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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The Congressional Research Service and the American Legislative Process

The Congressional Research Service and the American Legislative Process

Date: April 12, 2011
Creator: Brudnick, Ida A
Description: The Legislative Reference Service, it was charged with responding to congressional requests for information. For more than 50 years, this department assisted Congress primarily by providing facts and publications and by transmitting research and analysis done largely by other government agencies, private organizations, and individual scholars. In 1970, Congress enacted a law transforming the Legislative Reference Service into the Congressional Research Service (CRS) and directing CRS to devote more of its efforts and increased resources to performing research and analysis that assists Congress in direct support of the legislative process.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
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
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
The Changing Demographic Profile of the United States

The Changing Demographic Profile of the United States

Date: March 31, 2011
Creator: Shrestha, Laura B.
Description: This report discusses the demographic profile of the United States and highlights demographic changes that have occurred since 1950 to illustrate how trends may affect the demographics of the U.S. through 2050.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The State Secrets Privilege: Preventing the Disclosure of Sensitive National Security Information During Civil Litigation

The State Secrets Privilege: Preventing the Disclosure of Sensitive National Security Information During Civil Litigation

Date: March 28, 2011
Creator: Garvey, Todd & Liu, Edward, C.
Description: This report presents an overview of the protections afforded by the state secrets privilege; a discussion of some of the many unresolved issues associated with the privilege; and a selection of high-profile examples of how the privilege has been applied in practice.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
“Gang of Four” Congressional Intelligence Notifications

“Gang of Four” Congressional Intelligence Notifications

Date: March 18, 2011
Creator: Cumming, Alfred
Description: "Gang of Four" intelligence notifications are oral briefings on sensitive non-covert action intelligence activities (including intelligence collection programs) that the Intelligence Community typically limits to the chairmen and ranking members of the two congressional intelligence committees, and at times to their respective staff directors. This report reviews the history of Gang of Four notification process and compares this procedure with that of the "Gang of Eight" notification procedure.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Intelligence Identities Protection Act

Intelligence Identities Protection Act

Date: January 28, 2011
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Description: This report summarizes the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, P.L. 97-200, enacted by Congress in 1982 to address the unauthorized disclosure of information that exposes covert U.S. intelligence agents.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Obama Administration's Open Government Initiative: Issues for Congress

The Obama Administration's Open Government Initiative: Issues for Congress

Date: January 28, 2011
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy R.
Description: This report reviews the objectives delineated in President Obama's Open Government Initiative (OGI) and examines the expectations placed on agencies to meet these objectives. This report reviews department and agency attempts to implement Obama Administration initiatives that seek to make the federal government more transparent, participatory, and collaborative. The report then analyzes options for congressional action in this area.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Director of National Intelligence Statutory Authorities: Status and Proposals

Director of National Intelligence Statutory Authorities: Status and Proposals

Date: January 12, 2011
Creator: Best, Richard A., Jr. & Cumming, Alfred
Description: This report discusses the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) position created by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-458). It includes an overview of the authorities granted to the DNI by legislation in 2004 and later as well as the varying opinions of Congress regarding new DNI authorities, as well as related legislation from FY2010 through FY2012.
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: January 10, 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 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