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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Court-Ordered Access to Smart Phones: In Brief

Court-Ordered Access to Smart Phones: In Brief

Date: February 23, 2016
Creator: Finklea, Kristin; Thompson, Richard M., II & Jaikaran, Chris
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program: Background, Funding, and Activities

The Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program: Background, Funding, and Activities

Date: February 16, 2016
Creator: Moloney Figliola, Patricia
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Big Data in U.S. Agriculture

Big Data in U.S. Agriculture

Date: January 6, 2016
Creator: Stubbs, Megan
Description: 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?
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Encryption and Evolving Technology: Implications for U.S. Law Enforcement Investigations

Encryption and Evolving Technology: Implications for U.S. Law Enforcement Investigations

Date: February 18, 2016
Creator: Finklea, Kristin
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Federal Cybersecurity Workforce: Background and Congressional Oversight Issues for the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security

The Federal Cybersecurity Workforce: Background and Congressional Oversight Issues for the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security

Date: January 8, 2016
Creator: Francis, Kathryn A. & Ginsberg, Wendy
Description: 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).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Using Data to Improve Defense Acquisitions: Background, Analysis, and Questions for Congress

Using Data to Improve Defense Acquisitions: Background, Analysis, and Questions for Congress

Date: January 5, 2016
Creator: Schwartz, Moshe
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Data Security and Breach Notification Legislation: Selected Legal Issues

Data Security and Breach Notification Legislation: Selected Legal Issues

Date: December 28, 2015
Creator: Dolan, Alissa M.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Cybersecurity: Overview Reports and Links to Government, News, and Related Resources

Cybersecurity: Overview Reports and Links to Government, News, and Related Resources

Date: March 2, 2016
Creator: Tehan, Rita
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Is Broadband Deployment Reasonable and Timely?

Is Broadband Deployment Reasonable and Timely?

Date: February 6, 2016
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Renewed Crypto Wars?

Renewed Crypto Wars?

Date: February 9, 2016
Creator: Finklea, Kristin
Description: 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.
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: October 31, 2006
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G. & Gilroy, Angele A.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The National Institute of Standards and Technology: An Overview

The National Institute of Standards and Technology: An Overview

Date: May 8, 2006
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H.
Description: This report discusses the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) that has a mandate to increase the competitiveness of U.S. companies.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Advanced Technology Program

The Advanced Technology Program

Date: July 25, 2003
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H.
Description: 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
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
“Junk E-mail”: An Overview of Issues and Legislation Concerning Unsolicited Commercial Electronic Mail (“Spam”)

“Junk E-mail”: An Overview of Issues and Legislation Concerning Unsolicited Commercial Electronic Mail (“Spam”)

Date: November 6, 2001
Creator: Smith, Marcia S.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
“Junk E-mail”: An Overview of Issues and Legislation Concerning Unsolicited Commercial Electronic Mail (“Spam”)

“Junk E-mail”: An Overview of Issues and Legislation Concerning Unsolicited Commercial Electronic Mail (“Spam”)

Date: March 1, 2002
Creator: Smith, Marcia S.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Net Neutrality: Background and Issues

Net Neutrality: Background and Issues

Date: August 1, 2007
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
Internet Privacy: Overview and Pending Legislation

Internet Privacy: Overview and Pending Legislation

Date: November 13, 2001
Creator: Smith, Marcia S.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA): Policies, Programs, and Funding

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA): Policies, Programs, and Funding

Date: March 5, 2012
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Privacy Protection for Online Information

Privacy Protection for Online Information

Date: May 21, 2002
Creator: Stevens, Gina Marie
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Illegal Internet Streaming of Copyrighted Content: Legislation in the 112th Congress

Illegal Internet Streaming of Copyrighted Content: Legislation in the 112th Congress

Date: December 1, 2011
Creator: Yeh, Brian T.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
America COMPETES Acts: FY2008 to FY2013 Funding Tables

America COMPETES Acts: FY2008 to FY2013 Funding Tables

Date: October 31, 2014
Creator: Gonzalez, Heather B.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Telecommunications Discounts for Schools and Libraries: The “E-Rate” Program and Controversies

Telecommunications Discounts for Schools and Libraries: The “E-Rate” Program and Controversies

Date: July 28, 2005
Creator: Gilroy, Angele A.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Selected Federal Data Security Breach Legislation

Selected Federal Data Security Breach Legislation

Date: April 9, 2012
Creator: Ruane, Kathleen Ann
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Broadband Internet Regulation and Access: Background and Issues

Broadband Internet Regulation and Access: Background and Issues

Date: May 29, 2007
Creator: Gilroy, Angele A. & Kruger, Lennard G.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department