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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
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
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 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
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 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
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
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.
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Smart Meter Data: Privacy and Cybersecurity

Smart Meter Data: Privacy and Cybersecurity

Date: February 3, 2012
Creator: Murrill, Brandon J.; Liu, Edward, C. & Thompson, Richard M., II
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
Internet Governance and the Domain Name System: Issues for Congress

Internet Governance and the Domain Name System: Issues for Congress

Date: February 9, 2012
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G.
Description: As the Internet grows and becomes more pervasive in all aspects of modern society, the question of how it should be governed becomes more pressing. Currently, an important aspect of the Internet is governed by a private sector, international organization called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which manages and oversees some of the critical technical underpinnings of the Internet such as the domain name system and Internet Protocol (IP) addressing. ICANN makes its policy decisions using a multistakeholder model of governance, whereby a “bottom-up” collaborative process is open to all constituencies of Internet stakeholders. A key issue for Congress is whether and how the U.S. government should continue to maximize U.S. influence over ICANN's multistakeholder Internet governance process, while at the same time effectively resisting proposals for an increased role by international governmental institutions such as the U.N. The outcome of this debate will likely have a significant impact on how other aspects of the Internet may be governed in the future, especially in such areas as intellectual property, privacy, law enforcement, Internet free speech, and cybersecurity. Looking forward, the institutional nature of Internet governance could have far reaching implications on important policy decisions that will ...
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The President's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP): Issues for Congress

The President's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP): Issues for Congress

Date: February 10, 2012
Creator: Sargent, John F., Jr. & Shea, Dana A.
Description: Congress established the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) through the National Science and Technology Policy, Organization, and Priorities Act of 1976. The act states that “The primary function of the OSTP Director is to provide, within the Executive Office of the President [EOP], advice on the scientific, engineering, and technological aspects of issues that require attention at the highest level of Government.” Issues for Congress to consider regarding OSTP are the nomination of the OSTP director by the President; engagement of OSTP with China; the title, rank, and responsibilities of the OSTP director; OSTP policy foci; OSTP funding and staffing; roles and functions of the OSTP and NSTC; and the status and influence of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department