board. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501902/
U.S. Initiatives to Promote Global Internet Freedom: Issues, Policy, and Technology
This report provides information regarding the role of U.S. and other foreign companies in facilitating Internet censorship by repressive regimes overseas. The report is divided into several sections: Examination of repressive policies in China and Iran, Relevant U.S. laws, U.S. policies to promote Internet freedom, Private sector initiatives, and Congressional action. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491379/
Habeas Corpus Legislation in the 111th Congress
This report is a brief overview of the recommendations from the Constitution Subcommittee of the House Committee on the Judiciary and legislative proposals on habeas review. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491150/
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