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 Decade: 2010-2019
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Internet Domain Names: Background and Policy Issues
This report discusses the Domain Name System (DNS), which is the distributed set of databases residing in computers around the world that contain address numbers mapped to corresponding domain names, making it possible to send and receive messages and to access information from computers anywhere on the Internet. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29525/
Spectrum Policy in the Age of Broadband: Issues for Congress
This report considers the possibility of modifying spectrum policy: (1) to support national goals for broadband deployment by placing more emphasis on attracting new providers of wireless broadband services; and (2) to accommodate the wireless broadband needs of industries that are considered by many to be the economic drivers of the future, not only communications, but also areas such as energy, health care, transportation, and education. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490998/
Internet Domain Names: Background and Policy Issues
This report discusses the Domain Name System (DNS), which is the distributed set of databases residing in computers around the world that contain address numbers mapped to corresponding domain names, making it possible to send and receive messages and to access information from computers anywhere on the Internet. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29524/
The Advanced Spectroscopic Portal Program: Background and Issues for Congress
The attacks of September 11, 2001, prompted an increased federal focus on protecting the United States against terrorist nuclear or radiological attack. Since that time, the federal government has expanded existing programs, developed new programs, and deployed new equipment at U.S. borders and elsewhere. The global nuclear detection architecture has multiple facets, including source security to make acquiring threat material more difficult, intelligence activities, law enforcement activities, and deployment of radiation detection equipment. New technologies have been proposed to replace or augment existing radiation detection equipment and enhance its effectiveness. Primary among these new systems is an improved type of radiation detection device known as the Advanced Spectroscopic Portal (ASP). This report provides an overview of the ASP program's history and outlines issues for Congress as the program moves forward. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491662/
Nanotechnology: A Policy Primer
Nanoscale science, engineering and technology--commonly referred to collectively as nanotechnology--is believed by many to offer extraordinary economic and societal benefits. Congress has demonstrated continuing support for nanotechnology and has directed its attention primarily to three topics that may affect the realization of this hoped for potential: federal research and development (R&D) in nanotechnology; U.S. competitiveness; and environmental, health, and safety (EHS) concerns. This report provides an overview of these topics--which are discussed in more detail in other CRS reports--and two others: nanomanufacturing and public understanding of and attitudes toward nanotechnology. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491136/
Spectrum Policy in the Age of Broadband: Issues for Congress
This report discusses spectrum policy issues in the 111th Congress. In formulating spectrum policy, mainstream viewpoints generally diverge on whether to give priority to market economics or social goals. Among the spectrum policy initiatives that have been proposed in Congress in recent years are: allocating more spectrum for unlicensed use; auctioning airwaves currently allocated for federal use; and devising new fees on spectrum use, notably those collected by the FCC's statutory authority to implement these measures is limited. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491358/
The Technology Innovation Program
This report discusses the Technology Innovation Program (TIP) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) which was established in 2007 to replace the Advanced Technology Program (ATP). TIP was designed "to support, promote, and accelerate innovation in the United States through high-risk, 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491416/
Spectrum Policy in the Age of Broadband: Issues for Congress
This report discusses spectrum policy issues in the 111th Congress. In formulating spectrum policy, mainstream viewpoints generally diverge on whether to give priority to market economics or social goals. Among the spectrum policy initiatives that have been proposed in Congress in recent years are: allocating more spectrum for unlicensed use; auctioning airwaves currently allocated for federal use; and devising new fees on spectrum use, notably those collected by the FCC's statutory authority to implement these measures is limited. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491087/
Spectrum Policy in the Age of Broadband: Issues for Congress
This report discusses spectrum policy issues in the 111th Congress. In formulating spectrum policy, mainstream viewpoints generally diverge on whether to give priority to market economics or social goals. Among the spectrum policy initiatives that have been proposed in Congress in recent years are: allocating more spectrum for unlicensed use; auctioning airwaves currently allocated for federal use; and devising new fees on spectrum use, notably those collected by the FCC's statutory authority to implement these measures is limited. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491057/
The National Broadband Plan
This report discusses the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) National Broadband Plan (NBP), which mandated by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) is a 360-page document composed of 17 chapters containing 208 specific recommendations directed to the FCC, to the Executive Branch (both to individual agencies and to Administration as a whole), to Congress, and to nonfederal and nongovernmental entities. The ARRA specified that the NBP should "seek to ensure that all people of the United States have access to broadband capability." digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491376/
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/metadc490939/
Spyware: Background and Policy Issues for Congress
This report discusses whether to enact new legislation specifically addressing spyware, or to rely on industry self-regulation and enforcement actions by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice under existing law, as well as the opinions of both the opponents and the supporters of industry self-regulation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491235/
America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 (H.R. 5116) and the America COMPETES Act (P.L. 110-69): Selected Policy Issues
This report provides background information on P.L. 110-69 and H.R. 5116, includes information about related legislative activity in the 111th Congress, and analyzes four policy issues addressed by these measures: (1) STEM Education, (2) Federal Research Programs and Activities, (3) Broadening Participation, and (4) Funding. It also discusses selected policy concerns identified in the debate about U.S. competitiveness and describes how H.R. 5116 responds to those concerns. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490877/
The Obama Administration's Open Government Initiative: Issues for Congress
This report reviews and discusses President Obama's Open Government Initiative and the Open Government Directive. The report then analyzes both agency response to the OGI and the OGD, and examines whether the OGD's requirements can meet the stated goals of the Administration. The report discusses the three central tenets of the Administration's OGD--transparency, public participation, and collaboration--and analyzes each one individually to determine whether agencies are meeting these requirements and whether the requirements may improve the effectiveness of the federal government. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc490864/
Spectrum Policy in the Age of Broadband: Issues for Congress
This report discusses key spectrum policy provisions in the bills, as well as other spectrum policy issues that are being considered in the 112th Congress, such as the role of wholesale networks like that being deployed by LightSquared. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491603/
Spyware: Background and Policy Issues for Congress
The Anti-Spyware Coalition (ASC) defines spyware as "technologies deployed without appropriate user consent and/or implemented in ways that impair user control over (1) material changes that affect their user experience, privacy, or system security; (2) use of their system resources, including what programs are installed on their computers; and/or (3) collection, use, and distribution of their personal or other sensitive information. The main issue for Congress over spyware is whether to enact new legislation specifically addressing spyware, or to rely on industry self-regulation and enforcement actions by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice under existing law. This report discusses this issue, as well as the opinions of both the opponents and the supporters of industry self-regulation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31406/
U.S. Initiatives to Promote Global Internet Freedom: Issues, Policy, and Technology
This report provides information regarding the role of U.S. and other foreign companies in facilitating Internet censorship by repressive regimes overseas. The report is divided into several sections: Examination of repressive policies in China and Iran, Relevant U.S. laws, U.S. policies to promote Internet freedom, Private sector initiatives, and Congressional action. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491379/
The U.S. Newspaper Industry in Transition
This report analyzes the current crises that the U.S. newspaper industry is facing in light of the recent economic downturn and the increasing number of readers who turn to the Internet for their news instead of to traditional media. Congress has begun debating whether the financial problems in the newspaper industry pose a public policy issue that warrants federal action. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491585/
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/metadc491046/
Broadband Internet Access and the Digital Divide: Federal Assistance Programs
Some policymakers, believing that disparities in broadband access across American society could have adverse economic and social consequences on those left behind, assert that the federal government should play a more active role to avoid a "digital divide" in broadband access. One approach is for the federal government to provide financial assistance to support broadband deployment in underserved areas. Others, however, believe that federal assistance for broadband deployment is not appropriate. Some opponents question the reality of the "digital divide," and argue that federal intervention in the broadband marketplace would be premature and, in some cases, counterproductive. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29641/
Managing Electronic Waste: Issues with Exporting E-Waste
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31346/
The Technology Innovation Program
This report discusses the Technology Innovation Program (TIP) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) that 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 high-risk, 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491105/
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/metadc491141/
The Stuxnet Computer Worm: Harbinger of an Emerging Warfare Capability
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31393/
Internet Domain Names: Background and Policy Issues
The Domain Name System (DNS) is the distributed set of databases residing in computers around the world that contain address numbers mapped to corresponding domain names, making it possible to send and receive messages and to access information from computers anywhere on the Internet. Many of the technical, operational, and management decisions regarding the DNS can have significant impacts on Internet-related policy issues such as intellectual property, privacy, ecommerce, and cybersecurity. The expiration of the JPA (Joint Project Agreement), the implementation of the Affirmation of Commitments, and the continuing U.S. authority over the DNS root zone remain issues of interest to the 112th Congress, the Administration, foreign governments, and other Internet stakeholders worldwide. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83841/
America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 (H.R. 5116) and the America COMPETES Act (P.L. 110-69): Selected Policy Issues
This report provides background information on P.L. 110-69 and H.R. 5116, includes information about related legislative activity in the 111th Congress, and analyzes four policy issues addressed by these measures: (1) STEM Education, (2) Federal Research Programs and Activities, (3) Broadening Participation, and (4) Funding. It also discusses selected policy concerns identified in the debate about U.S. competitiveness and describes how the House-passed version of H.R. 5116 responds to those concerns. It contains a description of federal multi-agency research and development initiatives that are included in H.R. 5116, as passed by the House. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491076/
Organized Crime: An Evolving Challenge for U.S. Law Enforcement
This report provides an analysis of how organized crime has capitalized on globalization by using borders as opportunities, relying on fast-paced technological change, and adapting its organizational structures. It illustrates how these transformations can impact U.S. persons, businesses, and interests. The report includes a discussion of how U.S. law enforcement conceptualizes organized crime in the 21st century and concludes by examining potential issues for Congress, including the extent to which organized crime is a national security threat (partly to be tackled by U.S. law enforcement agencies), congressional oversight regarding the federal coordination of organized crime investigations, and the utility of current resources appropriated to combat organized crime. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491441/
Cybercrime: An Overview of the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Statute and Related Federal Criminal Laws
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83829/
U.S. Initiatives to Promote Global Internet Freedom: Issues, Policy, and Technology
Report regarding the role of the United States and other foreign companies in facilitating Internet censorship by repressive regimes overseas. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc227660/
Spectrum Policy in the Age of Broadband: Issues for Congress
This report discusses some of the commercial and federal radio frequency spectrum policy changes required by the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. It also summarizes new policy directions for spectrum management under consideration in the 112th Congress, such as the encouragement of new technologies that use spectrum more efficiently. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc491218/
Spyware: Background and Policy Issues for Congress
This report discusses whether to enact new legislation specifically addressing spyware, or to rely on industry self-regulation and enforcement actions by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice under existing law, as well as the opinions of both the opponents and the supporters of industry self-regulation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc122290/
Nanotechnology: A Policy Primer
This report provides an overview of: federal research and development (R&D) in nanotechnology; U.S. competitiveness; environmental, health, and safety (EHS) concerns; nanomanufacturing; and public understanding of and attitudes toward nanotechnology. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103223/
The Obama Administration's Open Government Initiative: Issues for Congress
This report reviews the objectives delineated in President Obama's Open Government Initiative (OGI) and examines the expectations placed on agencies to meet these objectives. This report reviews department and agency attempts to implement Obama Administration initiatives that seek to make the federal government more transparent, participatory, and collaborative. The report then analyzes options for congressional action in this area. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31471/
Law Enforcement Use of Global Positioning (GPS) Devices to Monitor Motor Vehicles: Fourth Amendment Considerations
This report discusses the basics of Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, society's reliance on it, and some of the related legal and privacy implications. In addition, the report examines legislative and judicial responses on both federal and state levels. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103138/
Terrorist Use of the Internet: Information Operations in Cyberspace
This report describes the ways that international terrorists and insurgents use the Internet, strategically and tactically, in pursuit of their political agendas. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103142/
Access to Broadband Networks: The Net Neutrality Debate
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/metadc33009/
Internet Domain Names: Background and Policy Issues
The Domain Name System (DNS) is the distributed set of databases residing in computers around the world that contain address numbers mapped to corresponding domain names, making it possible to send and receive messages and to access information from computers anywhere on the Internet. Many of the technical, operational, and management decisions regarding the DNS can have significant impacts on Internet-related policy issues such as intellectual property, privacy, ecommerce, and cybersecurity. The expiration of the JPA (Joint Project Agreement), the implementation of the Affirmation of Commitments, and the continuing U.S. authority over the DNS root zone remain issues of interest to the 112th Congress, the Administration, foreign governments, and other Internet stakeholders worldwide. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83842/
The Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program: Background, Funding, and Activities
This report discusses background and funding for the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) program (previously known as the High-Performance Computing and Communications program, or HPPCC), which involves multiagency research and development (R&D) projects. It includes information about the program, background on federal technology funding, related activities in the 112th and 111th Congresses, and potential issues for Congress to address. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99100/
The Technology Innovation Program
This report discusses the elimination of the Technology Innovation Program (TIP) - specifically a renewal of the debate over the role of the federal government in promoting commercial technology development. TIP was established in 2007 at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to replace the Advanced Technology Program (ATP). This effort was designed "to support, promote, and accelerate innovation in the United States through high-risk, high-reward research in areas of critical national need," according to the authorizing legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99131/
Universal Service Fund: Background and Options for Reform
This report discusses the idea that all Americans should be able to afford access to the telecommunications network; this is commonly called the “universal service concept” and can trace its origins back to the 1934 Communications Act. The current policy debate has focused on five concerns: the scope of the program; who should contribute and what methodology should be used to fund the program; eligibility criteria for benefits; concerns over possible program fraud, waste, and abuse; and the impact of the Antideficiency Act (ADA) on the USF. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc99104/
Broadband Internet Access and the Digital Divide: Federal Assistance Programs
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40179/
Access to Broadband Networks: The Net Neutrality Debate
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/metadc40076/
The National Institute of Standards and Technology: An Appropriations Overview
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 NIST programs may influence the way by which the federal government supports technology development for commercial application. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83820/
The Technology Innovation Program
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40275/
Clean Energy Standard: Potential Qualifying Energy Sources
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40142/
State Taxation of Internet Transactions
This report intends to clarify significant issues in the remote sales tax collection debate, beginning with a description of state and local sales and use taxes. Congress has a role in this issue because interstate commerce, in most cases, falls under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. Congress will likely be asked to choose between taking either an active or passive role in the debate. In the 111th Congress, H.R. 5660 (former Representative Delahunt) would have granted SSUTA member states the authority to compel out-of- state vendors to collect sales and use taxes. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83968/
A Legal Analysis of S. 968, the PROTECT IP Act
This report discusses the legality of S. 968, the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act (PROTECT IP Act). It is related to the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA), which was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, but not enacted by the full Senate before the end of the 111th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc98009/
The Interplay of Borders, Turf, Cyberspace, and Jurisdiction: Issues Confronting U.S. Law Enforcement
This report looks at issues for Congress, such as how legislative and oversight roles can bolster U.S. law enforcement's abilities to confront modern-day crime, including operations in cyberspace. It also examines whether federal law enforcement is utilizing existing mechanisms to effectively coordinate investigations and share information. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96708/
Governmental Tracking of Cell Phones and Vehicles: The Confluence of Privacy, Technology, and Law
This report will briefly survey Fourth Amendment law as it pertains to the government's tracking programs. It will then summarize federal electronic surveillance statutes and the case law surrounding cell phone location tracking. Next, the report will describe the GPS-vehicle tracking cases and review the pending Supreme Court GPS tracking case, United States v. Jones. Finally, the report will summarize the geolocation and electronic surveillance legislation introduced in the 112th Congress. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84008/
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA): Policies, Programs, and Funding
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), an agency of the Department of Commerce, is the executive branch's principal advisory office on domestic and international telecommunications and information policies. Its mandate is to provide greater access for all Americans to telecommunications services, support U.S. attempts to open foreign markets, advise on international telecommunications negotiations, and fund research for new technologies and their applications. NTIA also manages the distribution of funds for several key grant programs. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83990/
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