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 Decade: 2010-2019
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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: March 27, 2012
Creator: Figliola, Patricia Moloney
Description: In the early 1990s, Congress recognized that several federal agencies had ongoing high performance computing programs, but no central coordinating body existed to ensure long-term coordination and planning. To provide such a framework, Congress passed the High-Performance Computing and Communications Program Act of 1991 to enhance the effectiveness of the various programs. In conjunction with the passage of the act, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy released Grand Challenges: High-Performance Computing and Communications. Current concerns are the role of the federal government in supporting IT R&D and the level of funding to allot to it. This report also looks at federal budgets for the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Cybersecurity: Selected Legal Issues

Cybersecurity: Selected Legal Issues

Date: March 14, 2012
Creator: Liu, Edward, C.
Description: This report discusses selected legal issues that frequently arise in the context of recent legislation to address vulnerabilities of critical infrastructure to cyber threats, efforts to protect government networks from cyber threats, and proposals to facilitate and encourage sharing of cyber threat information amongst private sector and government entities. This report also discusses the degree to which federal law may preempt state law.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Industrial Competitiveness and Technological Advancement: Debate Over Government Policy

Industrial Competitiveness and Technological Advancement: Debate Over Government Policy

Date: March 13, 2012
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H.
Description: There is ongoing interest in the pace of U.S. technological advancement due to its influence on U.S. economic growth, productivity, and international competitiveness. Because technology can contribute to economic growth and productivity increases, congressional attention has focused on how to augment private-sector technological development. This report covers legislative activity in the past and present on this topic. It also looks at the future of Congressional action towards mandated specific technology development. As the Congress develops its appropriation priorities, the manner by which the government encourages technological progress in the private sector again may be explored and/or redefined.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Cybersecurity: Cyber Crime Protection Security Act (S. 2111)—A Legal Analysis

Cybersecurity: Cyber Crime Protection Security Act (S. 2111)—A Legal Analysis

Date: March 12, 2012
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: The Cyber Crime Protection Security Act (S. 2111) would enhance the criminal penalties for the cyber crimes outlawed in the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). Those offenses include espionage, hacking, fraud, destruction, password trafficking, and extortion committed against computers and computer networks. S. 2111 contains some of the enhancements approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee when it reported the Personal Data Privacy and Security Act (S. 1151), S.Rept. 112-91 (2011).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The National Institute of Standards and Technology: An Appropriations Overview

The National Institute of Standards and Technology: An Appropriations Overview

Date: March 5, 2012
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H.
Description: This report is a look at the funding for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a laboratory of the Department of Commerce. NIST is mandated to provide technical services to facilitate the competitiveness of U.S. industry. In 2007, the Advanced Technology Program (ATP) was terminated and replaced by the Technology Innovation Program (TIP). However, no funding was appropriated for TIP in the FY2012 appropriations legislation and NIST is "...currently taking the necessary actions for an orderly shutdown." In April 2009, the current President stated his decision to double the budget of key science agencies, including NIST, over the next 10 years. While additional funding has been forthcoming, it remains to be seen how support for internal R&D at NIST will evolve and how this might affect financing of extramural efforts such as MEP. The dispensation of funding for NIST programs may influence the way by which the federal government supports technology development for commercial application.
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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
The President's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP): Issues for Congress

The President's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP): Issues for Congress

Date: February 10, 2012
Creator: Sargent, John F., Jr.
Description: Congress established the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) through the National Science and Technology Policy, Organization, and Priorities Act of 1976. The act states that “The primary function of the OSTP Director is to provide, within the Executive Office of the President [EOP], advice on the scientific, engineering, and technological aspects of issues that require attention at the highest level of Government.” Issues for Congress to consider regarding OSTP are the nomination of the OSTP director by the President; engagement of OSTP with China; the title, rank, and responsibilities of the OSTP director; OSTP policy foci; OSTP funding and staffing; roles and functions of the OSTP and NSTC; and the status and influence of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).
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Internet Governance and the Domain Name System: Issues for Congress

Internet Governance and the Domain Name System: Issues for Congress

Date: February 9, 2012
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G.
Description: As the Internet grows and becomes more pervasive in all aspects of modern society, the question of how it should be governed becomes more pressing. Currently, an important aspect of the Internet is governed by a private sector, international organization called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which manages and oversees some of the critical technical underpinnings of the Internet such as the domain name system and Internet Protocol (IP) addressing. ICANN makes its policy decisions using a multistakeholder model of governance, whereby a “bottom-up” collaborative process is open to all constituencies of Internet stakeholders. A key issue for Congress is whether and how the U.S. government should continue to maximize U.S. influence over ICANN's multistakeholder Internet governance process, while at the same time effectively resisting proposals for an increased role by international governmental institutions such as the U.N. The outcome of this debate will likely have a significant impact on how other aspects of the Internet may be governed in the future, especially in such areas as intellectual property, privacy, law enforcement, Internet free speech, and cybersecurity. Looking forward, the institutional nature of Internet governance could have far reaching implications on important policy decisions that will ...
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Internet Domain Names: Background and Policy Issues

Internet Domain Names: Background and Policy Issues

Date: February 3, 2012
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G.
Description: The Domain Name System (DNS) is the distributed set of databases residing in computers around the world that contain address numbers mapped to corresponding domain names, making it possible to send and receive messages and to access information from computers anywhere on the Internet. Many of the technical, operational, and management decisions regarding the DNS can have significant impacts on Internet-related policy issues such as intellectual property, privacy, ecommerce, and cybersecurity. The expiration of the JPA (Joint Project Agreement), the implementation of the Affirmation of Commitments, and the continuing U.S. authority over the DNS root zone remain issues of interest to the 112th Congress, the Administration, foreign governments, and other Internet stakeholders worldwide.
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Smart Meter Data: Privacy and Cybersecurity

Smart Meter Data: Privacy and Cybersecurity

Date: February 3, 2012
Creator: Murrill, Brandon J.
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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department