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

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.
Date: February 28, 2011
Creator: Smith, Alison M.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board: New Independent Agency Status

Description: Recommended by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (9/11 Commission), the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) was initially established as an agency within the Executive Office of the President (EOP) in 2004. Critics, however, maintained that the board appeared to be a presidential appendage, devoid of the capability to exercise independent judgment and assessment or to provide impartial findings and recommendations. This viewpoint gained acceptance in the 110th Congress when the PCLOB was reconstituted as an independent agency within the executive branch by the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act (IR9/11CA), signed into law on August 6, 2007. On January 5, 2011, President Obama nominated two people to serve on the board, but the Senate has not confirmed either. This report will be updated as events warrant.
Date: November 14, 2011
Creator: Hatch, Garrett
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): Background and Policy Options for the 112th Congress

Description: The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA; 5 U.S.C. §552) enables any person to access—without explanation or justification—certain existing, identifiable, unpublished, executive branch agency records. Pursuant to FOIA, the public has presumptive access to requested agency records unless the material falls within any of FOIA's nine categories of exemption from disclosure. This report discusses FOIA's history, examines its implementation, and provides potential policy approaches for Congress.
Date: July 26, 2011
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Detainee Provisions in the National Defense Authorization Bills

Description: This report offers a brief background of the salient issues raised by H.R. 1540 and S. 1867 regarding detention matters, provides a section-by-section analysis of the relevant subdivision of each bill, and compares the bills' approaches with respect to the major issues they address.
Date: November 18, 2011
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K. & Garcia, Michael John
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Privacy: An Overview of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act

Description: This report provides an overview of federal law governing wiretapping and electronic eavesdropping under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). It also appends citations to state law in the area and the text of ECPA.
Date: March 30, 2011
Creator: Doyle, Charles
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The United Nations Human Rights Council: Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides historical background of the Council, including the role of the previous Commission. It discusses the Council's current mandate and structures, as well as U.S. policy and congressional actions. Finally, it highlights possible policy issues for the 112th Congress, including the overall effectiveness of the Council in addressing human rights, implications for U.S. membership, and U.S. financial contributions to the Council.
Date: November 15, 2011
Creator: Blanchfield, Luisa
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The United Nations Human Rights Council: Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides historical background of the the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council, including the role of the previous Commission. It discusses the Council's current mandate and structures, as well as U.S. policy and congressional actions. Finally, it highlights possible policy issues for the 112th Congress, including the overall effectiveness of the Council in addressing human rights, implications for U.S. membership, and U.S. financial contributions to the Council.
Date: January 26, 2011
Creator: Blanchfield, Luisa
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The United Nations Human Rights Council: Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides historical background of the Council, including the role of the previous Commission. It discusses the Council's current mandate and structures, as well as U.S. policy and congressional actions. Finally, it highlights possible policy issues for the 112th Congress, including the overall effectiveness of the Council in addressing human rights, implications for U.S. membership, and U.S. financial contributions to the Council.
Date: July 18, 2011
Creator: Blanchfield, Luisa
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Privacy Protections for Personal Information Online

Description: This report examines some of the efforts being made to protect of personal information, through federal laws and regulations. This report provides a brief overview of selected recent developments in the area of federal privacy law. This report does not cover workplace privacy laws or state privacy laws.
Date: April 6, 2011
Creator: Stevens, Gina
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Judicial Activity Concerning Enemy Combatant Detainees: Major Court Rulings

Description: This report discusses major judicial opinions concerning suspected enemy belligerents detained in the conflict with Al Qaeda and the Taliban. The report addresses all Supreme Court decisions concerning enemy combatants. It also discusses notable circuit court opinions addressing issues of ongoing relevance.
Date: March 29, 2011
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K. & Garcia, Michael John
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Legal Standing Under the First Amendment's Establishment Clause

Description: This report analyzes the constitutional issues associated with standing (a restraint on the power of federal courts to render decisions), specifically related to cases arising under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment regarding religion. It provides a background on the doctrine of standing, including the U.S. Supreme Court's interpretation of various types of standing: standing to sue as a citizen, as a taxpayer, and on behalf of another party. It also examines the current standing rules related to the Establishment Clause.
Date: April 5, 2011
Creator: Brougher, Cynthia
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

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.
Date: January 28, 2011
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy R.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Satellite Surveillance: Domestic Issues

Description: Report that provides background on the development of intelligence satellites and identifies the roles various agencies play in their management and use. Issues surrounding the current policy and proposed changes are discussed, followed by a discussion of legal considerations.
Date: January 13, 2011
Creator: Best, Richard A., Jr. & Elsea, Jennifer K.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cuba: U.S. Restrictions on Travel and Remittances

Description: 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 have eased U.S. travel restrictions to Cuba, but were not completed.
Date: January 18, 2011
Creator: Sullivan, Mark P.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department