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 Collection: Congressional Research Service Reports
The Freedom of Information Act and Nondisclosure Provisions in Other Federal Laws
This report discusses Congressional considerations regarding how to balance the federal government's growing need for sensitive or confidential business information, the public's right of access to information about government activities, and the private sector's interest in keeping its sensitive or proprietary information protected from public disclosure. The report discusses this issue in light of particularly the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and other similar legislation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc31370/
Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances
The first half of this report looks at the background of U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba over the last 40 years. The second half of this report looks at several initiatives from the 111th Congress that would ease U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96740/
Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances
The first half of this report looks at the background of U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba over the last 40 years. The second half of this report looks at several initiatives from the 111th Congress that would ease U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96741/
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." digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29495/
Access to Government Information in the United States
The U.S. Constitution makes no specific allowance for any one of the three branches of the federal government to have access to information held by the others. No provision in the U.S. Constitution expressly establishes a procedure for public access to government information. Congress has legislated various public access laws. Among these laws are two records access statutes, The Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act, and two meetings access statutes, the Federal Advisory Committee Act, and the Government in the Sunshine Act. This report offers an overview of the four information access laws noted above, and provides citations to additional resources related to these tools. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29513/
Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances
The first half of this report looks at the background of U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba over the last 40 years. The second half of this report looks at several initiatives from the 111th Congress that would ease U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96739/
Human Rights in China: Trends and Policy Implications
Human rights has long been a principal area of U.S. concern in its relations with the People's Republic of China (PRC). Policy makers are at odds regarding whether or not the U.S. policy of engagement with China has produced meaningful political reform. This report analyzes China's mixed record on human rights - major human rights problems, new human rights legislation, and the development of civil society, legal awareness, and social and political activism. This report discusses major areas of interest but does not provide an exhaustive account of all human rights abuses or related incidents. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26282/
Human Rights in China: Trends and Policy Implications
This report analyzes China's mixed record on human rights -- major human rights problems, new human rights legislation, and the development of civil society, legal awareness, and social and political activism. This report discusses major areas of interest but does not provide an exhaustive account of all human rights abuses or related incidents. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26284/
The United Nations Human Rights Council: Issues for Congress
On March 15, 2006, the U.N. General Assembly passed a resolution replacing the Commission on Human Rights with a new Human Rights Council (the Council). The Council was designed to be an improvement over the Commission, which was widely criticized for the composition of its membership when perceived human rights abusers were elected as members. This report discusses the history of the Council, the previous participation of the Bush Administration, the current participation of the Obama Administration, and ongoing international and Congressional concerns of the credibility and effectiveness of the Council. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26246/
Gun Control: Statutory Disclosure Limitations on ATF Firearms Trace Data and Multiple Handgun Sales Reports
This report briefly describes a provision known as the "Tiahrt" amendment, a rider on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) appropriations that prohibits ATF from disclosing firearm trace data and multiple handgun sales reports data for any purpose other than supporting a criminal investigatoin or agency licensing proceeding. The Tiahrt amendment is so called because its sponsor is Representative Todd Tiahrt. A coalition of 210 city mayors favors the repeal of this rider, but there is much opposition to that motion. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc26332/
Congress and U.S. Policy on North Korean Human Rights and Refugees: Recent Legislation and Implementation
The passage of the reauthorization of the North Korean Human Rights Act in October 2008 reasserted congressional interest in influencing the Bush Administration's policy toward North Korea. In addition to reauthorizing funding at original levels, the bill expresses congressional criticism of the implementation of the original 2004 law and adjusts some of the provisions relating to the Special Envoy on Human Rights in North Korea and the U.S. resettlement of North Korean refugees. Some outside analysts have pointed to the challenges of highlighting North Korea's human rights violations in the midst of the ongoing nuclear negotiations, as well as the difficulty in effectively reaching North Korean refugees as outlined in the law. Further, the law may complicate coordination on North Korea with China and South Korea. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10809/
Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances
The first half of this report looks at the background of U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba over the last 40 years. The second half of this report looks at several initiatives from the 110th Congress that would ease U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96738/
Delegation of the Federal Power of Eminent Domain to Nonfederal Entities
Congress has on several occasions delegated its power of eminent domain to entities outside the federal government -- public and private corporations, interstate compact agencies, state and local governments, and even individuals. The constitutionality of such delegation, and of the exercise of such power by even private delegates, is today beyond dispute. However, among delegates with both federal and private characteristics, there is some subjectivity to deciding which to list in a report limited to "nonfederal entities." For delegatees of federal eminent domain power listed here, delegations since 1920 have primarily been to Amtrak, hydroelectric facilities (for dams and reservoirs), and entities engaged in the movement of electricity, gas, and petroleum (the last one expired), and for interstate bridges. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10746/
Interrogation of Detainees: Overview of the McCain Amendment
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Interrogation of Detainees: Overview of the McCain Amendment
Controversy has arisen regarding U.S. treatment of enemy combatants and terrorist suspects detained in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations, and whether such treatment complies with related U.S. statutes and treaties. Certain provisions of the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA), first introduced by Senator John McCain, have popularly been referred to as the "McCain Amendment." This report discusses the McCain amendment and also discusses the application of the McCain Amendment by the DOD in the updated 2006 version of the Army Field Manual. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10293/
Data Security Breaches: Context and Incident Summaries
Personal data security breaches are being reported with increasing regularity. Within the last few years, numerous examples of data such as Social Security numbers, bank account, credit card, driver’s license numbers, and medical and student records have been compromised. A major reason for the increased awareness of these security breaches is a California law that requires notice of security breaches to the affected individuals. This law, implemented in July 2003, was the first of its kind in the nation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9944/
Enemy Combatant Detainees:
In Rasul v. Bush, a divided Supreme Court declared that “a state of war is not a blank check for the president” and ruled that persons deemed “enemy combatants” have the right to challenge their detention before a judge or other “neutral decision-maker.” This report provides an overview of the CSRT procedures, summarizes court cases related to the detentions and the use of military commissions, and summarizes the Detainee Treatment Act, analyzing how it might affect detainee-related litigation in federal court. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9899/
Enemy Combatant Detainees: Habeas Corpus Challenges in Federal Court
There have been inconsistent opinions in the District Court for the District of Columbia as to whether detainees who are suspected of connections to terrorist actions have any enforceable rights to challenge their treatment and detention. This report describes issues surrounding the writ of habeas corpus as it relates to detaining and imprisonment in matters of counterterrorism. This report also includes several legal cases and pieces of legislation in regards to this issue. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10350/
Interrogation of Detainees: Overview of the McCain Amendment
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Interrogation of Detainees: Overview of the McCain Amendment
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9888/
Interrogation of Detainees: Overview of the McCain Amendment
Controversy has arisen regarding U.S. treatment of enemy combatants and terrorist suspects detained in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other locations, and whether such treatment complies with related U.S. statutes and treaties. Certain provisions of the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA), first introduced by Senator John McCain, have popularly been referred to as the "McCain Amendment." This report discusses the McCain amendment and also discusses the application of the McCain Amendment by the DOD in the updated 2006 version of the Army Field Manual. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10292/
The War Crimes Act: Current Issues
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Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Amendments: 109th Congress
Enacted in 1966, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was designed to enable any person -- individual or corporate, regardless of citizenship -- to request, without explanation or justification, presumptive access to existing, identifiable, unpublished, executive branch agency records on any topic. The statute specified nine categories of information that may be permissibly exempted from the rule of disclosure. Disputes over the accessibility of requested records could be ultimately settled in court. The statute has become a somewhat popular tool of inquiry and information gathering for various quarters of American society. This report details the history of the Act, as well as relevant legislation and incidences and the efforts to amend the Act. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs10375/
Interrogation of Detainees: Overview of the McCain Amendment
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Interrogation of Detainees: Overview of the McCain Amendment
No Description digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9887/
Gun Legislation in the 109th Congress
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Undisclosed U.S. Detention Sites Overseas: Background and Legal Issues
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Bangladesh: Background and U.S. Relations
This report discusses the key issues regarding U.S.-Bangladesh Relations. U.S. policy toward Bangladesh emphasizes support for political stability and democracy; social and economic development; and improvement of human rights. The United States has long-standing supportive relations with Bangladesh and has viewed Bangladesh as a moderate voice in the Islamic world. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9527/
Cuba After Fidel Castro: U.S. Policy Implications and Approaches
In the new context of Fidel’s transfer of power, there are two broad policy approaches to contend with political change in Cuba: a stay-the-course or status-quo approach that would maintain the U.S. dual-track policy of isolating the Cuban government while providing support to the Cuban people; and an approach aimed at influencing the Cuban government and Cuban society through increased contact and engagement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9519/
Cuba: Issues for the 109th Congress
This report, which will be updated regularly, examines issues in U.S.-Cuban relations and tracks legislative initiatives on Cuba in the 109th Congress. The 109th Congress will likely continue an active interest in Cuba concerning human rights, debate over economic sanctions (especially on travel), food and agricultural exports to Cuba, terrorism issues, Radio and TV Marti, bilateral anti-drug cooperation, and migration issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9371/
Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances
Restrictions on travel to Cuba have been a key and often contentious component in U.S. efforts to isolate the communist government of Fidel Castro for much of the past 40 years. Under the Bush Administration, enforcement of U.S. restrictions on Cuba travel has increased, and restrictions on travel and on private remittances to Cuba have been tightened. Several legislative initiatives have been introduced in the 109th Congress that would ease restrictions on travel and remittances to Cuba. These bills would, among other things, lift overall restrictions on travel to Cuba, lift the overall embargo, and ease restrictions on exporting agricultural commodities to Cuba. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9388/
Cuba After Fidel Castro: U.S. Policy Implications and Approaches
In the new context of Fidel’s transfer of power, there are two broad policy approaches to contend with political change in Cuba: a stay-the-course or status-quo approach that would maintain the U.S. dual-track policy of isolating the Cuban government while providing support to the Cuban people; and an approach aimed at influencing the Cuban government and Cuban society through increased contact and engagement. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9518/
Cuba: Issues for the 109th Congress
This report, which will be updated regularly, examines issues in U.S.-Cuban relations and tracks legislative initiatives on Cuba in the 109th Congress. The 109th Congress will likely continue an active interest in Cuba concerning human rights, debate over economic sanctions (especially on travel), food and agricultural exports to Cuba, terrorism issues, Radio and TV Marti, bilateral anti-drug cooperation, and migration issues. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9370/
The United Nations Human Rights Council: Issues for Congress
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Gun Legislation in the 109th Congress
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Pakistan-U.S. Relations
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Egypt: Background and U.S. Relations
This report provides an overview of Egyptian politics and current issues in U.S.-Egyptian relations. It briefly provides a political history of modern Egypt, an overview of its political institutions, and a discussion of the prospects for democratization in Egypt, U.S.-Egyptian relations are complex and multi-faceted, and this report addresses the following current topics: the Arab-Israeli peace process, Iraq, terrorism, democratization and reform, human rights, trade, and military cooperation. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9396/
Trafficking in Persons: The U.S. and International Response
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U.S.-Vietnam Relations: Background and Issues for Congress
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China and Falun Gong
“Falun Gong,” also known as “Falun Dafa,”1 combines an exercise regimen with meditation and moral tenets. The “Falun Gong” movement has led to the largest and most protracted public demonstrations in China since the democracy movement of 1989. On April 25, 1999, an estimated 10,000 to 30,000 adherents assembled in front of Zhongnanhai, the Chinese Communist Party leadership compound, and participated in a silent protest against state repression of their activities. On July 21, 1999, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) government, fearful of the spread of social unrest, outlawed the movement and began to arrest Falun Gong protesters. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs8947/
Data Security: Protecting the Privacy of Phone Records
This report discusses recent legislative and regulatory efforts to protect the privacy of customer telephone records, and efforts to prevent the unauthorized use, disclosure, or sale of such records by data brokers. In addition, it provides a brief overview of the confidentiality protections for customer information established by the Communications Act of 1934. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9027/
Social Unrest in China
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Privacy: An Abbreviated Outline of Federal Statutes Governing Wiretapping and Electronic Eavesdropping
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Federal Habeas Corpus: An Abridged Sketch
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Federal Habeas Corpus: A Brief Legal Overview
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The U.N. Convention Against Torture: Overview of U.S. Implementation Policy Concerning the Removal of Aliens
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Bringing Peace to Chechnya?: Assessments and Implications
A consistent theme of U.S. and other international criticism of Russia is that Russian troops use excessive and indiscriminate force to quell separatism in Chechnya and commit serious human rights abuses. There appeared to be fewer Administration suggestions to Russia that it should open peace talks with “moderate” separatists, more tolerance for Russia’s argument that it primarily was battling terrorism in Chechnya, and some hope that elections and rebuilding in Chechnya could contribute to a “political settlement.” But some in the Administration also argue that Russia is showing declining interest in the adoption of Western democratic and human rights “values,” and that such slippage could ultimately harm bilateral relations. digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metacrs9139/
Treatment of "Battlefield Detainees" in the War on Terrorism
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National Security Letters in Foreign Intelligence Investigations: A Glimpse of the Legal Background and Recent Amendments
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National Security Letters in Foreign Intelligence Investigations: Legal Background and Recent Amendments
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