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 Resource Type: Report
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The First Responder Network (FirstNet) and Next-Generation Communications for Public Safety: Issues for Congress
This report discusses the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), which is a federal agency that includes private sector and other non-federal representation on its board of directors. It examines the challenges for public safety leaders and policymakers in establishing the framework for a nationwide network that meets state, local, tribal and territorial needs for robust, interoperable emergency communications. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855952/
The First Responder Network (FirstNet) and Next-Generation Communications for Public Safety: Issues for Congress
This report discusses the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), which is a federal agency that includes private sector and other non-federal representation on its board of directors. FirstNet was created by Congress with provisions in Title VI (Spectrum Act) of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-96) to ensure the deployment and operation of a nationwide, broadband network for public safety communications. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855865/
Information Sharing for Homeland Security: A Brief Overview
This report reviews some of the principal existing homeland security information sharing arrangements, as well as some projected arrangements in this regard, and discusses related policy, evaluations, and proposed legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847774/
Naming Post Offices Through Legislation
This report describes how the practice of naming post offices through public law originated and how it is commonly done today. House and Senate practices for approving legislation and procedures followed by the U.S. Postal Service in organizing a dedication ceremony, are also described. An increasingly common form of legislation is the naming of post offices for former Members of Congress or other figures of local or national renown. About one in six public laws passed by the 108th Congress was a post office naming bill approved under suspension of the rules. Unanimity of a state's congressional delegation is required for the movement of naming bills to the floor of the House or Senate. The costs of dedicating a post office in the name of an individual are modest, and this action results in no change in public identification of the facility by its geographic location. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824673/
The FCC's Political Broadcasting Regulations
This report provides an overview of the Federal Communication Commission's political broadcasting regulations, including general public interest obligations; the equal opportunity (equal time) regulations; and the various interpretations of the Fairness Doctrine, which is no longer enforced by the Commission. A brief section of frequently asked questions regarding political broadcasting is also provided. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824619/
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/
The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act
President George W. Bush signed the Postal Enhancement and Accountability Act (P.L. 109-435) on December 20, 2006. This report briefly describes Congress’s pursuit of postal reform, summarizes the major provisions of the new postal reform law, and identifies possible P.L. 109-435 oversight issues for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821620/
Obscenity and Indecency: Constitutional Principles and Federal Statutes
This report examines federal law regarding obscenity and indecency. The First Amendment provides: “Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” In general, the First Amendment protects pornography, with this term being used to mean any erotic material. The Supreme Court, however, has held that the First Amendment does not protect two types of pornography: obscenity and child pornography. Consequently, they may be banned on the basis of their content, and federal law prohibits the mailing of obscenity, as well as its transport or receipt in interstate or foreign commerce. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821094/
Speechwriting in Perspective: A Brief Guide to Effective and Persuasive Communication
This report seeks to provide some guidance for congressional staff on the principles and practice of speechwriting. The suggestions offered herein, when combined with practice, attention to audience and occasion, and, most importantly, the Member’s attitudes, convictions, and style, can help create a speech that can be a “seamless garment” when delivered by the Member. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821052/
Speechwriting in Perspective: A Brief Guide to Effective and Persuasive Communication
“Rhetoric,” wrote Aristotle, “is the power of determining in a particular case what are the available means of persuasion.” This report reviews some effective means for the rhetoric of persuasive communication in speeches written by congressional staff for Senators and Representatives. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822194/
Open Access Publishing and Citation Archives: Background and Controversy
This report begins with an inventory of basic information: definitions and guides to histories of the growth of open access publishing and citation archives and descriptions of selected major open access activities. It moves on to summarize major points of difference between proponents and opponents of nongovernmental open access publishing and databases, and then highlights federal, including National Institutes of Health (NIH), open access activities and contentious issues surrounding these developments. The report also briefly describes open access developments in the United Kingdom (where a number of governmental and nongovernmental initiatives have occurred) and in the international arena. Finally, controversial issues which could receive attention in the 109th Congress are summarized. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc818802/
Open Access Publishing and Citation Archives: Background and Controversy
This report begins with an inventory of basic information: definitions and guides to histories of the growth of open access publishing and citation archives and descriptions of selected major open access activities. It moves on to summarize major points of difference between proponents and opponents of nongovernmental open access publishing and databases, and then highlights federal, including National Institutes of Health (NIH), open access activities and contentious issues surrounding these developments. The report also briefly describes open access developments in the United Kingdom (where a number of governmental and nongovernmental initiatives have occurred) and in the international arena. Finally, controversial issues which could receive attention the 110th Congress are summarized. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc810436/
Open Access Publishing and Citation Archives: Background and Controversy
This report begins with an inventory of basic information: definitions and guides to histories of the growth of open access publishing and citation archives and descriptions of selected major open access activities. It moves on to summarize major points of difference between proponents and opponents of nongovernmental open access publishing and databases, and then highlights federal, including National Institutes of Health (NIH), open access activities and contentious issues surrounding these developments. The report also briefly describes open access developments in the United Kingdom (where a number of governmental and nongovernmental initiatives have occurred) and in the international arena. Finally, controversial issues which could receive attention in the 109th Congress are summarized. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc818847/
Open Access Publishing and Citation Archives: Background and Controversy
This report begins with an inventory of basic information: definitions and guides to histories of the growth of open access publishing and citation archives and descriptions of selected major open access activities. It moves on to summarize major points of difference between proponents and opponents of nongovernmental open access publishing and databases, and then highlights federal, including National Institutes of Health (NIH), open access activities and contentious issues surrounding these developments. The report also briefly describes open access developments in the United Kingdom (where a number of governmental and nongovernmental initiatives have occurred) and in the international arena. Finally, controversial issues which could receive attention in the 109th Congress are summarized. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc805745/
Open Access Publishing and Citation Archives: Background and Controversy
This report begins with an inventory of basic information: definitions and guides to histories of the growth of open access publishing and citation archives and descriptions of selected major open access activities. It moves on to summarize major points of difference between proponents and opponents of nongovernmental open access publishing and databases, and then highlights federal, including National Institutes of Health (NIH), open access activities and contentious issues surrounding these developments. The report also briefly describes open access developments in the United Kingdom (where a number of governmental and nongovernmental initiatives have occurred) and in the international arena. Finally, controversial issues which could receive attention in the 109th Congress are summarized. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820994/
Journalists’ Privilege: Overview of the Law and Legislation in the 109th and 110th Congresses
This report examines laws pertaining to journalists' privilege. Most states afford journalists some protection from compelled release of their confidential sources. The question remains, however, as to whether a concomitant federal privilege exists. The Supreme Court has addressed the issue of journalists’ privilege under the First Amendment only once; in Branzburg v. Hayes, it left open the question of whether the First Amendment provides journalists with any privilege. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821425/
Public Printing Reform: Issues and Actions
The Government Printing Office (GPO) is designated the principal agent for almost all federal government printing. This report reviews recent legal, management, policy, and technological challenges to the GPO printing system and public printing reform efforts of the 105th, 106th, and current Congresses, and tracks current efforts to address existing problems in this area. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822680/
Obscenity, Child Pornography, and Indecency: Brief Background and Recent Developments
The First Amendment provides that “Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. ...” The First Amendment applies, with two exceptions, to pornography, with that term being used to refer to any words or pictures of a sexual nature. This report discusses the two exceptions, which are obscenity and child pornography; because these are not protected by the First Amendment, they may be, and have been, made illegal. Pornography and “indecent” material that are protected by the First Amendment may nevertheless be restricted in order to limit minors’ access to them. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822423/
Obscenity and Indecency: Constitutional Principles and Federal Statutes
his report examines federal law regarding obscenity and indecency. The First Amendment provides: “Congress shall make no law... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” In general, the First Amendment protects pornography, with this term being used to mean any erotic material. The Supreme Court, however, has held that the First Amendment does not protect two types of pornography: obscenity and child pornography. Consequently, they may be banned on the basis of their content, and federal law prohibits the mailing of obscenity, as well as its transport or receipt in interstate or foreign commerce. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822703/
Current Legal Status of the FCC’s Media Ownership Rules
This report discusses the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) media ownership regulations, which place limits on the number of broadcast radio and television outlets one owner can possess in a given market and place cross-ownership restrictions on these outlets and on the cross-ownership of broadcast properties and newspapers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822690/
Finding Quotes for Speeches: Fact Sheet
This report provides sources for finding quotes. The resources are divided into three categories: (1) General Quotations, (2) Americana, and (3) Religion. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795398/
Journalists' Privilege: Overview of the Law and Legislation in the 109th and 110th Congresses
This report discusses the journalists' privilege, provides and overview of the law, describes the Grand Jury Subpoena related to the Judith Miller case, and gives an overview of the congressional response in the 109th and 110th Congresses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc770524/
Post Office and Retail Postal Facility Closures: Overview and Issues for Congress
This report provides information on the announcement that the United States Postal Service was considering the closure of 3,105 branches; historical data on the number of post offices and other retail postal facilities; an explanation of the legal authorities relevant to retail postal facility closures; a review of the retail postal facility closure processes, including data on public appeals of closures, and H.R. 658's proposed alterations to the processes; and a concluding discussion that suggests observations and possible issues for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700925/
Reauthorizing the Satellite Home Viewing Provisions in the Communications Act and the Copyright Act: Issues for Congress
This report discusses issues in the current and public policy debate regarding the communications act and the copyright act. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689122/
Sending Mail to Members of the Armed Forces at Reduced or Free Postage: An Overview
This report discusses proposed legislation to establish a free-mail-to-troops postage benefit. Various bills introduced in Congress would provide members of the Armed Forces serving overseas with free-postage vouchers every month. Recipients of these vouchers would be able to transfer them to family members or other persons in the United States, who then could use the vouchers to mail a letter or package to the troops postage-free. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689245/
Reauthorizing the Satellite Home Viewing Provisions in the Communications Act and the Copyright Act: Issues for Congress
This report discusses the regulatory framework for the retransmission of broadcast television signals by satellite television operators,the Satellite Home Viewer Act of 1994, the 1999 Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act (SHVIA), and the 2004 Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act (SHVERA) digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689313/
The U.S. Newspaper Industry in Transition
This 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/metadc689352/
Sending Mail to Members of the Armed Forces at Reduced or Free Postage: An Overview
This report discusses proposed legislation to establish a free-mail-to-troops postage benefit. Various bills introduced in Congress would provide members of the Armed Forces serving overseas with free-postage vouchers every month. Recipients of these vouchers would be able to transfer them to family members or other persons in the United States, who then could use the vouchers to mail a letter or package to the troops postage-free. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689476/
The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act: Overview and Issues for Congress
This report describes Congress's pursuit of postal reform, and summarizes the major provisions of the new postal reform law. The report also suggests PAEA-related oversight issues for Congress. President George W. Bush signed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA; P.L. 109-435; 120 Stat. 3198) on December 20, 2006. The PAEA was the first broad revision of the 1970 statute that replaced the U.S. Post Office with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), a self-supporting, independent agency of the executive branch. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627174/
Advertising Industry in the Digital Age
This report discusses regulatory challenges faced by policymakers as the advertising industry enters a period of far-reaching change brought about by the economic downturn and structural shifts as consumers move to the Internet and other digital platforms for news, entertainment, and socializing. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627179/
Social Media in the House of Representatives: Frequently Asked Questions
This report answers several questions about the regulation of social media accounts in the House of Representatives. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627156/
Congressional Printing: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview and analysis of issues related to the processing and distribution of congressional information by the Government Printing Office. Subsequent sections address several issues, including funding congressional printing, printing authorizations, current printing practices, and options for Congress. Finally, the report provides congressional printing appropriations, production, and distribution data in a number of tables. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627001/
Journalists' Privilege: Overview of the Law and Legislation in the 110th and 111th Congresses
This report gives an overview of the law regarding journalistic privilege. Included are the responses of the 110th and 111th Congresses regarding the law. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627062/
Social Media in the House of Representatives: Frequently Asked Questions
This report answers several questions about the regulation of social media accounts in the House of Representatives, as social media accounts for official representational duties have increased. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505375/
Cybersecurity and Information Sharing: Comparison of H.R. 1560 and H.R. 1731
This report compares provisions in two bills in the House of Representatives that address information sharing and related activities in cybersecurity. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505493/
The FCC's Rules and Policies Regarding Media Ownership, Attribution, and Ownership Diversity
This report discusses the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) broadcast media ownership rules, which restrict the number of media outlets that a single entity may own or control. Its attribution rules define which relationships the FCC counts as ownership. In 2004 and again in 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, directed the FCC to review its broadcast ownership diversity policies in conjunction with the media ownership rules. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc505484/
The First Responder Network (FirstNet) and Next-Generation Communications for Public Safety: Issues for Congress
This report provides and introduction to key provisions in the Spectrum Act to improve public safety communications and discusses planning authority, state and local participation, federal governance and other issues regarding the evolving network technologies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc503548/
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/
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/
Public Safety Communications and Spectrum Resources: Policy Issues for Congress
The availability of radio frequency spectrum is considered essential to developing a modern, interoperable communications network for public safety. Equally critical is building the radio network to use this spectrum. Opinions diverge, however, on such issues as how much spectrum should be made available for the network, who should own it, who should build it, who should operate it, who should be allowed to use it, and how it might be paid for. This report discusses potential paths forward for Congress in regards to modernizing communications. To resolve the debate and move the planning process forward, Congress may decide to pursue oversight or change existing law. Actions proposed to Congress include (1) authorizing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reassign spectrum and (2) changing requirements for the use of spectrum auction proceeds. In particular, legislation in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-171) might be modified. This law mandated the termination of analog television broadcasting and the release of those channels for other uses, including public safety. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491484/
The U.S. Newspaper Industry in Transition
This report analyzes the current crises that the U.S. newspaper industry is facing in light of the recent economic downturn and the increasing number of readers who turn to the Internet for their news instead of to traditional media. Congress has begun debating whether the financial problems in the newspaper industry pose a public policy issue that warrants federal action. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491585/
English as the Official Language of the United States: Legal Background
For over a decade, legislation that would either declare English the official language of the United States government or that would oppose such declarations has been introduced in Congress. This report discusses the legal effect of some of these congressional proposals, as well as current federal policy on foreign language assistance, the constitutional law implications of official English proposals, and legal issues regarding state laws on official English. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491598/
The First Responder Network (FirstNet) and Next-Generation Communications for Public Safety: Issues for Congress
This report provides and introduction to key provisions in the Spectrum Act to improve public safety communications and discusses planning authority, state and local participation, federal governance and other issues regarding the evolving network technologies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462054/
Cloud Computing: Constitutional and Statutory Privacy Protections
This report first describes cloud computing and how it differs from traditional computing. It then describes how the Fourth Amendment and federal electronic privacy statutes apply to communications in the physical world, to Internet communications generally, and specifically to the cloud. Finally, this report surveys recent legislation and other various proposals designed to update the existing statutory framework. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462838/
Advertising by the Federal Government: An Overview
This report discusses government advertising that can be controversial if it conflicts with citizens' views about the proper role of government. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332942/
Social Media in the House of Representatives: Frequently Asked Questions
This report answers several questions about the regulation of social media accounts in the House of Representatives. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc287977/
Sending Mail to Members of the Armed Forces at Reduced or Free Postage: An Overview
This report looks the background, and current methods of, sending mail to troops serving overseas via subsidized postage. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227644/
U.S. Initiatives to Promote Global Internet Freedom: Issues, Policy, and Technology
Report regarding the role of the United States and other foreign companies in facilitating Internet censorship by repressive regimes overseas. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227660/
Updating the Statutory Framework for Communications for the Digital Age: Issues for Congress
This report discusses the statutory framework for the communications sector that largely was enacted prior to the commercial development and deployment of digital technology, Internet Protocol (IP), broadband networks, and online voice, data, and video services. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227945/
Intelligence Identities Protection Act
This report summarizes the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, P.L. 97-200, enacted by Congress in 1982 to address the unauthorized disclosure of information that exposes covert U.S. intelligence agents. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103236/
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