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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The Future of Internet Governance: Should the United States Relinquish Its Authority over ICANN?
This report discusses legislation relevant to the future of Internet governance that has been introduced in the 113th and 114th Congresses which would prevent, delay, or impose conditions or additional scrutiny on the transition of NTIA's stewardship role and procedural authority over key Internet domain name functions to the global Internet multi-stakeholder community. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847735/
Municipal Broadband: Background and Policy Debate
This report discusses the debate surrounding Municipal Broadband, which is controversial because it involves governmental entities entering a commercial telecommunications marketplace that had previously been the exclusive domain of private sector providers. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847745/
Cybersecurity: Legislation, Hearings, and Executive Branch Documents
This report provides links to cybersecurity-related committee hearings in the 112th, 113th, and 114th Congresses. It also provides a list of executive orders and presidential directives pertaining to information and computer security. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847784/
Federal R&D Funding Under a Continuing Resolution
This report discusses the continuing resolution, or CR (P.L. 109-383, H.J.Res. 102) which provides spending at FY2006 levels (through February 15, 2007), for those agencies lacking enacted FY2007 appropriations bills. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847629/
Internet Governance and the Domain Name System: Issues for Congress
This report provides a definition regarding Internet governance and how the Internet is currently governed, and discusses the role of United States government and future model of Internet governance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847658/
FEMA Flood Map Modernization Funding
This report discusses the implementation of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)'s Flood Map Modernization (Map Mod) Initiative (FMMI) and its ongoing Map Mod program. FEMA introduced the FMMI in September 1997 as a strategic plan to convert paper flood insurance rate maps (FIRMs) to digital electronic format, or DFIRMs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847684/
Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP): History and Overview
This report provides an overview of the history of science and technology (S&T) advice to the President and discusses selected recurrent issues for Congress regarding OSTP's Director, OSTP management and operations, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), and the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847688/
Encryption: Selected Legal Issues
This report first provides background to the ongoing encryption debate, including a primer on encryption basics and an overview of Apple, Google, and Facebook's new encryption policies. Next, it provides an overview of the Fifth Amendment right to be free from self-incrimination. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847536/
Cybersecurity: Legislation, Hearings, and Executive Branch Documents
This report provides links to cybersecurity-related committee hearings in the 112th, 113th, and 114th Congresses. It also provides a list of executive orders and presidential directives pertaining to information and computer security. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824775/
Broadband Internet Regulation and Access: Background and Issues
This report discusses broadband Internet, examining what it is and the various technologies that allow for its transmission. Broadband or high-speed Internet access is provided by technologies that give users the ability to send and receive data at volumes and speeds far greater than access over traditional telephone lines; it also provides a continuous, "always on" connection (no need to dial-up) and a "twoway" capability, that is, the ability to both receive (download) and transmit (upload) data at high speeds. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824734/
Court-Ordered Access to Smart Phones: In Brief
This report specifically examines certain encryption issues that have been raised in the investigation of the December 2, 2015, terrorist attack in San Bernardino, CA. This report highlights certain issues that policymakers may examine as they follow the ongoing dispute between law enforcement and technology companies, and it focuses on questions related to the government's request. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824742/
The Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program: Background, Funding, and Activities
This report discusses the federal government's role in the country's information technology (IT) research and development (R&D) activities. Support of IT R&D began because the government 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824595/
Big Data in U.S. Agriculture
This report discusses big data within the context of agriculture. Many observers predict that the growth of big data will bring positive benefits through enhanced production, resource efficiency, and improved adaptation to climate change. While lauded for its potentially revolutionary applications, big data is not without issues. From a policy perspective, issues related to big data involve nearly every stage of its existence, including its collection (how it is captured), management (how it is stored and managed), and use (how it is analyzed and used). It is still unclear how big data will progress within agriculture due to technical and policy challenges, such as privacy and security, for producers and policymakers. As Congress follows the issue, a number of questions may arise, including a principal one--what is the federal role? digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824605/
Encryption and Evolving Technology: Implications for U.S. Law Enforcement Investigations
This report provides an overview of the perennial issue involving technology outpacing law enforcement and discusses how policy makers and law enforcement officials have dealt with this issue in the past. It also outlines the current debate surrounding smartphone data encryption and how this may impact U.S. law enforcement operations, as well as existing law enforcement capabilities, the debate over whether law enforcement is "going dark" because of rapid technological advances, and resulting issues that policy makers may consider. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824624/
The Federal Cybersecurity Workforce: Background and Congressional Oversight Issues for the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security
This report examines congressional oversight of two strategies undertaken by Congress and the executive branch to strengthen the federal cybersecurity workforce: initiatives to define and identify the federal cybersecurity workforce, and hiring and pay flexibilities applicable to cybersecurity positions at the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824503/
Using Data to Improve Defense Acquisitions: Background, Analysis, and Questions for Congress
This report examines (1) the extent to which the Department of Defense (DOD) effectively uses data to inform decisionmaking, (2) some of the critical elements needed for DOD to use data more effectively, (3) recent efforts to improve DOD's use of data, and (4) potential questions for Congress. This report focuses primarily (but not exclusively) on defense acquisitions as a case study. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824544/
Data Security and Breach Notification Legislation: Selected Legal Issues
This report describes the common elements of several data security and breach notification bills that have been introduced in the 114th Congress, which broadly would impose security and notification requirements on businesses regardless of industry sector. It also discusses state laws that may apply in the event of a data breach and addresses two legal issues that may arise in consideration of new legislation about data security and breach notification. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824549/
Cybersecurity: Overview Reports and Links to Government, News, and Related Resources
This report directs the reader to authoritative sources that address many of the most prominent issues related to cybersecurity. Included in the reports are resources and studies from government agencies (federal, state, local, and international), think tanks, academic institutions, news organizations, and other sources. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824556/
Is Broadband Deployment Reasonable and Timely?
This report briefly discusses the state of broadband Internet in America as determined by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in its latest Broadband Progress Report. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824429/
Renewed Crypto Wars?
This report briefly examines renewed tensions between tech companies and the government regarding encryption "back doors" and how quickly-advancing technologies could impact law enforcement investigations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824446/
Broadband Internet Access and the Digital Divide: Federal Assistance Programs
This report discusses the "digital divide," a term that has been used to characterize a gap between those Americans who use or have access to telecommunications technologies (e.g., telephones, computers, the Internet) and those who do not. It particularly discusses one important subset of the digital divide debate concerns high speed Internet access or broadband. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc824461/
The National Institute of Standards and Technology: An Overview
This report discusses the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) that has a mandate to increase the competitiveness of U.S. companies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821673/
The Advanced Technology Program
This report discuses the Advanced Technology Program (ATP) that was created by P.L. 100-418, the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988, to encourage public-private cooperation in the development of pre-competitive technologies with broad application across industries digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc810764/
“Junk E-mail”: An Overview of Issues and Legislation Concerning Unsolicited Commercial Electronic Mail (“Spam”)
This report discusses unsolicited commercial e-mail (UCE), also called “spam” or “junk e-mail.” Not only can it be a nuisance, but its cost may be passed on to consumers through higher charges from Internet service providers who must upgrade their systems to handle the traffic. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc816121/
“Junk E-mail”: An Overview of Issues and Legislation Concerning Unsolicited Commercial Electronic Mail (“Spam”)
This report discusses unsolicited commercial e-mail (UCE), also called “spam” or “junk e-mail.” Not only can it be a nuisance, but its cost may be passed on to consumers through higher charges from Internet service providers who must upgrade their systems to handle the traffic. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820983/
Net Neutrality: Background and Issues
This report discusses the continued debate amongst congressional policymakers regarding telecommunications reform. A major point of the ongoing discussion is whether action is needed to ensure unfettered access to the Internet. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822587/
Internet Privacy: Overview and Pending Legislation
Internet privacy issues encompass concerns about the collection of personally identifiable information from visitors to Web sites, as well as debate over law enforcement or employer monitoring of electronic mail and Web usage. In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, debate over the issue of law enforcement monitoring has intensified, with some advocating increased tools for law enforcement to track down terrorists, and others cautioning that fundamental tenets of democracy, such as privacy, not be endangered in that pursuit. This report provides a brief overview of Internet privacy issues and tracks pending legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822608/
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA): Policies, Programs, and Funding
This report discusses the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which is an agency of the Department of Commerce set up to advise on domestic and international telecommunications and information policies. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822567/
Privacy Protection for Online Information
This report focuses on one aspect of online privacy – collection, use, and dissemination of data via the Internet, and discusses related federal privacy laws and selected legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821619/
Illegal Internet Streaming of Copyrighted Content: Legislation in the 112th Congress
This report describes streaming technology, explains the disparity in criminal penalties for different forms of infringement committed by electronic means, analyzes legislation in the 112th Congress that would harmonize penalties for illegal streaming with those available for other forms of online copyright infringement, and summarizes arguments for and against such a legislative change. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821076/
America COMPETES Acts: FY2008 to FY2013 Funding Tables
The 2007 America COMPETES Act (P.L. 110-69) is designed to “invest in innovation through research and development, and to improve the competitiveness of the United States.” This report tracks accounts and activities authorized by the 2007 and 2010 COMPETES Acts during each act’s authorization period. It includes only those accounts and activities for which the acts provide a defined (i.e., specific) appropriations authorization. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821109/
Telecommunications Discounts for Schools and Libraries: The “E-Rate” Program and Controversies
This report addresses the controversial issues surrounding the E-rate program’s implementation and subsequent legislative measures introduced to address these issues. An additional issue, concern that minors may gain access to “inappropriate” material through the Internet has also had an impact on the E-rate program. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821103/
Selected Federal Data Security Breach Legislation
The protection of data, particularly data that can be used to identify individuals, has become an issue of great concern to Congress. This report discusses relevant legislation regarding data security. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821583/
Broadband Internet Regulation and Access: Background and Issues
This report discusses broadband Internet, examining what it is and the various technologies that allow for its transmission. Broadband or high-speed Internet access is provided by technologies that give users the ability to send and receive data at volumes and speeds far greater than access over traditional telephone lines; it also provides a continuous, "always on" connection (no need to dial-up) and a "two-way" capability, that is, the ability to both receive (download) and transmit (upload) data at high speeds. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821388/
Broadband Internet Access and the Digital Divide: Federal Assistance Programs
This report provides an overview of the "digital divide", which is a term used to describe a perceived gap between those Americans who use or have access to telecommunications and information technologies and those who do not. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821606/
Broadband Internet Access and the Digital Divide: Federal Assistance Programs
This report examines issues regarding broadband access in the U.S., more specifically the "digital divide,” which is a term that has been used to characterize a gap between “information haves and have-nots,” or in other words, between those Americans who use or have access to telecommunications technologies (e.g., telephones, computers, the Internet) and those who do not. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821174/
Cybersecurity and Information Sharing: Legal Challenges and Solutions
While considerable debate exists with regard to the best strategies for protecting America’s various cyber-systems and promoting cybersecurity, one point of general agreement amongst cyber-analysts is the perceived need for enhanced and timely exchange of cyber-threat intelligence both within the private sector and between the private sector and the government. This report examines the various legal issues that arise with respect to the sharing of cybersecurity intelligence, with a special focus on two distinct concepts: (1) sharing of cyberinformation within the government’s possession and (2) sharing of cyber-information within the possession of the private sector. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821165/
Internet Tax Bills in the 105th Congress
This report tracks the evolution and content of the Internet tax freedom bills. In general, the bills would impose a federal moratorium on the ability of state and local governments to impose taxes on certain aspects of the Internet and would establish a temporary federal commission to study selected issues and make policy recommendations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821638/
State Sales Taxation of Internet Transactions
This report examines state taxation of Internet transactions as well as efforts to achieve uniform state sales and use tax treatment. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821653/
Science and Technology Policy: Issues for the 109th Congress
Science and technology have a pervasive influence over a wide range of issues confronting the nation. Decisions on how much federal funding to invest in research and development (R&D), and determining what programs have the highest priority, for example, may have implications for homeland security, new high technology industries, government/private sector cooperation in R&D, and myriad other areas. This report indicates the sweep of science and technology in many public policy issues, although it cannot provide a comprehensive examination of every science or technology issue which may be of interest to Congress. This report identifies other CRS reports that treat most of those issues in more depth. It is updated occasionally. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821417/
Point & Click: Internet Searching Techniques
This report discusses criteria to consider when judging the quality of an internet site and the best strategies for locating information on the World Wide Web. There are two ways to search the Internet. The first is to use subject guides (e.g., Yahoo, Galaxy, or WWW Virtual Library), which are compiled by human indexers. These present an organized hierarchy of categories so a searcher can “drill down” through their links. The second option is to use a search engine (e.g., Alta Vista, Hotbot, or InfoSeek), an automated software robot which indexes Web pages and retrieves information based on relevancy-ranked algorithms. This report describes how search engines index the World Wide Web, as well as various features common to most search engines. In addition, the report suggests searching tips for retrieving the most precise information. Finally, the report discusses Usenet news groups, email discussion lists, gophers, and miscellaneous Web resources. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821420/
The Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program: Funding Issues and Activities
This report discusses federal funding for IT research and development. Proponents assert that federal support of IT R&D has produced positive outcomes for the country and played a crucial role in supporting long-term research into fundamental aspects of computing. Critics assert that the government, through its funding mechanisms, may be picking “winners and losers” in technological development, a role more properly residing with the private sector. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821428/
Broadband Internet Regulation and Access: Background and Issues
This is one part in the series of reports that provide a background and analysis, and most recent developments regarding broadband or high-speed Internet access. The report starts out by answering questions; what is broadband and why is it important? This report also discusses broadband technologies, the status of broadband deployment and the related policy issues, as well as the legislation in congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822499/
Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources, by Topic
Cybersecurity vulnerabilities challenge governments, businesses, and individuals worldwide. Attacks have been initiated by individuals, as well as countries. Targets have included government networks, military defenses, companies, or political organizations, depending upon whether the attacker was seeking military intelligence, conducting diplomatic or industrial espionage, or intimidating political activists. This report provides links to selected authoritative resources related to cybersecurity issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822541/
Digital Television: An Overview
Digital television (DTV) is a new television service representing the most significant development in television technology since the advent of color television in the 1950s. DTV can provide sharper pictures, a wider screen, CD-quality sound, better color rendition, and other new services currently being developed. This report discusses a key issue in the Congressional debate over the digital transition has been addressing the millions of American over-the-air households whose existing analog televisions will require converter boxes in order to receive digital signals when the analog signal is turned off. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822508/
The Transition to Digital Television: Is America Ready?
This report discusses the background and potential effects of the DTV Delay Act, which directs that all over-the-air full-power television broadcasts will become digital only. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc821450/
Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources, by Topic
This report provides references to analytical reports on cybersecurity from CRS, other government agencies, trade associations, and interest groups. In addition, the report lists selected cybersecurity-related websites for congressional and government agencies, news, international organizations, and organizations or institutions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822526/
Dual-Use Biological Equipment: Difficulties in Domestic Regulation
A question in the current debate over chemical and biological terrorism is: how well do current United States policies limit opportunities to terrorist groups for acquisition of such weapons? The domestic purchase and use of “dual-use” biological equipment, such as fermenters, centrifuges, and other equipment, is one area suggested as potentially providing opportunities for terrorist, biological weapons development. Dual-use equipment has both legitimate civilian and military use. Regulating international sale of dual-use equipment is used as a nonproliferation policy tool. Similar regulation of domestic sales has not been employed. This report will discuss the difficulties of applying domestic controls on dual-use biological equipment and the potential advantages and disadvantages of doing so. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc822709/
Internet Taxation: Issues and Legislation
The Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) placed a three-year moratorium on the ability of state and local governments to (1) impose new taxes on Internet access or (2) impose any multiple or discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce. The act grandfathered the state and local access taxes that were “... generally imposed and actually enforced prior to October 1, 1998 ....” This report discusses issues of state and local taxation of Internet transactions because commerce conducted by parties in different states over the Internet. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820906/
Internet Gambling: A Sketch of Legislative Proposals in the 108th and 109th Congresses
This report examines two bills that have been introduced in the 109th Congress to address issues regarding Internet gambling. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc820922/