Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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9/11 Commission Recommendations: A Civil Liberties Oversight Board

Description: Among the recommendations made by the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (9/11 Commission) in its final report is the creation of a board within the executive branch to oversee adherence to guidelines on, and the commitment to defend, civil liberties by the federal government. This report examines this recommendation and its implications, and will be updated as events warrant.
Date: August 9, 2004
Creator: Relyea, Harold C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The United Nations Human Rights Council: Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides historical background of the United Nations Human Rights Council, including the role of the previous Commission. It discusses the Council's current mandate and structure, 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: February 4, 2014
Creator: Blanchfield, Luisa
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 structure, as well as U.S. policy and congressional actions. Finally, it highlights possible policy issues for the 113th Congress, including the overall effectiveness of the Council in addressing human rights situations, implications for U.S. membership, and U.S. financial contributions to the Council.
Date: April 30, 2013
Creator: Blanchfield, Luisa
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): Background, Legislation, and Policy Issues

Description: This report provides background on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), discusses the categories of records FOIA exempts from public release, and analyzes statistics on FOIA administration. It also provides background on several legal and policy issues related to FOIA, including the release of controversial records, the growth in use of certain FOIA exemptions, and the adoption of new technologies to improve FOIA administration. The report concludes with an examination of potential FOIA-related policy options for the 113th Congress.
Date: January 23, 2014
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Freedom of Information Act and Nondisclosure Provisions in Other Federal Laws

Description: 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.
Date: December 13, 2010
Creator: Stevens, Gina
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act: A Sketch of Selected Issues

Description: This report briefly outlines three issues relating to electronic surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and touches upon some of the perspectives reflected in the ongoing debate. These issues include the inherent and often dynamic tension between national security and civil liberties, particularly rights of privacy and free speech; the need for the intelligence community to be able to efficiently and effectively collect foreign intelligence information from the communications of foreign persons located outside the United States in a changing, fast-paced, and technologically sophisticated international environment or from United States persons abroad, and the differing approaches suggested to meet this need; and limitations of liability for those electronic communication service providers who furnish aid to the federal government in its foreign intelligence collection. Two constitutional provisions, in particular, are implicated in this debate — the Fourth and First Amendments. This report briefly examines these issues and sets them in context.
Date: July 7, 2008
Creator: Bazan, Elizabeth B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Public Access to Data from Federally Funded Research: Provisions in OMB Circular A-110

Description: The results of scientific studies are used in making many governmental policy decisions. While the studies are often published, the data on which they are based may not be, even for federally funded research. Before 1999, academic and nonprofit performers of such research were permitted but not required to make their data available to the public through provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). In October 1998, a provision in P.L. 105-277 changed that, requiring that such data be made publicly available. This report provides background on the 1999 revisions to federal policy, a discussion of the impacts of those changes, and an analysis of the issues raised by them.
Date: March 1, 2013
Creator: Fischer, Eric A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Enemy Combatant Detainees: Habeas Corpus Challenges in Federal Court

Description: This report provides an overview of the Combatant Status Review Tribunal (CSRT) procedures, summarizes court cases related to the detentions and the use of military commissions, and summarizes the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA), as amended by the Military Commissions Act of 2006, analyzing its effects on detainee-related litigation in federal court. The report summarizes pending legislation and provides an analysis of relevant constitutional issues that may have some bearing on Congress's options with respect to the Guantanamo detainees.
Date: July 29, 2008
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.; Garcia, Michael John & Thomas, Kenneth R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department