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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Data Security: Protecting the Privacy of Phone Records

Data Security: Protecting the Privacy of Phone Records

Date: February 28, 2006
Creator: Stevens, Gina Marie & Rainson, Tara Alexandra
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit: An Overview of Implementation for Dual Eligibles

Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit: An Overview of Implementation for Dual Eligibles

Date: February 6, 2006
Creator: O'Sullivan, Jennifer & Tritz, Karen
Description: This report provides background information on the early stages of the implementation of the Medicare Part D outpatient prescription drug program. This report describes certain policies and implementation issues related to those who are not dually eligible.
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The Internal Revenue Service's Use of Private Debt Collection Agencies: Current Status and Issues for Congress

The Internal Revenue Service's Use of Private Debt Collection Agencies: Current Status and Issues for Congress

Date: January 11, 2006
Creator: Guenther, Gary
Description: Under the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 (AJCA, P.L. 108-357), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has acquired for the second time in its history the legal authority to hire private debt collection agencies (PCAs) to assist in the collection of certain individual tax debt. The grant of authority grew out of a proposal made by the Bush Administration in its budget request for the IRS in both FY2004 and FY2005. This report focuses on IRS’s current plan for hiring PCAs to collect delinquent individual taxes and the policy issues it raises. It begins with an examination of the scope of IRS’s authority to use PCAs under the AJCA and concludes with a discussion of the main issues for Congress as it oversees IRS’s efforts to implement and manage the private tax debt collection initiative. The report will be updated to reflect significant legislative action and new developments related to the initiative
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Credit Card Minimum Payments

Credit Card Minimum Payments

Date: December 21, 2005
Creator: Smale, Pauline
Description: Recently, credit card issuers began adjusting their minimum payment formulas, raising the amount of the required monthly payment. Congress has focused on the need to increase consumer awareness of the financial jeopardy that can result from paying only the required minimum. This report provides an overview of the issues and congressional action. It will be updated as events warrant.
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State Securities Class Action Suits: Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner

State Securities Class Action Suits: Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner

Date: November 1, 2005
Creator: Seitzinger, Michael V
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Products Liability: A Legal Overview

Products Liability: A Legal Overview

Date: October 28, 2005
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Description: None
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Spyware: Background and Policy Issues for Congress

Spyware: Background and Policy Issues for Congress

Date: October 25, 2005
Creator: Smith, Marcia S
Description: None
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Farm Product "Check-Off" Programs: A Constitutional Analysis

Farm Product "Check-Off" Programs: A Constitutional Analysis

Date: June 21, 2005
Creator: Vina, Stephen R
Description: This report begins with a brief introduction to check-off programs and then describes many of the First Amendment principles that have been discussed in checkoff cases. Next is an analysis of the first two challenges that reached the Supreme Court, as well as a brief discussion of subsequent lower court decisions. This report concludes with a discussion of Johanns v. Livestock Marketing Association and its possible implications for check-off programs.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Products Liability: A Legal Overview

Products Liability: A Legal Overview

Date: June 3, 2005
Creator: Cohen, Henry & Brooks, Nathan
Description: None
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Payday Loans: Federal Regulatory Initiatives

Payday Loans: Federal Regulatory Initiatives

Date: May 23, 2005
Creator: Smale, Pauline
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Beneficiary Information and Decision Supports for the Medicare-Endorsed Prescription Drug Discount Card

Beneficiary Information and Decision Supports for the Medicare-Endorsed Prescription Drug Discount Card

Date: March 24, 2005
Creator: Justice, Diane
Description: On December 8, 2003 the President signed into law the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA, P.L. 108-173). This legislation establishes a Medicare prescription drug benefit, effective January 1, 2006. In the interim, the legislation requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish a temporary program of Medicare-endorsed prescription drug discount cards. This report discusses the objectives and benefits of this legislation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Identity Theft:  The Internet Connection

Identity Theft: The Internet Connection

Date: March 16, 2005
Creator: Smith, Marcia S
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Pros and Cons of Allowing the Federal Government to Negotiate Prescription Drug Prices

The Pros and Cons of Allowing the Federal Government to Negotiate Prescription Drug Prices

Date: February 18, 2005
Creator: Hahn, Jim
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Spyware: Background and Policy Issues for Congress

Spyware: Background and Policy Issues for Congress

Date: January 26, 2005
Creator: Smith, Marcia S
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Copyright Law: Digital Rights Management Legislation in the 107th and 108th Congresses

Copyright Law: Digital Rights Management Legislation in the 107th and 108th Congresses

Date: January 5, 2005
Creator: Jeweler, Robin
Description: Digital Rights Management (DRM) refers to the technology that copyright owners use to protect digital media. This report surveys several of the DRM bills that were introduced in the 107th and 108th Congresses. Generally, the bills are directed at two separate goals. One goal is to increase access to digitally-protected media for lawful purposes. The other attempts to thwart digital piracy and would do so by enhancing civil and criminal sanctions for digital (and traditional) copyright infringement and educating the public about the rights of copyright holders.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Wireless Privacy and Spam: Issues for Congress

Wireless Privacy and Spam: Issues for Congress

Date: December 22, 2004
Creator: Smith, Marcia S
Description: Wireless communications devices such as cell phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs) are ubiquitous. Some consumers, already deluged with unwanted commercial messages, or “spam,” via computers that access the Internet by traditional wireline connections, are concerned that such unsolicited advertising is expanding to wireless communications, further eroding their privacy. Congress continues to debate how to protect wireless subscribers further, and several bills were considered in the 108th Congress.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Overview of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003

Overview of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003

Date: December 6, 2004
Creator: O'Sullivan, Jennifer; Chaikind, Hinda; Tilson, Sibyl; Boulanger, Jennifer & Morgan, Paulette
Description: This report examines the the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, which creates a prescription drug benefit for Medicare beneficiaries and establishes a new Medicare Advantage program to replace the current Medicare+Choice program.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Telemarketing: Dealing with Unwanted Telemarketing Calls

Telemarketing: Dealing with Unwanted Telemarketing Calls

Date: October 5, 2004
Creator: Riehl, James R.
Description: This report provides summaries of the federal laws and regulations particular to telemarketing, the establishment of a national do-not-call registry, and on the options that are available to consumers to attempt to limit the calls that they receive from telemarketers and to report questionable telemarketing practices to local or federal authorities. The report also lists sources of additional information with addresses, phone numbers, and Internet sites (if available) and will be updated as legislation or news events warrant.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Copyright Law: Digital Rights Management Legislation

Copyright Law: Digital Rights Management Legislation

Date: October 1, 2004
Creator: Jeweler, Robin
Description: Digital Rights Management (DRM) refers to the technology that copyright owners use to protect digital media. This report surveys several of the DRM bills that were introduced in the 107th Congress and those that are pending in the 108th Congress. Generally, the bills are directed at two separate goals. One goal is to increase access to digitally-protected media for lawful purposes. The other attempts to thwart digital piracy and would do so by enhancing civil and criminal sanctions for digital (and traditional) copyright infringement and educating the public about the rights of copyright holders.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Medicare Endorsed Prescription Drug Discount Card Program

Medicare Endorsed Prescription Drug Discount Card Program

Date: August 19, 2004
Creator: O'Sullivan, Jennifer
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Importing Prescription Drugs: Objectives, Options, and Outlook

Importing Prescription Drugs: Objectives, Options, and Outlook

Date: August 4, 2004
Creator: Thaul, Susan & Vogt, Donna U
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Copyright Law: Digital Rights Management Legislation

Copyright Law: Digital Rights Management Legislation

Date: August 2, 2004
Creator: Jeweler, Robin
Description: Digital Rights Management (DRM) refers to the technology that copyright owners use to protect digital media. This report surveys several of the DRM bills that were introduced in the 107th Congress and those that are pending in the 108th Congress. Generally, the bills are directed at two separate goals. One goal is to increase access to digitally-protected media for lawful purposes. The other attempts to thwart digital piracy and would do so by enhancing civil and criminal sanctions for digital (and traditional) copyright infringement and educating the public about the rights of copyright holders.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Implications of the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit for State Budgets

Implications of the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit for State Budgets

Date: June 23, 2004
Creator: Grady, April & Scott, Christine
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Copyright Law: Digital Rights Management Legislation

Copyright Law: Digital Rights Management Legislation

Date: May 28, 2004
Creator: Jeweler, Robin
Description: Digital Rights Management (DRM) refers to the technology that copyright owners use to protect digital media. This report surveys several of the DRM bills that were introduced in the 107th Congress and those that are pending in the 108th Congress. Generally, the bills are directed at two separate goals. One goal is to increase access to digitally-protected media for lawful purposes. The other attempts to thwart digital piracy and would do so by enhancing civil and criminal sanctions for digital (and traditional) copyright infringement and educating the public about the rights of copyright holders.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department