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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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/
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/
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 EU-U.S. Safe Harbor Agreement on Personal Data Privacy: In Brief
This report discusses a recent judgement by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) that invalidates the Safe Harbor Agreement between the United States and the 28-member European Union (EU). Safe Harbor is a 15-year-old accord, under which personal data could legally be transferred between EU member countries and the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795682/
Cybersecurity and Information Sharing: Comparison of H.R. 1560 and H.R. 1731 as Passed by the House
This report compares provisions in two bills in the House of Representatives that address information sharing and related activities in cybersecurity. Both bills focus on information sharing among private entities and between them and the federal government. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795529/
U.S.-China Cyber Agreement
During the state visit on September 24-25, 2015, President Xi Jinping of China and President Barack Obama reached a Cyber Agreement. This report briefly discusses that agreement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795686/
Privacy Law and Online Advertising: Legal Analysis of Data Gathering By Online Advertisers Such As Double Click and NebuAd
This report discusses privacy issues arising from so called "e-havioral" advertising. This individual behavioral targeting has raised a number of privacy concerns. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795653/
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. The report discusses the role of United States government and future model of Internet governance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795801/
The Manhattan Project, the Apollo Program, and Federal Energy Technology R&D Programs: A Comparative Analysis
This report compares and contrasts the goals of, and the investments in, three research and development (R&D) initiatives, which may provide useful insights for Congress as it assesses and debates the nation's energy policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795345/
The Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program: Funding Issues and Activities
This report discusses the federal government's 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795366/
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/metadc795396/
A Federal Chief Technology Officer in the Obama Administration: Options and Issues for Consideration
This report addresses issues related to the potential scope of duties and authorities of a CTO, as well as other issues Congress may choose to consider if it opts to exert oversight or to develop legislation to create the position and/or office of a CTO. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795406/
Infrastructure Programs: What's Different About Broadband?
This report discusses the unique characteristics that may dictate that government programs in support of broadband deployment be structured differently than conventional infrastructure programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795475/
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/metadc795902/
The Internet Tax Freedom Act: In Brief
This report discusses the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA; P.L. 105-277), which enacted in 1998, implemented a three-year moratorium preventing state and local governments from taxing Internet access, or imposing multiple or discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795758/
The Internet of Things: Frequently Asked Questions
This report was developed to assist Congress in responding to some commonly asked questions about the Internet of Things (IoT), a complex, often poorly understood phenomenon. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795702/
The Department of Defense, Science and Technology Program: An Analysis, FY1998-FY2007
The purpose of this report is to help understand how the budget increases of the last ten years have been allocated. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc795787/
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/metadc770598/
Industrial Competitiveness and Technological Advancement: Debate Over Government Policy
This report discusses congressional interest in the pace of U.S. technological advancement due to its influence on U.S. economic growth, productivity, and international competitiveness. The proper role of the federal government in technology development and the competitiveness of U.S. industry continues to be a topic of congressional debate. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc770552/
Data Mining and Homeland Security: An Overview
This report explores the issue of data mining in detail and in the context of homeland security, as well as relevant initiatives and pieces of legislation. Often used as a means for detecting fraud, assessing risk, and product retailing, data mining involves the use of data analysis tools to discover previously unknown, valid patterns and relationships in large data sets. In the context of homeland security, data mining can be a potential means to identify terrorist activities, such as money transfers and communications, and to identify and track individual terrorists themselves, such as through travel and immigration records. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc770597/
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 discusses the current debate surrounding smartphone data encryption and how this may impact U.S. law enforcement operations. The report also discusses 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/metadc770614/
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS): Commercial Outlook for a New Industry
This report discusses unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)--commonly referred to as drones-- which have become a staple of U.S. military reconnaissance and weapons delivery in overseas war zones such as Afghanistan. Now some new technologies and pending federal regulations are enabling the manufacture and use of UAS in domestic commerce, giving rise to a growing commercial UAS industry. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc770623/
OPM Data Breach: Personnel Security Background Investigation Data
This report provides information on the types of data that may be collected in a typical personnel security background investigation. In a July 9, 2015, news release on the cyber-intrusions of its systems, OPM "concluded with high confidence that sensitive information, including the Social Security Numbers (SSNs) of 21.5 million individuals, was stolen from the background investigation databases." This report is not an official statement of the data that was compromised in the OPM breach. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743407/
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act
This report provides a summary and explanation of the provisions in the HITECH Act, which is intended to promote the widespread adoption of health information technology (HIT) for the electronic sharing of clinical data among hospitals, physicians, and other health care stakeholders. It gives an overview of prior actions taken by Congress and the Administrations to promote HIT, and briefly describes efforts by the 109th and 110th Congresses to enact comprehensive HIT legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743451/
Policy Implications of the Internet of Things
This report briefly discusses the Internet of Things (IoT), which is an umbrella term that many policymakers use to refer to the technologies and network structures that interconnect objects, humans, and animals to collect and analyze data and manage processes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743651/
Cybersecurity: Legislation, Hearings, and Executive Branch Documents
This report provides links to cybersecurity committee hearings and legislation from the 112th, 113th, and 114th Congresses, as well as a list of executive orders and presidential directives pertaining to information and computer security. Summaries of activities and findings are included as a series of tables. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743631/
Expansion of WTO Information Technology Agreement Targets December Conclusion
This report discusses the World Trade Organization (WTO) expansion and agreement to expand the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) and eliminate tariffs on 201 goods not included in the original 1996 ITA. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743496/
Engineered Nanoscale Materials and Derivative Products: Regulatory Challenges
The purpose of this report is to consider certain challenges faced by federal EHS (environmental, human health and safety) risk assessors, risk managers, and policy makers, and to discuss possible legislative approaches to address those challenges. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743468/
Cyber Intrusion into U.S. Office of Personnel Management: In Brief
This report provides an overview of the current understanding of the recent U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) breaches, which may have compromised personal information of former and current federal employees. It also discusses issues and questions raised about the source of the breaches, possible uses of the information exfiltrated, potential national security ramifications, and implications for the cybersecurity of federal information systems. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743551/
Science and Technology Policymaking: A Primer
This report provides a basic understanding of science and technology policy including the nature of S&T policy, how scientific and technical knowledge is useful for public policy decisionmaking, and an overview of the key stakeholders in science and technology policy. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc743578/
Cybersecurity and Information Sharing: Comparison of H.R. 1560 and H.R. 1731 as Passed by the House
This report compares provisions in two bills in the House of Representatives that address information sharing and related activities in cybersecurity. This report consists of an overview of those and other legislative proposals on information sharing, along with selected associated issues, followed by a side-by-side analysis of the two House bills as passed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700817/
Dark Web
This report illuminates information on the various layers of the Internet, with a particular focus on the Dark Web. It discusses both legitimate and illicit uses of the Dark Web, including how the government may rely upon it. Throughout, the report raises issues that policy makers may consider as they explore means to curb malicious activity online. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700882/
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/metadc700535/
The Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program: Funding Issues and Activities
This report discusses the federal government's 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 that would be capable of addressing the problems and issues the government needed to solve and study. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700806/
The Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program: Funding Issues and Activities
This report discusses the federal government's 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700804/
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/metadc700873/
"Spam": An Overview of Issues Concerning Commercial Electronic Mail
This report discusses Spam, also called unsolicited commercial email (UCE) or "junk email." Not only can Spam 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. Proponents of UCE insist it is a legitimate marketing technique that is protected by the First Amendment. This report discusses this issue in detail, as well as related legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700800/
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/metadc700742/
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/metadc700793/
Cybersecurity: Legislation, Hearings, and Executive Branch Documents
This report provides links to cybersecurity-related committee hearings in the 112th and 113th Congresses. It also provides a list of executive orders and presidential directives pertaining to information and computer security. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700752/
America COMPETES Act and the FY2010 Budget
This report discusses in detail the America COMPETES Act, which is intended to increase the nation's investment in research and development (R&D), and in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. This report discusses the funding increases authorized by the act for various relevant institutions, e.g., the National Science Foundation (NSF); the act's education activities intended to enhance the skills of STEM educators; and if Congress will continue to similarly fund the America COMPETES Act in the FY2010 budget. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700928/
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/metadc700633/
The President's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP): Issues for Congress
This report discusses the role of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), including an overview of the history of science and technology advice to the President, issues and options for Congress regarding (OSTP) Director, OSTP management and operations, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), and the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). The report also discusses actions taken by the Obama Administration regarding OSTP. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700641/
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. The report discusses the role of United States government and future model of Internet governance. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700696/
The President's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP): Issues for Congress
This report discusses the role of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), including an overview of the history of science and technology advice to the President, issues and options for Congress regarding (OSTP) Director, OSTP management and operations, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), and the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). The report also discusses actions taken by the Obama Administration regarding OSTP. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc700649/