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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Covert Action: Legislative Background and Possible Policy Questions

Covert Action: Legislative Background and Possible Policy Questions

Date: April 6, 2011
Creator: Cumming, Alfred
Description: This report discusses the Department of Defense's (DOD) various counter-terrorist intelligence activities, whether or not they constitute classification as "covert action," and the challenge of clarifying the roles and responsibilities of various intelligence activities with regard to clandestine activities. It also examines the statutory procedures governing covert action and associated questions to consider.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Publishing Scientific Papers with Potential Security Risks: Issues for Congress

Publishing Scientific Papers with Potential Security Risks: Issues for Congress

Date: July 12, 2012
Creator: Gottron, Frank & Shea, Dana A.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Sensitive Covert Action Notifications: Oversight Options for Congress

Sensitive Covert Action Notifications: Oversight Options for Congress

Date: April 6, 2011
Creator: Cumming, Alfred
Description: Legislation enacted in 1980 gave the executive branch authority to limit advance notification of especially-sensitive covert actions to eight Members of Congress (called the "Gang of Eight") when the President determines that it is essential to limit prior notice in order to meet extraordinary circumstances affecting U.S. vital interests. This report describes the statutory provision authorizing Gang of Eight notifications, reviews the legislative history of the provision, and examines the impact of such notifications on congressional oversight.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): Background and Policy Options for the 112th Congress

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): Background and Policy Options for the 112th Congress

Date: July 26, 2011
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy
Description: The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA; 5 U.S.C. §552) enables any person to access—without explanation or justification—certain existing, identifiable, unpublished, executive branch agency records. Pursuant to FOIA, the public has presumptive access to requested agency records unless the material falls within any of FOIA's nine categories of exemption from disclosure. This report discusses FOIA's history, examines its implementation, and provides potential policy approaches for Congress.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Criminal Prohibitions on the Publication of Classified Defense Information

Criminal Prohibitions on the Publication of Classified Defense Information

Date: June 26, 2012
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Description: The recent online publication of classified defense documents by the organization WikiLeaks and subsequent reporting by the New York Times and other news media have focused attention on whether such publication violates U.S. criminal law. The Justice Department and Department of Defense are investigating the circumstances to determine whether any prosecutions will be undertaken in connection with the disclosure. This report discusses the statutory prohibitions that may be implicated, including the Espionage Act; the extraterritorial application of such statutes; and the First Amendment implications related to such prosecutions against domestic or foreign media organizations and associated individuals. The report provides a summary of recent legislation relevant to the issue as well as some previous efforts to criminalize the unauthorized disclosure of classified information.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Criminal Prohibitions on the Publication of Classified Defense Information

Criminal Prohibitions on the Publication of Classified Defense Information

Date: September 8, 2011
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Description: The recent online publication of classified defense documents by the organization WikiLeaks and subsequent reporting by the New York Times and other news media have focused attention on whether such publication violates U.S. criminal law. The Justice Department and Department of Defense are investigating the circumstances to determine whether any prosecutions will be undertaken in connection with the disclosure. This report identifies some criminal statutes that may apply and also discusses the statutory prohibitions that may be implicated, such as the Espionage Act.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Protection of Classified Information by Congress: Practices and Proposals

Protection of Classified Information by Congress: Practices and Proposals

Date: August 31, 2011
Creator: Kaiser, Frederick M.
Description: This report discusses safeguards in place to protect conterolled information and proposals for change of some of the mechanisms in place. Congress uses classified national security and other controlled information to fulfill its constitutional responsibilities, particularly overseeing the executive, appropriating funds, and legislating public policy.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Federal Depository Library Program: Issues for Congress

Federal Depository Library Program: Issues for Congress

Date: March 29, 2012
Creator: Petersen, Eric R.; Manning, Jennifer E. & Bailey, Christina M.
Description: A history and overview of current issues regarding the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program: Background, Funding, and Activities

The Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program: Background, Funding, and Activities

Date: January 13, 2012
Creator: Figliola, Patricia Moloney
Description: The federal government has long played a key role in the country's information technology (IT) research and development (R&D) activities. The government's support of IT R&D began because it had an important interest in creating computers and software that would be capable of addressing the problems and issues the government needed to solve and study.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Covert Action: Legislative Background and Possible Policy Questions

Covert Action: Legislative Background and Possible Policy Questions

Date: December 27, 2011
Creator: Best, Richard A., Jr.
Description: Published reports have suggested that in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Pentagon has expanded its counter-terrorism intelligence activities as part of what the Bush Administration termed the global war on terror. This report discusses the Department of Defense's (DOD) various counter-terrorist intelligence activities, whether or not they constitute classification as "covert action," and the challenge of clarifying the roles and responsibilities of various intelligence activities with regard to clandestine activities. This report examines the statutory procedures governing covert action and associated questions to consider.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department