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Public Safety Communications and Spectrum Resources: Policy Issues for Congress

Description: The availability of radio frequency spectrum is considered essential to developing a modern, interoperable communications network for public safety. Equally critical is building the radio network to use this spectrum. Opinions diverge, however, on such issues as how much spectrum should be made available for the network, who should own it, who should build it, who should operate it, who should be allowed to use it, and how it might be paid for. This report discusses potential paths forward for Congress in regards to modernizing communications. To resolve the debate and move the planning process forward, Congress may decide to pursue oversight or change existing law. Actions proposed to Congress include (1) authorizing the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reassign spectrum and (2) changing requirements for the use of spectrum auction proceeds. In particular, legislation in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-171) might be modified. This law mandated the termination of analog television broadcasting and the release of those channels for other uses, including public safety.
Date: July 15, 2010
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The U.S. Newspaper Industry in Transition

Description: This report analyzes the current crises that the U.S. newspaper industry is facing in light of the recent economic downturn and the increasing number of readers who turn to the Internet for their news instead of to traditional media. Congress has begun debating whether the financial problems in the newspaper industry pose a public policy issue that warrants federal action.
Date: September 9, 2010
Creator: Kirchoff, Suzanne M.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

English as the Official Language of the United States: Legal Background

Description: For over a decade, legislation that would either declare English the official language of the United States government or that would oppose such declarations has been introduced in Congress. This report discusses the legal effect of some of these congressional proposals, as well as current federal policy on foreign language assistance, the constitutional law implications of official English proposals, and legal issues regarding state laws on official English.
Date: December 23, 2010
Creator: Feder, Jody
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The First Responder Network (FirstNet) and Next-Generation Communications for Public Safety: Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides and introduction to key provisions in the Spectrum Act to improve public safety communications and discusses planning authority, state and local participation, federal governance and other issues regarding the evolving network technologies.
Date: March 12, 2014
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cloud Computing: Constitutional and Statutory Privacy Protections

Description: This report first describes cloud computing and how it differs from traditional computing. It then describes how the Fourth Amendment and federal electronic privacy statutes apply to communications in the physical world, to Internet communications generally, and specifically to the cloud. Finally, this report surveys recent legislation and other various proposals designed to update the existing statutory framework.
Date: March 22, 2013
Creator: Thompson, Richard M., II
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Advertising by the Federal Government: An Overview

Description: This report discusses government advertising that can be controversial if it conflicts with citizens' views about the proper role of government.
Date: June 23, 2014
Creator: Kosar, Kevin R.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Intelligence Identities Protection Act

Description: This report summarizes the Intelligence Identities Protection Act, P.L. 97-200, enacted by Congress in 1982 to address the unauthorized disclosure of information that exposes covert U.S. intelligence agents.
Date: January 28, 2011
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Advertising by the Federal Government: An Overview

Description: This report looks at what government agencies are spending on advertising, including the difficulties of estimating advertising expenditures and the restrictions on government advertising.
Date: March 10, 2011
Creator: Kosar, Kevin R.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Publishing Scientific Papers with Potential Security Risks: Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses the publication of federally-funded research results including positive aspects (wide dissemination that may drive innovation, job creation, technology development, and the advance of science), and the negatives (that some research results could also be used for malicious purposes). This report describes the underlying controversy, the potential benefits and harms of publishing these manuscripts, the actions taken by domestic and international stakeholders, and options to improve the way research is handled to minimize security concerns.
Date: July 12, 2012
Creator: Gottron, Frank & Shea, Dana A.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Postal Service: Background and Analysis of H.R. 2309 and S. 1789 in the 112th Congress

Description: This report looks at how the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has taken steps to save money. It also covers how bills H.R. 2309 and S. 1789 include major reforms, such as reductions in service, expansion of the USPS's authority to provide products and services, and alterations to the postal employees pension and healthcare plans.
Date: July 9, 2012
Creator: Kosar, Kevin R.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Proposed AT&T/T-Mobile Merger: Would It Create a Virtuous Cycle or a Vicious Cycle?

Description: This report discusses the pros and cons of a proposed AT&T and T-Mobile merger. The largest con would be that the merged company would have over 70% of the cell phone market share. The largest pro would be that a merged company would be able to provide better service to its customers. The report also gives a brief overview of the mobile phone industry as a whole.
Date: May 10, 2011
Creator: Goldfarb, Charles B.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The U.S. Postal Service's Use of Contractors to Deliver Mail: Background and Recent Developments

Description: Currently, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is collectively bargaining with the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) and National Rural Letter Carriers Association (NRLCA). One issue that may or may not be settled is the Postal Service's use of non-USPS employees (i.e., contractors) to deliver mail. If the parties cannot come to a satisfactory arrangement, Congress may be approached to consider the matter.
Date: May 29, 2012
Creator: Kosar, Kevin R.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Secret Sessions of the House and Senate: Authority, Confidentiality, and Frequency

Description: Secret, or closed, sessions of the House and Senate exclude the press and the public. They may be held for matters deemed to require confidentiality and secrecy-such as national security, sensitive communications received from the President, and Senate deliberations during impeachment trials. Although Members usually seek advance agreement for going into secret session, any Member of Congress may request a secret session without notice. When the House or Senate goes into secret session, its chamber and galleries are cleared of everyone except Members and officers and employees specified in the rules or designated by the presiding officer as essential to the session. After the chamber is cleared, its doors are closed.
Date: November 30, 2011
Creator: Palmer, Betsy
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The U.S. Postal Service and Six-Day Delivery: Issues for Congress

Description: This report will examine the history of six-day mail delivery and analyze potential effects of reducing USPS delivery from six to five days. It will then examine legislative options for the 111th Congress.
Date: January 25, 2011
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy R.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Freedom of Speech and Press: Exceptions to the First Amendment

Description: 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."
Date: October 16, 2009
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The U.S. Postal Service and Six-Day Delivery: Issues for Congress

Description: This report will examine the history of six-day mail delivery and analyze potential effects of reducing USPS delivery from six to five days. It will then examine legislative options for the 111th Congress.
Date: June 9, 2009
Creator: Ginsberg, Wendy R.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The U.S. Newspaper Industry in Transition

Description: This report analyzes the current crises that the U.S. newspaper industry is facing in light of the recent economic downturn and the increasing number of readers who turn to the Internet for their news instead of to traditional media. Congress has begun debating whether the financial problems in the newspaper industry pose a public policy issue that warrants federal action.
Date: July 8, 2009
Creator: Kirchoff, Suzanne M.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department