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 Decade: 2010-2019
 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
Spectrum Policy in the Age of Broadband: Issues for Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93820/
Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources
This report provides links to selected authoritative resources related to cybersecurity issues, including: legislation, hearings in the 112th Congress, data and statistics, and cybersecurity glossaries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93941/
Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources
This report provides links to selected authoritative resources related to cyber security issues, including: legislation, hearings in the 112th Congress, data and statistics, and cyber security glossaries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93928/
Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources
This report provides links to selected authoritative resources related to cybersecurity issues, including: legislation, hearings in the 112th Congress, data and statistics, and cybersecurity glossaries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93929/
Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources
This report provides links to selected authoritative resources related to cybersecurity issues, including: legislation, hearings in the 112th Congress, data and statistics, and cybersecurity glossaries. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc93930/
Internet Governance and the Domain Name System: Issues for Congress
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 likely shape the future evolution of the Internet. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87212/
The Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program: Background, Funding, and Activities
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87315/
Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources
Cybersecurity vulnerabilities challenge governments, businesses, and individuals worldwide. Congress has been actively involved in cybersecurity issues, holding hearings every year since 2001. There is no shortage of data on this topic: government agencies, academic institutions, think tanks, security consultants, and trade associations have issued hundreds of reports, studies, analyses, and statistics. This report provides links to selected authoritative resources related to cybersecurity issues and will be updated as needed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87226/
Smart Meter Data: Privacy and Cybersecurity
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87204/
Cybercrime: Conceptual Issues for Congress and U.S. Law Enforcement
This report gives an overview of cybercrime, which can include crimes such as identity theft, payment card fraud, and intellectual property theft. The report discusses where the criminal acts exist (in both the real and digital worlds), motivations for cybercrimes, and who is committing them, as well as government definitions, strategies, and methods of tracking cybercrime. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87232/
The President's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP): Issues for Congress
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). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc87356/
Energy Storage for Power Grids and Electric Transportation: A Technology Assessment
This report attempts to summarize the current state of knowledge regarding energy storage technologies for both electric power grid and electric vehicle applications. It is intended to serve as a reference for policymakers interested in understanding the range of technologies and applications associated with energy storage, comparing them, when possible, in a structured way to highlight key characteristics relevant to widespread use. While the emphasis is on technology, this report also addresses the significant policy, market, and other non-technical factors that may impede storage adoption. It considers eight major categories of storage technology: pumped hydro, compressed air, batteries, capacitors, superconducting magnetic energy storage, flywheels, thermal storage, and hydrogen. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86619/
The Interplay of Borders, Turf, Cyberspace, and Jurisdiction: Issues Confronting U.S. Law Enforcement
Globalization and technological innovation have fostered the expansion of both legitimate and criminal operations across physical borders as well as throughout cyberspace. U.S. law enforcement has increasingly relied on intelligence-led policing, enhanced interagency cooperation, and technological implementation to confront 21st century crime. Issues for Congress are how it can leverage its legislative and oversight roles to bolster U.S. law enforcement's abilities to confront modern-day crime. It may also examine whether federal law enforcement is utilizing existing mechanisms to effectively coordinate investigations and share information. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86586/
Cybersecurity: Cyber Crime Protection Security Act (S. 2111)—A Legal Analysis
The Cyber Crime Protection Security Act (S. 2111) would enhance the criminal penalties for the cyber crimes outlawed in the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). Those offenses include espionage, hacking, fraud, destruction, password trafficking, and extortion committed against computers and computer networks. S. 2111 contains some of the enhancements approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee when it reported the Personal Data Privacy and Security Act (S. 1151), S.Rept. 112-91 (2011). digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86604/
Cybersecurity: Selected Legal Issues
This report discusses selected legal issues that frequently arise in the context of recent legislation to address vulnerabilities of critical infrastructure to cyber threats, efforts to protect government networks from cyber threats, and proposals to facilitate and encourage sharing of cyber threat information amongst private sector and government entities. This report also discusses the degree to which federal law may preempt state law. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86609/
An Analysis of STEM Education Funding at the NSF: Trends and Policy Discussion
This report analyzes National Science Foundation funding trends and selected closely related STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education policy issues in order to place conversations about FY2013 funding in broader fiscal and policy context. It concludes with an analysis of potential policy options. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc86626/
Nanotechnology: A Policy Primer
Nanoscale science, engineering, and technology-commonly referred to collectively as nanotechnology-is believed by many to offer extraordinary economic and societal benefits. Congress has demonstrated continuing support for nanotechnology and has directed its attention primarily to three topics that may affect the realization of this hoped for potential: federal research and development (R&D) in nanotechnology; U.S. competitiveness; and environmental, health, and safety (EHS) concerns. This report provides an overview of these topics-which are discussed in more detail in other CRS reports-and two others: nanomanufacturing and public understanding of and attitudes toward nanotechnology. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85476/
Immigration of Foreign Nationals with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Degrees
Congress is renewing its interest in facilitating the immigration of foreign professional workers in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) fields. The STEM workforce is seen by many as a catalyst of U.S. global economic competitiveness and is likewise considered a key element of the legislative options aimed at stimulating economic growth. "STEM visa" is a shorthand for an expedited immigration avenue that enables foreign nationals with graduate degrees in STEM fields to adjust their immigration status to legal permanent residence (LPR) without waiting in the queue of numerically-limited LPR visas. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85430/
Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources
Cybersecurity vulnerabilities challenge governments, businesses, and individuals worldwide. Congress has been actively involved in cybersecurity issues, holding hearings every year since 2001. There is no shortage of data on this topic: government agencies, academic institutions, think tanks, security consultants, and trade associations have issued hundreds of reports, studies, analyses, and statistics. This report provides links to selected authoritative resources related to cybersecurity issues and will be updated as needed. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc85416/
The Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program: Background, Funding, and Activities
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84062/
The Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program: Background, Funding, and Activities
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84061/
Governmental Tracking of Cell Phones and Vehicles: The Confluence of Privacy, Technology, and Law
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84008/
Industrial Competitiveness and Technological Advancement: Debate Over Government Policy
There is ongoing interest in the pace of U.S. technological advancement due to its influence on U.S. economic growth, productivity, and international competitiveness. Because technology can contribute to economic growth and productivity increases, congressional attention has focused on how to augment private-sector technological development. This report covers legislative activity in the past and present on this topic. It also looks at the future of Congressional action towards mandated specific technology development. As the Congress develops its appropriation priorities, the manner by which the government encourages technological progress in the private sector again may be explored and/or redefined. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84059/
Spectrum Policy in the Age of Broadband: Issues for Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83927/
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA): Policies, Programs, and Funding
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83990/
Internet Domain Names: Background and Policy Issues
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83843/
Internet Domain Names: Background and Policy Issues
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83842/
Internet Domain Names: Background and Policy Issues
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83841/
State Taxation of Internet Transactions
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83968/
The National Institute of Standards and Technology: An Appropriations Overview
This report is a look at the funding for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a laboratory of the Department of Commerce. NIST is mandated to provide technical services to facilitate the competitiveness of U.S. industry. In 2007, the Advanced Technology Program (ATP) was terminated and replaced by the Technology Innovation Program (TIP). However, no funding was appropriated for TIP in the FY2012 appropriations legislation and NIST is "...currently taking the necessary actions for an orderly shutdown." 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 MEP. The dispensation of funding for NIST programs may influence the way by which the federal government supports technology development for commercial application. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83822/
The National Institute of Standards and Technology: An Appropriations Overview
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 NIST programs may influence the way by which the federal government supports technology development for commercial application. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83820/
Cybercrime: An Overview of the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Statute and Related Federal Criminal Laws
The federal computer fraud and abuse statute, 18 U.S.C. 1030, outlaws conduct that victimizes computer systems. It is a cyber security law. It protects federal computers, bank computers, and computers connected to the Internet. It shields them from trespassing, threats, damage, espionage, and from being corruptly used as instruments of fraud. It is not a comprehensive provision, but instead it fills cracks and gaps in the protection afforded by other federal criminal laws. This is a brief sketch of Section 1030 and some of its federal statutory companions, including the amendments found in the Identity Theft Enforcement and Restitution Act. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc83829/
Access to Broadband Networks: The Net Neutrality Debate
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40076/
Clean Energy Standard: Potential Qualifying Energy Sources
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40142/
Broadband Internet Access and the Digital Divide: Federal Assistance Programs
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40179/
The Technology Innovation Program
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc40275/
Access to Broadband Networks: The Net Neutrality Debate
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc33009/
Managing Electronic Waste: Issues with Exporting E-Waste
Electronic waste (e-waste) is a term that is used loosely to refer to obsolete, broken, or irreparable electronic devices like televisions, computer central processing units (CPUs), and computer monitors. There are various issues of concern with regard to e-waste disposal and recycling. This report looks at issues specifically related to its export for recycling. Particularly, it discusses documented impacts to human health and the environment that have been tied to unsafe recycling practices in developing countries, as well as issues that have motivated certain stakeholders to divert e-waste from landfill disposal and, hence, increase recycling. It also provides an overview of various factors necessary to understand why e-waste disposal has become a concern in the United States, and it also discusses waste management requirements in the United States. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31346/
The Stuxnet Computer Worm: Harbinger of an Emerging Warfare Capability
In September 2010, media reports emerged about a new form of cyber attack that appeared to target Iran, although the actual target, if any, is unknown. This report discusses this cyber attack, a malicious software program known as Stuxnet, which infected computer systems that were used to control the functioning of a nuclear power plant. Once inside the system, Stuxnet had the ability to degrade or destroy the software on which it operated. Although early reports focused on the impact on facilities in Iran, researchers discovered that the program had spread throughout multiple countries worldwide. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31393/
Spyware: Background and Policy Issues for Congress
The Anti-Spyware Coalition (ASC) defines spyware as "technologies deployed without appropriate user consent and/or implemented in ways that impair user control over (1) material changes that affect their user experience, privacy, or system security; (2) use of their system resources, including what programs are installed on their computers; and/or (3) collection, use, and distribution of their personal or other sensitive information. The main issue for Congress over spyware is 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. This report discusses this issue, as well as the opinions of both the opponents and the supporters of industry self-regulation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31406/
The Obama Administration's Open Government Initiative: Issues for Congress
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31471/
Internet Domain Names: Background and Policy Issues
This report discusses the Domain Name System (DNS), which 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29524/
Internet Domain Names: Background and Policy Issues
This report discusses the Domain Name System (DNS), which 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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29525/
Broadband Internet Access and the Digital Divide: Federal Assistance Programs
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. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29641/