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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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.
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: 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 ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Cybercrime: An Overview of the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Statute and Related Federal Criminal Laws

Cybercrime: An Overview of the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Statute and Related Federal Criminal Laws

Date: December 27, 2010
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Description: The federal computer fraud and abuse statute, 18 U.S.C. 1030, outlaws conduct that victimizes computer systems. It is a cyber security law. It protects federal computers, bank computers, and computers connected to the Internet. It shields them from trespassing, threats, damage, espionage, and from being corruptly used as instruments of fraud. It is not a comprehensive provision, but instead it fills cracks and gaps in the protection afforded by other federal criminal laws. This is a brief sketch of Section 1030 and some of its federal statutory companions, including the amendments found in the Identity Theft Enforcement and Restitution Act.
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Access to Broadband Networks: The Net Neutrality Debate

Access to Broadband Networks: The Net Neutrality Debate

Date: April 25, 2011
Creator: Gilroy, Angele A.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Clean Energy Standard: Potential Qualifying Energy Sources

Clean Energy Standard: Potential Qualifying Energy Sources

Date: May 3, 2011
Creator: Bracmort, Kelsi; Folger, Peter; Holt, Mark; Ratner, Michael & Sissine, Fred
Description: This report begins with a brief examination of clean energy, renewable energy, and alternative energy. It then presents possible selection criteria Congress could use to determine which sources could be eligible for a CES depending on the goal(s) of the CES. The report provides an overview of the energy sources most commonly discussed as potential CES qualifying sources: biomass, fossil fuels (natural gas combined-cycle and coal-fired power plants with carbon capture and sequestration), geothermal resources, nuclear, solar, water, and wind. The report describes where each source can be found in the United States, the estimated quantity available for electricity generation, technologies used to create electricity from the source, advantages and disadvantages of using the source for electricity generation, and policy implications should the source be included in a CES.5 The report also contains a section on energy efficiency and its potential inclusion in a CES.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Broadband Internet Access and the Digital Divide: Federal Assistance Programs

Broadband Internet Access and the Digital Divide: Federal Assistance Programs

Date: April 12, 2011
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G. & Gilroy, Angele A.
Description: The "digital divide" is a term used to describe a perceived gap between "information haves and have-nots," or in other words, between those Americans who use or have access to telecommunications and information technologies and those who do not. Whether or not individuals or communities fall into the "information haves" category depends on a number of factors, ranging from the presence of computers in the home, to training and education, to the availability of affordable Internet access.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Technology Innovation Program

The Technology Innovation Program

Date: April 25, 2011
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H.
Description: The Technology Innovation Program (TIP) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was established in 2007 to replace the Advanced Technology Program (ATP). This effort is designed "to support, promote, and accelerate innovation in the United States through highrisk, high-reward research in areas of critical national need," according to the authorizing legislation. Grants are provided to small and medium-sized firms for individual projects or joint ventures with other research organizations.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Access to Broadband Networks: The Net Neutrality Debate

Access to Broadband Networks: The Net Neutrality Debate

Date: March 15, 2011
Creator: Gilroy, Angele A.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Managing Electronic Waste: Issues with Exporting E-Waste

Managing Electronic Waste: Issues with Exporting E-Waste

Date: September 27, 2010
Creator: Luther, Linda
Description: Electronic waste (e-waste) is a term that is used loosely to refer to obsolete, broken, or irreparable electronic devices like televisions, computer central processing units (CPUs), and computer monitors. There are various issues of concern with regard to e-waste disposal and recycling. This report looks at issues specifically related to its export for recycling. Particularly, it discusses documented impacts to human health and the environment that have been tied to unsafe recycling practices in developing countries, as well as issues that have motivated certain stakeholders to divert e-waste from landfill disposal and, hence, increase recycling. It also provides an overview of various factors necessary to understand why e-waste disposal has become a concern in the United States, and it also discusses waste management requirements in the United States.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Stuxnet Computer Worm: Harbinger of an Emerging Warfare Capability

The Stuxnet Computer Worm: Harbinger of an Emerging Warfare Capability

Date: December 9, 2010
Creator: Kerr, Paul K.; Rollins, John & Theohary, Catherine A.
Description: In September 2010, media reports emerged about a new form of cyber attack that appeared to target Iran, although the actual target, if any, is unknown. This report discusses this cyber attack, a malicious software program known as Stuxnet, which infected computer systems that were used to control the functioning of a nuclear power plant. Once inside the system, Stuxnet had the ability to degrade or destroy the software on which it operated. Although early reports focused on the impact on facilities in Iran, researchers discovered that the program had spread throughout multiple countries worldwide.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department