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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Cybercrime: A Sketch of 18 U.S.C. 1030 and Related Federal Criminal Laws
This report discusses the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), 18 U.S.C. 1030, which is a cyber security law that outlaws conduct that victimizes computer systems. It protects federal computers, bank computers, and computers connected to the Internet by shielding them from trespassing, threats, damage, espionage, and from being corruptly used as instruments of fraud. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491537/
Gangs in Central America
This report describes the gang problem in Central America, discusses country and regional approaches to deal with the gangs, and analyzes U.S. policy with respect to gangs in Central America. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491567/
Crimes of Violence Committed Against Federal Officials or Employees: A Brief Overview of Federal Criminal Law
This report discusses dozens of federal statutes that outlaw homicide, assault, and threats under varying jurisdictional circumstances. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491025/
Organized Retail Crime
This report provides an overview of organized retail crime rings, their operations, and goods targeted. It then examines the domestic impact of organized retail crime (ORC) in the arenas of the economy, public health and safety, and domestic security. The report also outlines current efforts by retailers, resale markets, and the federal government to combat ORC. It then analyzes various policy issues that the 111th Congress may wish to consider, including whether current federal resources provided for the investigation of ORC are adequate, whether to amend the U.S. Code to criminalize ORC, and whether to regulate resale marketplaces that may be utilized as fences for criminals to sell stolen goods. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490935/
Terrorist Material Support: An Overview of 18 U.S.C. 2339A and 2339B
This report discusses the two federal material support statutes that have been at the heart of the Justice Department's terrorist prosecution efforts. One provision outlaws providing material support for the commission of certain designated offenses that might be committed by terrorists, 18 U.S.C. 2339A. The other outlaws providing material support to certain designated terrorist organizations, 18 U.S.C. 2339B. They share a common definition of the term "material support," some aspects of which have recently come under constitutional attack. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490979/
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/metadc463051/
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/metadc463058/
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/
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/metadc463228/
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/
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/metadc462129/
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/
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/metadc463381/
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/
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/metadc491488/
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/
Privacy: An Overview of Federal Statues Governing Wiretapping and Electronic Eavesdropping
This report provides an overview of federal law governing wiretapping and electronic eavesdropping. It also appends citations to state law in the area and contains a bibliography of legal commentary as well as the text of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). This report also includes a brief summary of the recently expired Protect America Act, P.L. 110-55 and of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 Amendments Act of 2008, P.L. 110-261 (H.R. 6304). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29535/
Privacy: An Overview of Federal Statues Governing Wiretapping and Electronic Eavesdropping
This report provides an overview of federal law governing wiretapping and electronic eavesdropping. It also appends citations to state law in the area and contains a bibliography of legal commentary as well as the text of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). This report also includes a brief summary of the recently expired Protect America Act, P.L. 110-55 and of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 Amendments Act of 2008, P.L. 110-261 (H.R. 6304). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29536/
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/
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/
Gun Control Legislation
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85453/
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/metadc85416/
The False Claims Act, the Allison Engine Decision, and Possible Effects on Health Care Fraud Enforcement
The False Claims Act (FCA), an important tool for combating fraud against the U.S. government, generally provides that a person who knowingly submits, or causes to be submitted, a false or fraudulent claim for payment to the U.S. government may be subject to civil penalties and damages. This report provides an overview of the FCA and the Allison Engine decision, analyzes how this decision could affect certain FCA health care claims, and discusses the proposed False Claims Correction Acts (S. 2041 and H.R. 4854), which, if enacted, could limit the application of the Allison Engine decision. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10818/
Cybercrime: The Council of Europe Convention
Forty-three countries, including the United States, have signed the Council of Europe’s Convention on Cybercrime of November 2001. The U.S. Senate ratified the Convention on August 3, 2006. The Convention seeks to better combat cybercrime by harmonizing national laws, improving investigative abilities, and boosting international cooperation. Supporters argue that the Convention will enhance deterrence, while critics counter it will have little effect without participation by countries in which cybercriminals operate freely. Others warn it will endanger privacy and civil liberties. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10144/
Terrorism and National Security: Issues and Trends
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China's Relations with Central Asian States and Problems with Terrorism
This report provides an overview of the Muslim separatist movement in China’s northwestern Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China’s attempts to stifle activities which it considers terrorism, and implications for U.S. policy. Some analysts suggest that the U.S.-led campaign against terrorism may make it difficult to pressure the Chinese government on human rights and religious freedoms, particularly as they relate to Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1455/
EPA's Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Program: Highlights of Proposed Changes and Impacts on Agriculture
In August 1999 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed regulations to clarify and strengthen the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) program under section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act. Section 303(d) requires states to identify surface waters for which wastewater discharge limits are not stringent enough to achieve water quality standards and to allocate further required pollutant reductions among sources in order to attain those standards. This report discusses the major changes in EPA's proposals, compared with existing regulatory program requirements, and potential impacts on agriculture and forestry sources, which have been controversial. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1125/
EPA's Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Program: Highlights of the Final Revised Rule
This report discusses the final rule and the key modifications of the August 1999 proposal. The final rule builds on the current TMDL regulatory program and adds details, specific requirements, and deadlines. It retains the basic elements of the 1999 proposal for more comprehensive identification of impaired waters, schedules and minimum elements for TMDLs, and new public participation requirements. At the same time, dropped from the final rule are several provisions that were most controversial in the proposal, including some potentially affecting agriculture and forestry, one that would have required pollutant discharge offsets in some circumstances, and one that would have required states to identify waters threatened but not yet impaired by pollution digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs1126/
Trafficking in Persons in Latin America and the Caribbean
Report that describes the nature and scope of the problem of trafficking in persons in Latin America and the Caribbean. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc228018/
Gun Control Legislation
This report concludes with discussion of other salient and recurring gun control issues that have generated past congressional interest. Those issues include (1) screening firearms background check applicants against terrorist watch lists, (2) reforming the regulation of federally licensed gun dealers, (3) requiring background checks for private firearms transfers at gun shows, (4) more strictly regulating certain firearms previously defined in statute as "semiautomatic assault weapons," and (5) banning or requiring the registration of certain long-range .50 caliber rifles, which are commonly referred to as "sniper" rifles. To set these and other emerging issues in context, 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/metadc84047/
Gun Control Legislation
This report provides basic firearms-related statistics, an overview of federal firearms law, and a summary of legislative action in the 111th Congress. The report concludes with salient issues that have generated significant congressional interest, including the 1994-2004 LCAFD ban. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84046/
The Crime Victims Fund: Federal Support for Victims of Crime
Report that provides background and funding information for Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) programs and the Crime Victims Fund (CVF). It describes the process through which CVF funds are allocated and explains how the CVF impacts the annual budget for Department of Justice (DOJ). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227781/
Terrorism, the Future, and U.S. Foreign Policy
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