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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Detention of U.S. Persons as Enemy Belligerents

Detention of U.S. Persons as Enemy Belligerents

Date: February 1, 2012
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Description: The detainee provisions passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2012 affirm that the Authorization for Use of Military Force in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, authorizes the detention of persons captured in connection with hostilities. This report provides a background to the legal issues presented, followed by a brief introduction to the law of war pertinent to the detention of different categories of individuals. An overview of U.S. practice during wartime to detain persons deemed dangerous to the national security is presented.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Detention of U.S. Persons as Enemy Belligerents

Detention of U.S. Persons as Enemy Belligerents

Date: February 1, 2012
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Description: This report provides a background to the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2012, the Authorization to use Military Force act, and the President's power to detain "enemy combatants." It then gives a brief introduction to the law of war pertinent to the detention of different categories of individuals and an overview of U.S. practice during wartime to detain persons deemed dangerous to national security. It concludes by discussion Congress's role in prescribing rules for wartime detention as well as legislative proposals in the 112th Congress to address the detention of U.S. persons.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Terrorist Watch List Screening and Brady Background Checks for Firearms

Terrorist Watch List Screening and Brady Background Checks for Firearms

Date: February 1, 2012
Creator: Krouse, William J.
Description: The November 2009 shooting at Fort Hood, TX, renewed interest in terrorist watchlist screening and Brady background checks for firearms through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). In the 110th Congress, Senator Frank Lautenberg and Representative Peter King introduced a bill based on a legislative proposal developed by DOJ that would have authorized the Attorney General to deny the transfer of firearms or the issuance of firearms (and explosives) licenses/permits to "dangerous terrorists." They reintroduced this proposal in the 111th Congress and supporters dubbed it the "Terror Gap" proposal. It was reintroduced once again in the 112th Congress. The Terror Gap proposal raises several potential issues for Congress, which are discussed in this report.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Smart Meter Data: Privacy and Cybersecurity

Smart Meter Data: Privacy and Cybersecurity

Date: February 3, 2012
Creator: Murrill, Brandon J.; Liu, Edward, C. & Thompson, Richard M., II
Description: 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.
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Money Laundering: An Abridged Overview of 18 U.S.C. 1956 and Related Federal Criminal Law

Money Laundering: An Abridged Overview of 18 U.S.C. 1956 and Related Federal Criminal Law

Date: February 8, 2012
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: This is an overview of the elements of federal criminal money laundering statutes and the sanctions imposed for their violation.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law

Extraterritorial Application of American Criminal Law

Date: February 15, 2012
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: Crime is ordinarily proscribed, tried, and punished according to the laws of the place where it occurs. American criminal law applies beyond the geographical confines of the United States, however, under certain limited circumstances. A surprising number of federal criminal statutes have extraterritorial application, but prosecutions have been few. This may be because when extraterritorial criminal jurisdiction does exist, practical and legal complications, and sometimes diplomatic considerations, may counsel against its exercise.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Identity Theft: Trends and Issues

Identity Theft: Trends and Issues

Date: February 15, 2012
Creator: Finklea, Kristin M.
Description: In 2010, about 8.1 million Americans were reportedly victims of identity fraud, and the average identity fraud victim incurred a mean of $631 in costs as a result of the fraud—the highest level since 2007. Identity theft is often committed to facilitate other crimes such as credit card fraud, document fraud, or employment fraud, which in turn can affect not only the nation's economy but its security. Consequently, in securing the nation and its economic health, policy makers are also tasked with reducing identity theft and its impact.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Interplay of Borders, Turf, Cyberspace, and Jurisdiction: Issues Confronting U.S. Law Enforcement

The Interplay of Borders, Turf, Cyberspace, and Jurisdiction: Issues Confronting U.S. Law Enforcement

Date: February 15, 2012
Creator: Finklea, Kristin M.
Description: Globalization and technological innovation have fostered the expansion of both legitimate and criminal operations across physical borders as well as throughout cyberspace. U.S. law enforcement has increasingly relied on intelligence-led policing, enhanced interagency cooperation, and technological implementation to confront 21st century crime. Issues for Congress are how it can leverage its legislative and oversight roles to bolster U.S. law enforcement's abilities to confront modern-day crime. It may also examine whether federal law enforcement is utilizing existing mechanisms to effectively coordinate investigations and share information.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Gun Control Legislation

Gun Control Legislation

Date: March 2, 2012
Creator: Krouse, William J.
Description: A look at past gun control legislation and also how recent events (such as the shooting in Tucson, AZ on January 8, 2011 which notably wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords) have influenced current legislation. This report concludes with discussion of other salient and recurring gun control issues that have generated past congressional interest.
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Latin America: Terrorism Issues

Latin America: Terrorism Issues

Date: March 2, 2012
Creator: Sullivan, Mark P.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department