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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The FDA Medical Device User Fee Program: MDUFA IV Reauthorization
This report describes current law regarding medical device user fees, the impact of Medical Device User Fee and Modernization Act (MDUFMA) on Federal Drug Administration (FDA) review time of various medical device applications, and the agency's medical device program budget. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855900/
U.S.-EU Data Privacy: From Safe Harbor to Privacy Shield
This report provides background on U.S. and European Union (EU) data protection policies and the Safe Harbor Agreement, discusses the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruling, and reviews the key elements of the newly-proposed Privacy Shield. It also explores various issues for Congress, including implications for U.S. firms of Safe Harbor's invalidation and the role of the Judicial Redress Act in helping to ameliorate U.S.-EU tensions on data privacy and protection issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855920/
Nanotechnology: A Policy Primer
This report provides a brief overview of three major topics related to nanotechnology: federal research and development (R&D) investments under the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI); U.S. international competitiveness in nanotechnology; and environmental, health, and safety (EHS) concerns. It also discusses nanomanufacturing and public attitudes toward, and understanding of, nanotechnology. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855762/
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 the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (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/metadc855773/
Digital Searches and Seizures: Overview of Proposed Amendments to Rule 41 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure
This report provides a brief overview of the proposed amendment to Rule 41, which would amend the federal search and seizure rules to permit the government to remotely access electronic devices although the location of the device may be unknown. First, the report provides a background on the origin of, and rationale underlying, the proposed amendment and a description of the rule as currently written. Second, it reviews the potential changes made by the proposed amendment and will survey various concerns commenters have raised with the proposal. Lastly, this report addresses efforts being made in Congress to alter, delay, or stop this rule change. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855809/
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 Office of Science and Technology Policy's (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). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855828/
U.S. Semiconductor Manufacturing: Industry Trends, Global Competition, Federal Policy
This report provides background information on the Zika virus, discusses challenges faced by governments and implementing partners in the Latin America and Caribbean region that are attempting to control the ongoing outbreak, and analyzes these above issues in the context of the U.S. Zika response. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855842/
Overview of FY2017 Appropriations for Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS)
This report tracks and describes actions taken by the Administration and Congress to provide FY2017 appropriations for the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) accounts. It also provides an overview of FY2016 appropriations for agencies and bureaus funded as part of annual CJS appropriations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855843/
Delivery Drones: Coming to the Sky Near You?
This legal sidebar briefly examines the prospect of highly-automated fleets of drones being used routinely to deliver packages, which raises a number of legal questions. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855844/
Treasury Issues White Paper on Fintech and Marketplace Lending
This report briefly discusses the context and contents of a white paper issued on May 10, 2016 by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The paper analyzes regulatory issues for the marketplace lending industry and offers several recommendations for industry and government responses. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc855848/
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/
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