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 Country: United States
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment
This report provides an overview of the major exceptions to the First Amendment - of the ways that the Supreme Court has interpreted the guarantee of freedom of speech and press to provide no protection or only limited protection for some types of speech. For example, the Court has decided that the First Amendment provides no protection to obscenity, child pornography, or speech that constitutes "advocacy of the use of force or of law violation ... where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action."
Secret Sessions of the House and Senate: Authority, Confidentiality, and Frequency
Secret, or closed, sessions of the House and Senate exclude the press and the public. They may be held for matters deemed to require confidentiality and secrecy-such as national security, sensitive communications received from the President, and Senate deliberations during impeachment trials. Although Members usually seek advance agreement for going into secret session, any Member of Congress may request a secret session without notice. When the House or Senate goes into secret session, its chamber and galleries are cleared of everyone except Members and officers and employees specified in the rules or designated by the presiding officer as essential to the session. After the chamber is cleared, its doors are closed.
The U.S. Postal Service and Six-Day Delivery: Issues for Congress
This report will examine the history of six-day mail delivery and analyze potential effects of reducing USPS delivery from six to five days. It will then examine legislative options for the 111th Congress.
Advertising by the Federal Government: An Overview
A look at government agencies spending on advertising.
The U.S. Postal Service's Use of Contractors to Deliver Mail: Background and Recent Developments
Currently, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is collectively bargaining with the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) and National Rural Letter Carriers Association (NRLCA). One issue that may or may not be settled is the Postal Service's use of non-USPS employees (i.e., contractors) to deliver mail. If the parties cannot come to a satisfactory arrangement, Congress may be approached to consider the matter.
Social Media and Disasters: Current Uses, Future Options, and Policy Considerations
This report summarizes how social media have been used by emergency management officials and agencies. It also examines the potential benefits, as well as the implications, of using social media in the context of emergencies and disasters.
The Proposed AT&T/T-Mobile Merger: Would It Create a Virtuous Cycle or a Vicious Cycle?
This report discusses the pros and cons of a proposed AT&T and T-Mobile merger. The largest con would be that the merged company would have over 70% of the cell phone market share. The largest pro would be that a merged company would be able to provide better service to its customers. The report also gives a brief overview of the mobile phone industry as a whole.
U.S. Postal Service: Background and Analysis of H.R. 2309 and S. 1789 in the 112th Congress
This report looks at how the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has taken steps to save money. It also covers how bills H.R. 2309 and S. 1789 include major reforms, such as reductions in service, expansion of the USPS's authority to provide products and services, and alterations to the postal employees pension and healthcare plans.
Publishing Scientific Papers with Potential Security Risks: Issues for Congress
This report discusses the publication of federally-funded research results including positive aspects (wide dissemination that may drive innovation, job creation, technology development, and the advance of science), and the negatives (that some research results could also be used for malicious purposes). This report describes the underlying controversy, the potential benefits and harms of publishing these manuscripts, the actions taken by domestic and international stakeholders, and options to improve the way research is handled to minimize security concerns.
Advertising by the Federal Government: An Overview
This report looks at what government agencies are spending on advertising, including the difficulties of estimating advertising expenditures and the restrictions on government advertising.
Intelligence Identities Protection Act
This report summarizes the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, P.L. 97-200, enacted by Congress in 1982 to address the unauthorized disclosure of information that exposes covert U.S. intelligence agents.
Journalists' Privilege: Overview of the Law and Legislation in Recent Congresses
This report gives an overview of the law regarding journalistic privilege. Included are the responses of the 110th and 111th Congresses regarding the law.
Sending Mail to Members of the Armed Forces at Reduced or Free Postage: An Overview
This report looks the background, and current methods of, sending mail to troops serving overseas via subsidized postage.
Updating the Statutory Framework for Communications for the Digital Age: Issues for Congress
This report discusses the statutory framework for the communications sector that largely was enacted prior to the commercial development and deployment of digital technology, Internet Protocol (IP), broadband networks, and online voice, data, and video services.
Social Media in the House of Representatives: Frequently Asked Questions
This report answers several questions about the regulation of social media accounts in the House of Representatives.
Advertising by the Federal Government: An Overview
This report discusses government advertising that can be controversial if it conflicts with citizens' views about the proper role of government.