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 Decade: 2010-2019
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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.
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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.
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An Analysis of STEM Education Funding at the NSF: Trends and Policy Discussion

An Analysis of STEM Education Funding at the NSF: Trends and Policy Discussion

Date: April 9, 2012
Creator: Gonzalez, Heather B.
Description: This report analyzes National Science Foundation funding trends and selected closely related STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education policy issues in order to place conversations about FY2013 funding in broader fiscal and policy context. It concludes with an analysis of potential policy options.
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Energy Storage for Power Grids and Electric Transportation: A Technology Assessment

Energy Storage for Power Grids and Electric Transportation: A Technology Assessment

Date: March 27, 2012
Creator: Parfomak, Paul W.
Description: This report attempts to summarize the current state of knowledge regarding energy storage technologies for both electric power grid and electric vehicle applications. It is intended to serve as a reference for policymakers interested in understanding the range of technologies and applications associated with energy storage, comparing them, when possible, in a structured way to highlight key characteristics relevant to widespread use. While the emphasis is on technology, this report also addresses the significant policy, market, and other non-technical factors that may impede storage adoption. It considers eight major categories of storage technology: pumped hydro, compressed air, batteries, capacitors, superconducting magnetic energy storage, flywheels, thermal storage, and hydrogen.
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Immigration of Foreign Nationals with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Degrees

Immigration of Foreign Nationals with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Degrees

Date: May 11, 2012
Creator: Wasem, Ruth Ellen
Description: Congress is renewing its interest in facilitating the immigration of foreign professional workers in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) fields. The STEM workforce is seen by many as a catalyst of U.S. global economic competitiveness and is likewise considered a key element of the legislative options aimed at stimulating economic growth. "STEM visa" is a shorthand for an expedited immigration avenue that enables foreign nationals with graduate degrees in STEM fields to adjust their immigration status to legal permanent residence (LPR) without waiting in the queue of numerically-limited LPR visas.
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Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources

Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources

Date: May 2, 2012
Creator: Tehan, Rita
Description: 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.
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Nanotechnology: A Policy Primer

Nanotechnology: A Policy Primer

Date: April 13, 2012
Creator: Sargent, John F., Jr.
Description: Nanoscale science, engineering, and technology-commonly referred to collectively as nanotechnology-is believed by many to offer extraordinary economic and societal benefits. Congress has demonstrated continuing support for nanotechnology and has directed its attention primarily to three topics that may affect the realization of this hoped for potential: federal research and development (R&D) in nanotechnology; U.S. competitiveness; and environmental, health, and safety (EHS) concerns. This report provides an overview of these topics-which are discussed in more detail in other CRS reports-and two others: nanomanufacturing and public understanding of and attitudes toward nanotechnology.
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State Taxation of Internet Transactions

State Taxation of Internet Transactions

Date: June 7, 2011
Creator: Maguire, Steven
Description: This report intends to clarify significant issues in the remote sales tax collection debate, beginning with a description of state and local sales and use taxes. Congress has a role in this issue because interstate commerce, in most cases, falls under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. Congress will likely be asked to choose between taking either an active or passive role in the debate. In the 111th Congress, H.R. 5660 (former Representative Delahunt) would have granted SSUTA member states the authority to compel out-of- state vendors to collect sales and use taxes.
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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 National Institute of Standards and Technology: An Appropriations Overview

The National Institute of Standards and Technology: An Appropriations Overview

Date: April 25, 2011
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H.
Description: Continued funding for NIST extramural programs directed toward increased private sector commercialization has been a major issue. Some Members of Congress have expressed skepticism over a "technology policy" based on providing federal funds to industry for development of pre-competitive generic technologies. This approach, coupled with pressures to balance the federal budget, led to significant reductions in funding for NIST. The Advanced Technology Program (ATP) and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), which accounted for over 50% of the FY1995 NIST budget, were proposed for elimination. In 2007, ATP was terminated and replaced by the Technology Innovation Program (TIP). As part of the American Competitiveness Initiative, announced by former President Bush in the 2006 State of the Union, the Administration stated its intention to double over 10 years funding for "innovation-enabling research" done at NIST through its "core" programs. 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 TIP and MEP. The dispensation of funding for ...
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