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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Computer Security: A Summary of Selected Federal Laws, Executive Orders, and Presidential Directives

Computer Security: A Summary of Selected Federal Laws, Executive Orders, and Presidential Directives

Date: April 16, 2004
Creator: Moteff, John D
Description: This report provides a short summary of selected federal laws, executive orders, and presidential directives, currently in force, that govern computer security. The report focuses on the major roles and responsibilities assigned various federal agencies in the area of computer security.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Internet Privacy: Overview and Pending Legislation

Internet Privacy: Overview and Pending Legislation

Date: April 1, 2004
Creator: Smith, Marcia S
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Internet Commerce and State Sales and Use Taxes

Internet Commerce and State Sales and Use Taxes

Date: March 31, 2004
Creator: Maguire, Steven
Description: State governments rely on sales and use taxes for approximately one-third (33.6%) of their total tax revenue - or approximately $179 billion in FY2002 .' Local governments derived 12.4% of their tax revenue or $44 .1 billion from local sales and use taxes in FY20012 Both state and local sales taxes are collected by vendors at the time of transaction and are levied at a percentage of a product's retail price. Alternatively, use taxes are not collected by the vendor if the vendor does not have nexus (loosely defined as a physical presence) in the consumer's state . Consumers are required to remit use taxes to their taxing jurisdiction . However, compliance with this requirement is quite low. Because of the low compliance, many observers suggest that the expansion of the internet as a means of transacting business across state lines, both from business to consumer (B to C) and from business to business (B to B), threatens to diminish the ability of state and local governments to collect sales and use taxes . Congress has a role in this issue because commerce between parties in different states conducted over the Internet falls under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution.' ...
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Broadband Internet Access: Background and Issues

Broadband Internet Access: Background and Issues

Date: March 29, 2004
Creator: Gilroy, Angele A & Kruger, Lennard G
Description: From a public policy perspective, the goals are to ensure that broadband deployment is timely, that industry competes fairly, and that service is provided to all sectors and geographical locations of American society. The federal government -- through Congress and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) -- is seeking to ensure fair competition among the players so that broadband will be available and affordable in a timely manner to all Americans who want it. While the FCC's position is not to intervene at this time, some assert that legislation is necessary to ensure fair competition and timely broadband deployment. One proposal would ease certain legal restrictions and requirements, imposed by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, on incumbent telephone companies who provide high speed data (broadband) access. Another proposal would compel cable companies to provide "open access" to competing Internet service providers.
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: March 11, 2004
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Intellectual Property, Computer Software and the Open Source Movement

Intellectual Property, Computer Software and the Open Source Movement

Date: March 11, 2004
Creator: Thomas, John R
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Weapons of Mass Destruction: Trade Between North Korea and Pakistan

Weapons of Mass Destruction: Trade Between North Korea and Pakistan

Date: March 11, 2004
Creator: Squassoni, Sharon
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Internet Taxation: Issues and Legislation in the 108th Congress

Internet Taxation: Issues and Legislation in the 108th Congress

Date: March 8, 2004
Creator: Maguire, Steven & Noto, Nonna A
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Legal Issues Related to Prescription Drug Sales on the Internet

Legal Issues Related to Prescription Drug Sales on the Internet

Date: March 5, 2004
Creator: Feder, Jody
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
State Sales Taxation of Internet Transactions

State Sales Taxation of Internet Transactions

Date: March 1, 2004
Creator: Luckey, John R
Description: None
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: January 30, 2004
Creator: Smith, Marcia S
Description: Unsolicited commercial e-mail (UCE), also called “spam” or “junk e-mail,” aggravates many computer users. Not only can spam 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. Also, some spam involves fraud, or includes adult-oriented material that offends recipients or that parents want to protect their children from seeing. Proponents of UCE insist it is a legitimate marketing technique that is protected by the First Amendment. On December 16, President Bush signed into law S. 877, the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act. The law, P.L. 108-187, went into effect on January 1, 2004.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Dual-Use Biological Equipment: Difficulties in Domestic Regulation

Dual-Use Biological Equipment: Difficulties in Domestic Regulation

Date: January 22, 2004
Creator: Shea, Dana A.
Description: A question in the current debate over chemical and biological terrorism is: how well do current United States policies limit opportunities to terrorist groups for acquisition of such weapons? The domestic purchase and use of “dual-use” biological equipment, such as fermenters, centrifuges, and other equipment, is one area suggested as potentially providing opportunities for terrorist, biological weapons development. Dual-use equipment has both legitimate civilian and military use. Regulating international sale of dual-use equipment is used as a nonproliferation policy tool. Similar regulation of domestic sales has not been employed. This report will discuss the difficulties of applying domestic controls on dual-use biological equipment and the potential advantages and disadvantages of doing so.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Broadband Internet Access: Background and Issues

Broadband Internet Access: Background and Issues

Date: January 21, 2004
Creator: Gilroy, Angele A & Kruger, Lennard G
Description: From a public policy perspective, the goals are to ensure that broadband deployment is timely, that industry competes fairly, and that service is provided to all sectors and geographical locations of American society. The federal government -- through Congress and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) -- is seeking to ensure fair competition among the players so that broadband will be available and affordable in a timely manner to all Americans who want it. While the FCC's position is not to intervene at this time, some assert that legislation is necessary to ensure fair competition and timely broadband deployment. One proposal would ease certain legal restrictions and requirements, imposed by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, on incumbent telephone companies who provide high speed data (broadband) access. Another proposal would compel cable companies to provide "open access" to competing Internet service providers.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Safe Harbor for Service Providers Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act

Safe Harbor for Service Providers Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act

Date: January 9, 2004
Creator: Yeh, Brian T & Jeweler, Robin
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Prescription Drug Importation and Internet Sales: A Legal Overview

Prescription Drug Importation and Internet Sales: A Legal Overview

Date: January 8, 2004
Creator: Feder, Jody
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Election Reform and Electronic Voting Systems (DREs): Analysis of Security Issues

Election Reform and Electronic Voting Systems (DREs): Analysis of Security Issues

Date: November 4, 2003
Creator: Fischer, Eric A
Description: This report discusses several questions about voting-system security. To address these questions, this report begins with a description of the historical and policy context of the controversy. That is followed by an analysis of the issues in the broader context of computer security. The next section discusses several proposals that have been made for addressing those issues, and the last section discusses options for action that might be considered by policymakers.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Computer Attack and Cyber Terrorism: Vulnerabilities and Policy Issues for Congress

Computer Attack and Cyber Terrorism: Vulnerabilities and Policy Issues for Congress

Date: October 17, 2003
Creator: Wilson, Clay
Description: This report presents a working definition for the term “cyber terrorism”, plus background information describing how current technology and management processes may leave computers exposed to cyber-attack, and a discussion of possible effects of a cyber-attack. Potential issues for Congress are presented in the second section, including: whether appropriate guidance exists for a DOD information warfare response to a cyber-attack; whether the need to detect possible cyber terrorist activity interferes with individual privacy; whether the roles and responsibilities for protecting against a possible cyber terrorist attack need more clarity for government, industry, and home users; and, whether information sharing on cyber threats and vulnerabilities must be further increased between private industry and the federal government. The final section describes possible policy options for improving protection against threats from possible cyber terrorism.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Broadband Internet Access: Background and Issues

Broadband Internet Access: Background and Issues

Date: October 10, 2003
Creator: Gilroy, Angele A & Kruger, Lennard G
Description: From a public policy perspective, the goals are to ensure that broadband deployment is timely, that industry competes fairly, and that service is provided to all sectors and geographical locations of American society. The federal government -- through Congress and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) -- is seeking to ensure fair competition among the players so that broadband will be available and affordable in a timely manner to all Americans who want it. While the FCC's position is not to intervene at this time, some assert that legislation is necessary to ensure fair competition and timely broadband deployment. One proposal would ease certain legal restrictions and requirements, imposed by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, on incumbent telephone companies who provide high speed data (broadband) access. Another proposal would compel cable companies to provide "open access" to competing Internet service providers.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Internet Privacy: Overview and Pending Legislation

Internet Privacy: Overview and Pending Legislation

Date: October 7, 2003
Creator: Smith, Marcia S
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
China: Possible Missile Technology Transfers under U.S. Satellite Export Policy - Actions and Chronology

China: Possible Missile Technology Transfers under U.S. Satellite Export Policy - Actions and Chronology

Date: October 6, 2003
Creator: Kan, Shirley A
Description: This CRS Report discusses security concerns, significant congressional and administration action, and a comprehensive chronology pertaining to satellite exports to the PRC. The report discusses issues for U.S. foreign and security policy (including that on China and weapons nonproliferation), such as: What are the benefits and costs of satellite exports to China for U.S. economic and security interests? Should the United States continue, change, or cease the policy in place since the Reagan Administration that has allowed exports of satellites to China (for its launch and – increasingly – for its use)? Etc.
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: October 6, 2003
Creator: Smith, Marcia S
Description: Unsolicited commercial e-mail (UCE), also called “spam” or “junk e-mail,” aggravates many computer users. Not only can spam 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. Also, some spam involves fraud, or includes adult-oriented material that offends recipients or that parents want to protect their children from seeing. Proponents of UCE insist it is a legitimate marketing technique that is protected by the First Amendment. While 36 states have anti-spam laws, there is no federal law specifically concerning spam. Nine “antispam” bills are pending in the 108th Congress: H.R. 1933 (Lofgren), H.R. 2214 (Burr-Tauzin-Sensenbrenner), H.R. 2515 (Wilson-Green), S. 563 (Dayton), S. 877 (Burns-Wyden), S. 1052 (Nelson-FL), S. 1231 (Schumer), S. 1293 (Hatch), and S. 1327 (Corzine). Two (S. 877 and S. 1293) have been reported from committee. Tables providing brief “side-by-side” comparisons of the bills are included at the end of this report.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Cooperative R&D: Federal Efforts to Promote Industrial Competitiveness

Cooperative R&D: Federal Efforts to Promote Industrial Competitiveness

Date: September 24, 2003
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H
Description: In response to the foreign challenge in the global marketplace, the United States Congress has explored ways to stimulate technological advancement in the private sector. The government has supported various efforts to promote cooperative research and development activities among industry, universities, and the federal R&D establishment designed to increase the competitiveness of American industry and to encourage the generation of new products, processes, and services. Among the issues before Congress are whether joint ventures contribute to industrial competitiveness and what role, if any, the government has in facilitating such arrangements.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Industrial Competitiveness and Technological Advancement: Debate Over Government Policy

Industrial Competitiveness and Technological Advancement: Debate Over Government Policy

Date: September 24, 2003
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Technology Transfer: Use of Federally Funded Research and Development

Technology Transfer: Use of Federally Funded Research and Development

Date: September 24, 2003
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H
Description: None
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department