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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board: 109th Congress Proposed Refinements
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Critical Infrastructure Information Disclosure and Homeland Security
This report discusses the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that was passed to ensure by statute citizen access to government information. Nine categories of information may be exempted from disclosure. Three of the nine exemptions provide possible protection against the release of critical infrastructure information: exemption 1 (national security information); exemption 3 (information exempted by statute); and exemption 4 (confidential business information). Congress has considered several proposals to exempt critical infrastructure information from the FOIA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs3914/
Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board: New Independent Agency Status
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84081/
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/metadc122322/
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): Background and Policy Options for the 113th Congress
This report provides background on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), discusses the categories of records FOIA exempts from public release, and analyzes statistics on FOIA administration. The report also provides background on several legal and policy issues related to FOIA, including the release of controversial records, the growth in use of certain FOIA exemptions, and the adoption of new technologies to improve FOIA administration. The report concludes with an examination of potential FOIA-related policy options for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462927/
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Terrorism Investigations
This report provides background information on key elements of the FBI terrorism investigative process, based on publicly available information. This report sets forth possible considerations for Congress as it executes its oversight role, including the extent to which intelligence has been integrated into FBI operations to support its counterterrorism mission and the progress the Bureau has made on its intelligence reform initiatives. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462980/
Access to Government Information in the United States
The U.S. Constitution makes no specific allowance for any one of the three branches of the federal government to have access to information held by the others. No provision in the U.S. Constitution expressly establishes a procedure for public access to government information. Congress has legislated various public access laws. Among these laws are two records access statutes, The Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act, and two meetings access statutes, the Federal Advisory Committee Act, and the Government in the Sunshine Act. This report offers an overview of the four information access laws noted above, and provides citations to additional resources related to these tools. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29513/
The Freedom of Information Act and Nondisclosure Provisions in Other Federal Laws
This report discusses Congressional considerations regarding how to balance the federal government's growing need for sensitive or confidential business information, the public's right of access to information about government activities, and the private sector's interest in keeping its sensitive or proprietary information protected from public disclosure. The report discusses this issue in light of particularly the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and other similar legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31370/
Privacy: An Abridged Overview of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act
This report provides an overview of federal law governing wiretapping and electronic eavesdropping under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99041/
Privacy: An Overview of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99040/
Privacy Protections for Personal Information Online
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99059/
China's Relations with Central Asian States and Problems with Terrorism
This report provides an overview of the Muslim separatist movement in China’s northwestern Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China’s attempts to stifle activities which it considers terrorism, and implications for U.S. policy. Some analysts suggest that the U.S.-led campaign against terrorism may make it difficult to pressure the Chinese government on human rights and religious freedoms, particularly as they relate to Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1455/
Online Privacy Protection: Issues and Developments
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Privacy Protection for Customer Financial Information
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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 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84063/
Privacy: An Abridged Overview of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act
Report that provides an overview of federal law governing wiretapping and electronic eavesdropping under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227714/
Privacy: An Overview of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act
Report that 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227713/
Property Rights: House Judiciary Committee Reports H.R. 2372
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Enemy Combatant Detainees: Habeas Corpus Challenges in Federal Court
There have been inconsistent opinions in the District Court for the District of Columbia as to whether detainees who are suspected of connections to terrorist actions have any enforceable rights to challenge their treatment and detention. This report describes issues surrounding the writ of habeas corpus as it relates to detaining and imprisonment in matters of counterterrorism. This report also includes several legal cases and pieces of legislation in regards to this issue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10350/
Personal Data Security Breaches: Context and Incident Summaries
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The Property Rights Implementation Act of 1998
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The Law of Church and State: The Proposed Religious Freedom Amendment, H.J. Res. 78
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A Brief Summary of the HIPAA Medical Privacy Rule
This report provides a brief overview of the modified HIPAA Privacy rule, “Standards for the Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information” (“privacy rule”) published on August 14, 2002 by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5165/
A Brief Summary of the Medical Privacy Rule
This report provides a brief overview of the modified medical privacy rule, “Standards for the Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information”(“privacy rule”) published on August 14, 2002 by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The privacy regulation creates a new federal floor of privacy protections while leaving in place more protective state rules or practices. The rule establishes a set of basic consumer protections and a series of regulatory permissions for uses and disclosures of protected health information. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5166/
Online Privacy Protection: Issues and Developments
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Treatment of "Battlefield Detainees" in the War on Terrorism
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"Property Rights" Bills Take a Process Approach: H.R. 992 and H.R. 1534
In the 105th Congress, the property rights agenda has shifted from "compensation" to "process" bills. While the former would ease the standards for when property owners harmed by government action are compensated, the new approach simply streamlines how federal courts handle such claims. This report examines the three leading process bills -- H.R. 992, House-passed H.R. 1534, and Senate-reported H.R. 1534. The bills embody two process approaches: allowing property owners suing the United States to bring invalidation and compensation claims in the same court, and lowering abstention and ripeness barriers when suing local governments in federal court for property rights violations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs571/
Immigration-Related Provisions of Selected Bills on Religious Persecution
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The Religious Freedom Amendment: H.J. Res. 78, As Reported by the House Judiciary Committee
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Privacy Protection: Mandating New Arrangements to Implement and Assess Federal Privacy Policy and Practice
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Compliance with the HIPAA Medical Privacy Rule
As of April 14, 2003, most health care providers (including doctors and hospitals) and health plans are required to comply with the new Privacy Rule mandated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”), and must comply with national standards to protect individually identifiable health information. The HIPAA Privacy Rule creates a federal floor of privacy protections for individually identifiable health information; establishes a set of basic consumer protections; institutes a series of regulatory permissions for uses and disclosures of protected health information; permits any person to file an administrative complaint for violations; and authorizes the imposition of civil or criminal penalties. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs5175/
The United Nations Human Rights Council: Issues for Congress
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Health Information Standards, Privacy, and Security: HIPAA's Administrative Simplification Regulations
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Treatment of "Battlefield Detainees" in the War on Terrorism
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Privacy Protection for Customer Financial Information
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Privacy Protection for Customer Financial Information
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Privacy Protection for Customer Financial Information
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The Privacy Act: Emerging Issues and Related Legislation
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Guantanamo Detainees: Habeas Corpus Challenges in Federal Court
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Treatment of "Battlefield Detainees" in the War on Terrorism
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Treatment of "Battlefield Detainees" in the War on Terrorism
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China's Relations with Central Asian States and Problems with Terrorism
This report provides an overview of the Muslim separatist movement in China’s northwestern Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China’s attempts to stifle activities which it considers terrorism, and implications for U.S. policy. Some analysts suggest that the U.S.-led campaign against terrorism may make it difficult to pressure the Chinese government on human rights and religious freedoms, particularly as they relate to Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6842/
Internet Privacy - Protecting Personal Information: Overview and Pending Legislation
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Race-Based Civil Dentention for Security Purposes
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International Conflict and Property Rights: Fifth Amendment "Takings" Issues
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Judge Samuel Alito's Opinions in Freedom of Speech Cases
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Data Security: Protecting the Privacy of Phone Records
This report discusses recent legislative and regulatory efforts to protect the privacy of customer telephone records, and efforts to prevent the unauthorized use, disclosure, or sale of such records by data brokers. In addition, it provides a brief overview of the confidentiality protections for customer information established by the Communications Act of 1934. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9027/
Data Security: Protecting the Privacy of Phone Records
This report discusses recent legislative and regulatory efforts to protect the privacy of customer telephone records, and efforts to prevent the unauthorized use, disclosure, or sale of such records by data brokers. In addition, it provides a brief overview of the confidentiality protections for customer information established by the Communications Act of 1934. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9026/
Property Rights: Comparison of H.R. 9 as Passed and S. 605 as Reported
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Enemy Combatant Detainees:
In Rasul v. Bush, a divided Supreme Court declared that “a state of war is not a blank check for the president” and ruled that persons deemed “enemy combatants” have the right to challenge their detention before a judge or other “neutral decision-maker.” This report provides an overview of the CSRT procedures, summarizes court cases related to the detentions and the use of military commissions, and summarizes the Detainee Treatment Act, analyzing how it might affect detainee-related litigation in federal court. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9899/