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 Decade: 2010-2019
 Year: 2011
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Illegal Internet Streaming of Copyrighted Content: Legislation in the 112th Congress

Illegal Internet Streaming of Copyrighted Content: Legislation in the 112th Congress

Date: December 1, 2011
Creator: Yeh, Brian T.
Description: This report describes streaming technology, explains the disparity in criminal penalties for different forms of infringement committed by electronic means, analyzes legislation in the 112th Congress that would harmonize penalties for illegal streaming with those available for other forms of online copyright infringement, and summarizes arguments for and against such a legislative change.
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 7, 2011
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
U.S. Initiatives to Promote Global Internet Freedom: Issues, Policy, and Technology

U.S. Initiatives to Promote Global Internet Freedom: Issues, Policy, and Technology

Date: January 3, 2011
Creator: Moloney Figliola, Patricia; Addis, Casey L. & Lum, Thomas
Description: Report regarding the role of the United States and other foreign companies in facilitating Internet censorship by repressive regimes overseas.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Spyware: Background and Policy Issues for Congress

Spyware: Background and Policy Issues for Congress

Date: January 12, 2011
Creator: Moloney Figliola, Patricia
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Nanotechnology: A Policy Primer

Nanotechnology: A Policy Primer

Date: January 19, 2011
Creator: Sargent, John F., Jr.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Law Enforcement Use of Global Positioning (GPS) Devices to Monitor Motor Vehicles: Fourth Amendment Considerations

Law Enforcement Use of Global Positioning (GPS) Devices to Monitor Motor Vehicles: Fourth Amendment Considerations

Date: February 28, 2011
Creator: Smith, Alison M.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Terrorist Use of the Internet: Information Operations in Cyberspace

Terrorist Use of the Internet: Information Operations in Cyberspace

Date: March 8, 2011
Creator: Theohary, Catherine A. & Rollins, John
Description: This report describes the ways that international terrorists and insurgents use the Internet, strategically and tactically, in pursuit of their political agendas.
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: March 22, 2011
Creator: Moloney Figliola, Patricia
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Technology Innovation Program

The Technology Innovation Program

Date: March 23, 2011
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Universal Service Fund: Background and Options for Reform

Universal Service Fund: Background and Options for Reform

Date: April 11, 2011
Creator: Gilroy, Angele A.
Description: 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.
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
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
Internet Domain Names: Background and Policy Issues

Internet Domain Names: Background and Policy Issues

Date: March 18, 2011
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
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 Institute of Standards and Technology: An Appropriations Overview

The National Institute of Standards and Technology: An Appropriations Overview

Date: April 25, 2011
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H.
Description: 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 ...
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
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
Broadband Internet Access and the Digital Divide: Federal Assistance Programs

Broadband Internet Access and the Digital Divide: Federal Assistance Programs

Date: April 12, 2011
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G. & Gilroy, Angele A.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Clean Energy Standard: Potential Qualifying Energy Sources

Clean Energy Standard: Potential Qualifying Energy Sources

Date: May 3, 2011
Creator: Bracmort, Kelsi; Folger, Peter; Holt, Mark; Ratner, Michael & Sissine, Fred
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Access to Broadband Networks: The Net Neutrality Debate

Access to Broadband Networks: The Net Neutrality Debate

Date: April 25, 2011
Creator: Gilroy, Angele A.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Technology Innovation Program

The Technology Innovation Program

Date: April 25, 2011
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
Access to Broadband Networks: The Net Neutrality Debate

Access to Broadband Networks: The Net Neutrality Debate

Date: March 15, 2011
Creator: Gilroy, Angele A.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
The Obama Administration's Open Government Initiative: Issues for Congress

The Obama Administration's Open Government Initiative: Issues for Congress

Date: January 28, 2011
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy R.
Description: 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.
Contributing Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department