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 Country: United States
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Internet Domain Names: Background and Policy Issues

Internet Domain Names: Background and Policy Issues

Date: February 3, 2012
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Smart Meter Data: Privacy and Cybersecurity

Smart Meter Data: Privacy and Cybersecurity

Date: February 3, 2012
Creator: Murrill, Brandon J.
Description: Fueled by stimulus funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), electric utilities have accelerated their deployment of smart meters to millions of homes across the United States with help from the Department of Energy's Smart Grid Investment Grant program. As the meters multiply, so do issues concerning the privacy and security of the data collected by the new technology. Smart meters must record near-real time data on consumer electricity usage and transmit the data to utilities over great distances via communications networks that serve the smart grid. Detailed electricity usage data offers a window into the lives of people inside of a home by revealing what individual appliances they are using, and the transmission of the data potentially subjects this information to interception or theft by unauthorized third parties or hackers. Unforeseen consequences under federal law may result from the installation of smart meters and the communications technologies that accompany them. This report examines federal privacy and cybersecurity laws that may apply to consumer data collected by residential smart meters.
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: January 13, 2012
Creator: Figliola, Patricia Moloney
Description: The federal government has long played a key 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.
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: January 13, 2012
Creator: Moloney Figliola, Patricia
Description: In the early 1990s, Congress recognized that several federal agencies had ongoing high performance computing programs, but no central coordinating body existed to ensure long-term coordination and planning. To provide such a framework, Congress passed the High-Performance Computing and Communications Program Act of 1991 to enhance the effectiveness of the various programs. In conjunction with the passage of the act, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy released Grand Challenges: High-Performance Computing and Communications. Current concerns are the role of the federal government in supporting IT R&D and the level of funding to allot to it. This report also looks at federal budgets for the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Spectrum Policy in the Age of Broadband: Issues for Congress

Spectrum Policy in the Age of Broadband: Issues for Congress

Date: January 5, 2012
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Description: 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.
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: December 14, 2011
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Governmental Tracking of Cell Phones and Vehicles: The Confluence of Privacy, Technology, and Law

Governmental Tracking of Cell Phones and Vehicles: The Confluence of Privacy, Technology, and Law

Date: December 1, 2011
Creator: Thompson, Richard M.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Interplay of Borders, Turf, Cyberspace, and Jurisdiction: Issues Confronting U.S. Law Enforcement

The Interplay of Borders, Turf, Cyberspace, and Jurisdiction: Issues Confronting U.S. Law Enforcement

Date: July 19, 2011
Creator: Finklea, Kristin M.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
A Legal Analysis of S. 968, the PROTECT IP Act

A Legal Analysis of S. 968, the PROTECT IP Act

Date: July 7, 2011
Creator: Yeh, Brian T. & Miller, Jonathan
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
State Taxation of Internet Transactions

State Taxation of Internet Transactions

Date: June 7, 2011
Creator: Maguire, Steven
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department