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 Decade: 2010-2019
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Domestic Terrorism Appears to Be Reemerging as a Priority at the Department of Justice
This document examines an apparent shift in priorities at the Department of Justice (DOJ) towards a renewed focus on domestic terrorism with the reestablishment of its Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee, which had been defunct for several years. The report considers why the shift in focus may be occurring and also briefly examines different types of domestic terror threats. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462589/
Federal Prison Industries: Overview and Legislative History
This report provides background on the Federal Prison Industries, Inc.'s (FPI's) operations and statutory authority; it does not address the related debates on inmate labor, criminal rehabilitation, or competitive versus noncompetitive federal government contracting. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462396/
Identity Theft: Trends and Issues
This report first provides a brief federal legislative history of identity theft laws. It analyzes selected trends in identity theft, including prevalent identity theft-related crimes, the federal agencies involved in combating identity theft, and the trends in identity theft complaints and prosecutions. The report also discusses the relationship between data breaches and identity theft as well as possible effects of the FTC's Identity Theft Red Flags Rule. It also examines possible issues for Congress to consider. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462892/
Latin America: Terrorism Issues
U.S. attention to terrorism in Latin America intensified in the aftermath of the September 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, with an increase in bilateral and regional cooperation. Over the past several years, policymakers have been concerned about Iran's increasing activities in Latin America, particularly its relations with Venezuela, although there has been disagreement over the extent and significance of Iran's relations with the region. In the 112th Congress, several initiatives have been introduced related to terrorism issues in the Western Hemisphere regarding Mexico, Venezuela, and the activities of Iran and Hezbollah, and several oversight hearings have been held. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87366/
Smart Meter Data: Privacy and Cybersecurity
Fueled by stimulus funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), electric utilities have accelerated their deployment of smart meters to millions of homes across the United States with help from the Department of Energy's Smart Grid Investment Grant program. As the meters multiply, so do issues concerning the privacy and security of the data collected by the new technology. Smart meters must record near-real time data on consumer electricity usage and transmit the data to utilities over great distances via communications networks that serve the smart grid. Detailed electricity usage data offers a window into the lives of people inside of a home by revealing what individual appliances they are using, and the transmission of the data potentially subjects this information to interception or theft by unauthorized third parties or hackers. Unforeseen consequences under federal law may result from the installation of smart meters and the communications technologies that accompany them. This report examines federal privacy and cybersecurity laws that may apply to consumer data collected by residential smart meters. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87204/
Organized Crime: An Evolving Challenge for U.S. Law Enforcement
In the last two decades, organized crime has grown more complex, posing evolving challenges for U.S. federal law enforcement. These criminals have transformed their operations in ways that broaden their reach and make it harder for law enforcement to combat them. They have adopted more-networked structural models, internationalized their operations, and grown more tech savvy. They are a significant challenge to U.S. law enforcement. There still is no single agency charged with investigating organized crime in the way the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been designated the lead investigative agency for terrorism. Further, resources to tackle this issue are divided among many federal agencies. As such, Congress may exert its oversight authority regarding the federal coordination of organized crime investigations via the 2011 strategy. Policymakers may also debate the efficacy of current resources appropriated to combat organized crime. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87162/
Length of Time from Nomination to Confirmation for U.S. Circuit and District Court Nominees: Overview and Policy Options to Shorten the Process
This report seeks to inform the current debate over the nomination and confirmation for U.S. circuit and district court nominees in three ways: first, by providing an overview of the time taken by the Senate during recent presidencies to confirm U.S. circuit and district court nominees; second, by identifying potential consequences of a protracted confirmation process for such nominees; and third, by identifying policy options the Senate might consider to shorten the length of time from nomination to confirmation for U.S. circuit and district court nominees. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc272061/
Al Qaeda and Affiliates: Historical Perspective, Global Presence, and Implications for U.S. Policy
The focus of this report is on the history of Al Qaeda, known (or attributed) actions, suspected capabilities of the organization and non-aligned entities, and an analysis of select regional Al Qaeda affiliates. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103077/
Federal Efforts to Address the Threat of Bioterrorism: Selected Issues and Options for Congress
This report focuses on four areas under congressional consideration deemed critical to the success of the biodefense enterprise: strategic planning; risk assessment; surveillance; and the development, procurement, and distribution of medical countermeasures. This report also discusses the effectiveness and sufficiency of programs implementing these aspects of the federal biodefense efforts, outside analysts' suggestions for improving the government's efforts, and current issues under congressional consideration. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103084/
Closing the Guantanamo Detention Center: Legal Issues
This report provides an overview of major legal issues likely to arise as a result of executive and legislative action to close the Guantanamo detention facility. It discusses legal issues related to the transfer of Guantanamo detainees, the continued detention of such persons in the United States, and the possible removal of persons brought into the country. It also discusses selected constitutional issues that may arise in the criminal prosecution of detainees, emphasizing the procedural and substantive protections that are utilized in different adjudicatory forums. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103051/
Davis v. United States: Retroactivity and the Good-Faith Exception to the Exclusionary Rule
This report covers the legal causes and implications of Davis v. United States. The Supreme Court will consider whether evidence that was seized in violation of the defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights is admissible at trial because the police seized the evidence in good-faith reliance on then-controlling case law. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99064/
Latin America: Terrorism Issues
Report regarding U.S. attention to terrorism in Latin America, which has intensified in the aftermath of the September 2001 terrorist attacks. The report talks about the 112th Congress's initiatives that have been introduced related to terrorism issues in the Western Hemisphere regarding Mexico, Venezuela, and the activities of Iran and Hezbollah. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc228105/
Mexico's Drug Trafficking Organizations: Source and Scope of the Rising Violence
Report which provides background on drug trafficking in Mexico, identifies the major drug trafficking organizations, and analyzes the context, scope, and scale of the violence. It examines current trends of the violence, analyzes prospects for curbing violence in the future, and compares it with violence in Colombia. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227700/
Failure to Register as a Sex Offender: An Abridged Legal Analysis of 18 U.S.C. 2250
Report that describes 18 U.S.C. 2250, which outlaws any individual convicted of a sex offense from not registering themselves in a jurisdiction which they live, work, or go to school. It describes elements of the law, and consequences for not following it. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227790/
Failure to Register as a Sex Offender: An Abridged Legal Analysis of 18 U.S.C. 2250
Report that describes 18 U.S.C. 2250, which outlaws any individual convicted of a sex offense from not registering themselves in a jurisdiction which they live, work, or go to school. It describes elements of the law, and consequences for not following it. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227789/
Search and Seizure Cases in the October 2012 Term of the Supreme Court
Report that looks at three search and seizure cases heard during its October 2012 term. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227796/
Murder or Attempted Murder of a Member of Congress and Other Federal Officials and Employees: Implications in Federal Criminal Law and Procedure of Events in Tucson
Report describing the federal procedures and attendant legal provisions generally associated with the prosecution of cases regarding the killing and attempted killing of federal officers and employees in the performance of their official duties. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227706/
Latin America: Terrorism Issues
U.S. attention to terrorism in Latin America intensified in the aftermath of the September 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, with an increase in bilateral and regional cooperation. Over the past several years, policymakers have been concerned about Iran's increasing activities in Latin America, particularly its relations with Venezuela, although there has been disagreement over the extent and significance of Iran's relations with the region. In the 112th Congress, several initiatives have been introduced related to terrorism issues in the Western Hemisphere regarding Mexico, Venezuela, and the activities of Iran and Hezbollah, and several oversight hearings have been held. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84101/
International Criminal Court and the Rome Statute: 2010 Review Conference
This report is a summary of the 2010 International Criminal Court (ICC) Review Conference in which several countries discuss political and legal ramifications of the ICC. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103148/
Mexico's Drug Trafficking Organizations: Source and Scope of the Rising Violence
This report provides background on drug trafficking in Mexico, identifies the major drug trafficking organizations, and analyzes the context, scope, and scale of the violence. It examines current trends of the violence, analyzes prospects for curbing violence in the future, and compares it with violence in Colombia. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93853/
Money Laundering: An Abridged Overview of 18 U.S.C. 1956 and Related Federal Criminal Law
This is an overview of the elements of federal criminal money laundering statutes and the sanctions imposed for their violation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc94222/
Domestic Human Trafficking Legislation in the 113th Congress
This report discusses domestic human-trafficking-related issues that have received legislative action or are of significant congressional interest in the 113th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332948/
Domestic Human Trafficking Legislation in the 113th Congress
This report discusses domestic human-trafficking-related issues that have received legislative action or are of significant congressional interest in the 113th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc332989/
Cybercrime: An Overview of the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Statute and Related Federal Criminal Laws
The federal computer fraud and abuse statute, 18 U.S.C. 1030, outlaws conduct that victimizes computer systems. It is a cyber security law. It protects federal computers, bank computers, and computers connected to the Internet. It shields them from trespassing, threats, damage, espionage, and from being corruptly used as instruments of fraud. It is not a comprehensive provision, but instead it fills cracks and gaps in the protection afforded by other federal criminal laws. This is a brief sketch of Section 1030 and some of its federal statutory companions, including the amendments found in the Identity Theft Enforcement and Restitution Act. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83829/
DNA Testing in Criminal Justice: Background, Current Law, Grants, and Issues
This report provides an overview of how DNA is used to investigate crimes and help protect the innocent. It also reviews current statutory law on collecting DNA samples, sharing DNA profiles generated from those samples, and providing access to post-conviction DNA testing. The report also includes a summary of grant programs authorized by Congress to assist state and local governments with reducing DNA backlogs, provide post-conviction DNA testing, and promote new technology in the field. It also reviews select issues Congress might consider should it legislate or conduct oversight in this area. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40144/
Gun Control Legislation in the 113th Congress
This report looks at past gun control legislation and also how recent events (such as the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, Aurora, Colorado, and Tucson, Arizona) have influenced current congressional discourse and legislation. The report also specifically examines certain contentious, gun related topics including universal background checks, gun trafficking, and military style firearms. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463002/
Closing the Guantanamo Detention Center: Legal Issues
This report provides an overview of major legal issues likely to arise as a result of executive and legislative action to close the Guantanamo detention facility. It discusses legal issues related to the transfer of Guantanamo detainees, the continued detention of such persons in the United States, and the possible removal of persons brought into the country. It also discusses selected constitutional issues that may arise in the criminal prosecution of detainees, emphasizing the procedural and substantive protections that are utilized in different adjudicatory forums. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462541/
American Foreign Fighters and the Islamic State: Broad Challenges for Federal Law Enforcement
This report offers a framework for considering the challenges to domestic security posed by American fighters in the terrorist group known as the Islamic State (IS, previously referred to as ISIS or ISIL) and outlines some of the ways that U.S. law enforcement responds to such challenges. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462324/
The Military Commissions Act of 2009 (MCA 2009): Overview and Legal Issues
This report provides a background and analysis comparing military commissions as envisioned under the revised Military Commissions Act (MCA) to those established by the MCA 2006. After reviewing the history of the implementation of military commissions in the armed conflict against Al Qaeda and associated forces, the report provides an overview of the procedural safeguards provided in the MCA. Finally, the report provides two charts comparing the MCA as amended by the MCA 2009 to the original MCA enacted in 2006 and to general courts-martial. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462567/
Gun Control Proposals in the 113th Congress: Universal Background Checks, Gun Trafficking, and Military Style Firearms
This report provides an overview of federal firearms law and examines these gun control proposals and related amendments. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463224/
Public Mass Shootings in the United States: Selected Implications for Federal Public Health and Safety Policy
This report focuses on mass shootings and selected implications they have for federal policy in the areas of public health and safety. While such crimes most directly impact particular citizens in very specific communities, addressing these violent episodes involves officials at all levels of government and professionals from numerous disciplines. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463174/
Public Mass Shootings in the United States: Selected Implications for Federal Public Health and Safety Policy
This report focuses on mass shootings and selected implications they have for federal policy in the areas of public health and safety. While such crimes most directly impact particular citizens in very specific communities, addressing these violent episodes involves officials at all levels of government and professionals from numerous disciplines. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463383/
Supporting Criminal Justice System Reform in Mexico: The U.S. Role
This report provides an overview of Mexico's historic 2008 judicial reforms and an assessment of how those reforms have been implemented thus far. It then analyzes U.S. support for judicial reform efforts in Mexico and raises issues for Congress to consider as it oversees current U.S. justice sector programs and considers future support to Mexico. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463333/
Latin America: Terrorism Issues
This is a report regarding U.S. attention to terrorism in Latin America, which has intensified in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The report talks about the 112th Congress's initiatives that have been introduced related to terrorism issues in the Western Hemisphere regarding Mexico, Venezuela, and the activities of Iran and Hezbollah. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463500/
DNA Testing in Criminal Justice: Background, Current Law, Grants, and Issues
This report provides an overview of how DNA is used to investigate crimes and help protect the innocent. It also reviews current statutory law on collecting DNA samples, sharing DNA profiles generated from those samples, and providing access to post-conviction DNA testing. The report also includes a summary of grant programs authorized by Congress to assist state and local governments with reducing DNA backlogs, provide post-conviction DNA testing, and promote new technology in the field. It also reviews select issues Congress might consider should it legislate or conduct oversight in this area. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc463399/
Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Program
This report provides background information on the The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program. It begins with a discussion of the programs that were combined to form the JAG program: the Byrne Formula Grant and LLEBG programs. The report then provides an overview of the JAG program. This is followed by a review of appropriations for JAG and its predecessor programs going back to FY1998. The report concludes with a discussion of some of the issues Congress might consider as it debates the future of the JAG program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462823/
DNA Testing in Criminal Justice: Background, Current Law, Grants, and Issues
This report provides an overview of how DNA is used to investigate crimes and help protect the innocent. It also reviews current statutory law on collecting DNA samples, sharing DNA profiles generated from those samples, and providing access to post-conviction DNA testing. The report also includes a summary of grant programs authorized by Congress to assist state and local governments with reducing DNA backlogs, provide post-conviction DNA testing, and promote new technology in the field. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc462876/
International Parental Child Abductions
International child custody disputes are likely to increase in frequency as the global society becomes more integrated and mobile. Since 1988, the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction ("Hague Convention" or "Convention") has been the principal mechanism for enforcing the return of abducted children to the United States. This report will discuss the applicability of the Hague Convention and current U.S. laws, both civil and criminal, which seek to address the quandary of children abducted by parents to foreign nations. In addition, pending legislation, including H.R. 3240 and H.R. 3487, is discussed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31443/
Authority of State and Local Police to Enforce Federal Immigration Law
This report discusses the authority of state and local law enforcement to assist in the enforcement of federal immigration law through the investigation and arrest of persons believed to have violated such laws. It describes current provisions in federal law that permit state and local police to enforce immigration law directly, analyzes major cases concerning the ability of states and localities to assist in immigration enforcement, and briefly examines opinions on the issue by the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) within the Department of Justice. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31375/
Guantanamo Detention Center: Legislative Activity in the 111th Congress
This report analyzes relevant provisions in enacted legislation and selected pending bills relating to teh U.S. Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a facility in which alleged enemy belligerents are detained. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29573/
Gun Control Legislation
In the wake of the tragic shootings in Tuscon, AZ, which resulted in the hospitalization of Representative Gabrielle Giffords, as well as 6 fatalities and 13 wounded, the 112th Congress could reexamine certain issues and legislation related to gun control and firearms. This report provides basic firearms-related statistics, an overview of federal firearms law, and a summary of legislative action in the 111th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40199/
Armed Career Criminal Act (18 U.S.C. 924(e)): An Overview
This report briefly explores the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), 18 U.S.C. 924(e), which requires imposition of a minimum 15-year term of imprisonment for recidivists convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm under 18 U.S.C. 922(g). Section 924(e) applies only to those defendants who have three prior state or federal convictions for violent felonies or serious drug offenses. The report includes descriptions of constitutional challenges to the application of section 924(e), which have been generally unsuccessful. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29614/
Proposed U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement: Labor Issues
This report examines three labor issues and arguments related to the pending U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement (CFTA; H.R. 5724 and S. 2830): violence against trade unionists; impunity (accountability for or punishment of the perpetrators); and worker rights protections for Colombians. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29719/
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF): Budget and Operations for FY2011
This report provides an overview of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) budget and operations. This report chronicles congressional action on the FY2011 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS), and Related Agencies Appropriations bills, as well as any FY2010 supplemental appropriations bills, that provide funding for ATF. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31468/
Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources
Cybersecurity vulnerabilities challenge governments, businesses, and individuals worldwide. Congress has been actively involved in cybersecurity issues, holding hearings every year since 2001. There is no shortage of data on this topic: government agencies, academic institutions, think tanks, security consultants, and trade associations have issued hundreds of reports, studies, analyses, and statistics. This report provides links to selected authoritative resources related to cybersecurity issues and will be updated as needed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87226/
Offender Reentry: Correctional Statistics, Reintegration into the Community, and Recidivism
This report provides background information regarding the prison population in the United States that has been growing steadily for more than 30 years. The report presents correctional system statistics and discusses the federal government's involvement in offender reentry programs and the Second Chance Act (P.L. 110-199) that was enacted on April 9, 2008. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc276908/
Supreme Court Appellate Jurisdiction Over Military Court Cases
This report discusses events in which the U.S. Supreme Court would have jurisdiction over military court cases. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99117/
The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC)—Responsibilities and Potential Congressional Concerns
This report looks at inadequacies present in the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) which prevent the Center from adequately performing its duty. These inadequacies include issues with agency organization, lack of resources, and a focus on threats from Yemen over domestic threats. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103072/
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/
Protecting Classified Information and the Rights of Criminal Defendants: The Classified Information Procedures Act
This report gives an overview of the Classified Information Procedures Act, enacted by the 96th Congress, which provides uniform procedures for prosecutions involving classified information. It provides a background of the act and discusses its various sections. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99046/