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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Detainee Provisions in the National Defense Authorization Bills

Detainee Provisions in the National Defense Authorization Bills

Date: November 18, 2011
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Description: This report offers a brief background of the salient issues raised by H.R. 1540 and S. 1867 regarding detention matters, provides a section-by-section analysis of the relevant subdivision of each bill, and compares the bills' approaches with respect to the major issues they address.
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: November 15, 2011
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 structures, as well as U.S. policy and congressional actions. Finally, it highlights possible policy issues for the 112th Congress, including the overall effectiveness of the Council in addressing human rights, implications for U.S. membership, and U.S. financial contributions to the Council.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board: New Independent Agency Status

Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board: New Independent Agency Status

Date: November 14, 2011
Creator: Hatch, Garrett
Description: Recommended by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (9/11 Commission), the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) was initially established as an agency within the Executive Office of the President (EOP) in 2004. Critics, however, maintained that the board appeared to be a presidential appendage, devoid of the capability to exercise independent judgment and assessment or to provide impartial findings and recommendations. This viewpoint gained acceptance in the 110th Congress when the PCLOB was reconstituted as an independent agency within the executive branch by the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act (IR9/11CA), signed into law on August 6, 2007. On January 5, 2011, President Obama nominated two people to serve on the board, but the Senate has not confirmed either. This report will be updated as events warrant.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): Background and Policy Options for the 112th Congress

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): Background and Policy Options for the 112th Congress

Date: July 26, 2011
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy
Description: The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA; 5 U.S.C. §552) enables any person to access—without explanation or justification—certain existing, identifiable, unpublished, executive branch agency records. Pursuant to FOIA, the public has presumptive access to requested agency records unless the material falls within any of FOIA's nine categories of exemption from disclosure. This report discusses FOIA's history, examines its implementation, and provides potential policy approaches for Congress.
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 18, 2011
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 structures, as well as U.S. policy and congressional actions. Finally, it highlights possible policy issues for the 112th Congress, including the overall effectiveness of the Council in addressing human rights, implications for U.S. membership, and U.S. financial contributions to the Council.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Iraq: Politics, Governance, and Human Rights

Iraq: Politics, Governance, and Human Rights

Date: April 19, 2011
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth
Description: Iraq's political transition from the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein to a plural polity that encompasses varying sects and ideological and political factions has been accomplished through a series of elections that began in 2005. However, disputes regarding various communities' claims on power and economic resources has contributed to popular frustration and continued political unrest. This report discusses these issues.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Privacy Protections for Personal Information Online

Privacy Protections for Personal Information Online

Date: April 6, 2011
Creator: Stevens, Gina
Description: This report examines some of the efforts being made to protect of personal information, through federal laws and regulations. This report provides a brief overview of selected recent developments in the area of federal privacy law. This report does not cover workplace privacy laws or state privacy laws.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Legal Standing Under the First Amendment's Establishment Clause

Legal Standing Under the First Amendment's Establishment Clause

Date: April 5, 2011
Creator: Brougher, Cynthia
Description: This report analyzes the constitutional issues associated with standing (a restraint on the power of federal courts to render decisions), specifically related to cases arising under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment regarding religion. It provides a background on the doctrine of standing, including the U.S. Supreme Court's interpretation of various types of standing: standing to sue as a citizen, as a taxpayer, and on behalf of another party. It also examines the current standing rules related to the Establishment Clause.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Privacy: An Abridged Overview of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act

Privacy: An Abridged Overview of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act

Date: March 30, 2011
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: This report provides an overview of federal law governing wiretapping and electronic eavesdropping under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Privacy: An Overview of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act

Privacy: An Overview of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act

Date: March 30, 2011
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: This report provides an overview of federal law governing wiretapping and electronic eavesdropping under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). It also appends citations to state law in the area and the text of ECPA.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department