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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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/
Advertising by the Federal Government: An Overview
This report looks at what government agencies are spending on advertising, including the difficulties of estimating advertising expenditures and the restrictions on government advertising. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103147/
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/
Journalists' Privilege: Overview of the Law and Legislation in Recent 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/metadc103215/
Publishing Scientific Papers with Potential Security Risks: Issues for Congress
This report discusses the publication of federally-funded research results including positive aspects (wide dissemination that may drive innovation, job creation, technology development, and the advance of science), and the negatives (that some research results could also be used for malicious purposes). This report describes the underlying controversy, the potential benefits and harms of publishing these manuscripts, the actions taken by domestic and international stakeholders, and options to improve the way research is handled to minimize security concerns. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98030/
U.S. Postal Service: Background and Analysis of H.R. 2309 and S. 1789 in the 112th Congress
This report looks at how the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has taken steps to save money. It also covers how bills H.R. 2309 and S. 1789 include major reforms, such as reductions in service, expansion of the USPS's authority to provide products and services, and alterations to the postal employees pension and healthcare plans. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96729/
Social Media and Disasters: Current Uses, Future Options, and Policy Considerations
This report summarizes how social media have been used by emergency management officials and agencies. It also examines the potential benefits, as well as the implications, of using social media in the context of emergencies and disasters. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93902/
The Proposed AT&T/T-Mobile Merger: Would It Create a Virtuous Cycle or a Vicious Cycle?
This report discusses the pros and cons of a proposed AT&T and T-Mobile merger. The largest con would be that the merged company would have over 70% of the cell phone market share. The largest pro would be that a merged company would be able to provide better service to its customers. The report also gives a brief overview of the mobile phone industry as a whole. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93872/
The U.S. Postal Service's Use of Contractors to Deliver Mail: Background and Recent Developments
Currently, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is collectively bargaining with the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) and National Rural Letter Carriers Association (NRLCA). One issue that may or may not be settled is the Postal Service's use of non-USPS employees (i.e., contractors) to deliver mail. If the parties cannot come to a satisfactory arrangement, Congress may be approached to consider the matter. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87234/
Secret Sessions of the House and Senate: Authority, Confidentiality, and Frequency
Secret, or closed, sessions of the House and Senate exclude the press and the public. They may be held for matters deemed to require confidentiality and secrecy-such as national security, sensitive communications received from the President, and Senate deliberations during impeachment trials. Although Members usually seek advance agreement for going into secret session, any Member of Congress may request a secret session without notice. When the House or Senate goes into secret session, its chamber and galleries are cleared of everyone except Members and officers and employees specified in the rules or designated by the presiding officer as essential to the session. After the chamber is cleared, its doors are closed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84006/
The U.S. Postal Service and Six-Day Delivery: Issues for Congress
This report will examine the history of six-day mail delivery and analyze potential effects of reducing USPS delivery from six to five days. It will then examine legislative options for the 111th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83926/
Advertising by the Federal Government: An Overview
A look at government agencies spending on advertising. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83955/
Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment
This report provides an overview of the major exceptions to the First Amendment - 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. For example, the Court has decided that the First Amendment provides no protection to obscenity, child pornography, or speech that constitutes "advocacy of the use of force or of law violation ... where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action." digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29495/
The "Son of Sam" Case: Legislative Implications
In Simon & Schuster, Inc. v. Members of the new York State Crime Victims Board, the U.S. Supreme Court held that New York State's "Son of Sam" law was inconsistent with the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech and press. This report examines the Supreme Court decision and then considers whether its rationale renders the federal law unconstitutional. Concluding that it likely does, the report considers whether it would be possible to enact a constitutional Son-of-Sam statute. Finally, the report takes note of some state Son-of-Sam statutes that have been enacted since the Supreme Court decision. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26026/
Post Office and Retail Postal Facility Closures: Overview and Issues for Congress
The United States Postal Service (USPS) announced in May 2009 that it was considering the closure of 3,105 of its 4,851 post office branches and stations. Since the original announcement, the USPS has indicated that the number of possible closures may be more than 3,200. This report provides (1) information on this recent announcement; (2) historical data on the number of post offices and other retail postal facilities; (3) an explanation of the legal authorities relevant to retail postal facility closures; (4) 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 (5) a concluding discussion that suggests observations and possible issues for Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26195/
The 2009 U.N. Durban Review Conference: Follow-Up to the 2001 U.N. World Conference Against Racism
This report provides information on the 2001 World Conference Against Racism and the circumstances of U.S. withdrawal. It discusses preparations for the Durban Review Conference, including U.S. policy and reaction from other governments. It highlights possible issues for the 111th Congress, including the Review Conference preparatory process, U.S. funding of the Conference, and the political and diplomatic impact of U.S. engagement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26291/
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/metadc26187/
The U.S. Postal Service and Six-Day Delivery: Issues for Congress
This report will examine the history of six-day mail delivery and analyze potential effects of reducing USPS delivery from six to five days. It will then examine legislative options for the 111th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26160/
The Siting of Wireless Communications Facilities: An Overview of Federal, State, and Local Law
The siting of wireless communications facilities has been a topic of controversy in communities all over the United States. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 governs federal, state, and local regulation of the siting of communications towers by placing certain limitations on local zoning authority without totally preempting state and local law. This report provides an overview of the federal, state, and local laws governing the siting of wireless communications facilities. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10561/
Free Mail for Troops Overseas
Members of the armed forces on duty in designated combat areas can send personal correspondence, free of postage, to addresses in the United States. There has never been a comparable provision of free postage for letters or packages sent from family members in the United States to loved ones in wartime service overseas. Two bills (H.R. 923 and H.R. 2874) have been introduced that would allow family members and, in the case of H.R. 2874, certain charities to send letters and packages to servicemen and women in combat zones free of postage. H.R. 923 in amended form as a bill that would allow service members overseas to send vouchers to family or loved ones that would be redeemable for the postage expenses of one letter of 15-pound package per month is included in the FY2007 Defense Authorization Act, which is now awaiting action in the Senate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10220/
Free Mail for Troops Overseas
Members of the armed forces on duty in designated combat areas can send personal correspondence, free of postage, to addresses in the United States. There has never been a comparable provision of free postage of letters or packages sent from family members in the United States to loved ones in wartime service overseas. Two bills (H.R. 923 and H.R. 2874) have been introduced that would allow family members and, in the case o H.R. 2874, certain charities to send letters and packages to service men and women in combat zones free of postage. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10221/
Free Mail for Troops Overseas
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9953/
Protection of Security-Related Information
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9566/
Changing Postal ZIP Code Boundaries
This report discusses the changing of ZIP Code system and the implications of such an action. The process places responsibility on district managers, rather than local postmasters, to review requests for boundary adjustment, to evaluate costs and benefits of alternative solutions to identified problems, and to provide a decision within 60 days. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9447/
Open Access Publishing and Citatation Archives: Background and Controversy
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9400/
Speech Material -- Fourth of July
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9233/
Obscenity: A Legal Primer
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9191/
Farm Product "Check-Off" Programs: A Constitutional Analysis
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9116/
Constitutionality of Proposals to Prohibit the Sale or Rental to Minors of Video Games with Violent or Sexual Content or "Strong Language"
It has been proposed that Congress prohibit the sale or rental to minors of video games that are rated “M” (mature) or “AO” (adults-only) by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board. This board is a non-governmental entity established by the Interactive Digital Software Association, and its ratings currently have no legal effect. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9144/
Proposals for Revision of the Communications Act of 1934: Telecommunications Issues
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8789/
"Sensitive but Unclassified" Information and Other Controls: Policy and Options for Scientific and Technical Information
This report traces the evolution of "sensitive but unclassified" or SBU-related controls; summarizes actions taken to protect certain types of scientific and technical information; describes critiques of some control policies; and summarizes proposals and actions, including congressional, executive and other initiatives, to clarify these issues and develop policies that serve various stakeholders. It also raises issues that may warrant further attention. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8704/
Balancing Scientific Publication and National Security Concerns: Issues for Congress
There is a lack of consensus regarding the best method of balancing scientific publishing and national security. The current federal policy, as described in National Security Decision Directive 189, is that fundamental research should remain unrestricted and that in the rare case where it is necessary to restrict such information, classification is the appropriate vehicle to do so. Other mechanisms restrict international information flow, where Export Administration Regulations (EAR) and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) control export of items and technical information on specific lists. Both EAR and ITAR contain a fundamental research exclusion, but this exclusion is lost if prepublication review of research results for sensitive information occurs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8579/
Military Space Programs: Issues Concerning DOD's SBIRS and STSS Programs
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8058/
Communications Act Revisions: Selected Issues for Consideration
This report provides an overview of selected topics which the 109th Congress may address in its examination of telecommunications issues. The issues included in this report cover: broadband Internet regulation and access; broadcast indecency; digital television transition; Federal Communications Commission structure and reform; intercarrier compensation; media ownership rules; municipal deployment of broadband; public safety communications, the “savings clause” and monopoly issues; spectrum auctions; and universal service fund reform. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8121/
The Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) and the Army's Future Combat System (FCS): Issues for Congress
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7941/
Communications Act Revisions: Selected Issues for Consideration
This report provides an overview of selected topics which the 109th Congress may address in its examination of telecommunications issues. The issues included in this report cover: broadband Internet regulation and access; broadcast indecency; digital television transition; Federal Communications Commission structure and reform; intercarrier compensation; media ownership rules; municipal deployment of broadband; public safety communications, the “savings clause” and monopoly issues; spectrum auctions; and universal service fund reform. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7681/
Postal Service for Katrina Survivors
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7606/
Pension Issues Cloud Postal Reform Debate
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7538/
Public Relations and Propaganda: Restrictions on Executive Agency Activities
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs7180/
Military Space Programs: Issues Concerning DOD's SBIRS and STSS Programs
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6828/
Military Space Programs: Issues Concerning DOD's SBIRS and STSS Programs
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6827/
Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6543/
Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6542/
Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs6621/
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