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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.
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.
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
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.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Initiatives to Promote Global Internet Freedom: Issues, Policy, and Technology

Description: This report provides information regarding the role of U.S. and other foreign companies in facilitating Internet censorship by repressive regimes overseas. The report is divided into several sections: Examination of repressive policies in China and Iran, Relevant U.S. laws, U.S. policies to promote Internet freedom, Private sector initiatives, and Congressional action.
Date: September 8, 2010
Creator: Moloney Figliola, Patricia; Nakamura, Kennon H.; Addis, Casey L. & Lum, Thomas
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Current Legal Status of the FCC’s Media Ownership Rules

Description: This report discusses the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) media ownership regulations, which place limits on the number of broadcast radio and television outlets one owner can possess in a given market and place cross-ownership restrictions on these outlets and on the cross-ownership of broadcast properties and newspapers.
Date: August 23, 2010
Creator: Ruane, Kathleen A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S. Initiatives to Promote Global Internet Freedom: Issues, Policy, and Technology

Description: This report provides information regarding the role of U.S. and other foreign companies in facilitating Internet censorship by repressive regimes overseas. The report is divided into several sections: Examination of repressive policies in China and Iraq, Relevant U.S. laws, U.S. policies to promote Internet freedom, Private sector initiatives, and Congressional action.
Date: March 17, 2010
Creator: Moloney Figliola, Patricia; Nakamura, Kennon H.; Addis, Casey L. & Lum, Thomas
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act: Overview and Issues for Congress

Description: This report describes Congress's pursuit of postal reform, and summarizes the major provisions of the new postal reform law. The report also suggests PAEA-related oversight issues for Congress. President George W. Bush signed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA; P.L. 109-435; 120 Stat. 3198) on December 20, 2006. The PAEA was the first broad revision of the 1970 statute that replaced the U.S. Post Office with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS), a self-supporting, independent agency of the executive branch.
Date: December 14, 2009
Creator: Kosar, Kevin R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Advertising Industry in the Digital Age

Description: This report discusses regulatory challenges faced by policymakers as the advertising industry enters a period of far-reaching change brought about by the economic downturn and structural shifts as consumers move to the Internet and other digital platforms for news, entertainment, and socializing.
Date: November 9, 2009
Creator: Kirchhoff, Suzanne M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Congressional Printing: Background and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides an overview and analysis of issues related to the processing and distribution of congressional information by the Government Printing Office. Subsequent sections address several issues, including funding congressional printing, printing authorizations, current printing practices, and options for Congress. Finally, the report provides congressional printing appropriations, production, and distribution data in a number of tables.
Date: November 5, 2009
Creator: Petersen, R. E.
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
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Reauthorizing the Satellite Home Viewing Provisions in the Communications Act and the Copyright Act: Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses the regulatory framework for the retransmission of broadcast television signals by satellite television operators,the Satellite Home Viewer Act of 1994, the 1999 Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act (SHVIA), and the 2004 Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act (SHVERA)
Date: October 9, 2009
Creator: Goldfarb, Charles B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Obscenity, Child Pornography, and Indecency: Brief Background and Recent Developments

Description: The First Amendment provides that “Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press. ...” The First Amendment applies, with two exceptions, to pornography, with that term being used to refer to any words or pictures of a sexual nature. This report discusses the two exceptions, which are obscenity and child pornography; because these are not protected by the First Amendment, they may be, and have been, made illegal. Pornography and “indecent” material that are protected by the First Amendment may nevertheless be restricted in order to limit minors’ access to them.
Date: October 6, 2009
Creator: Cohen, Henry
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Sending Mail to Members of the Armed Forces at Reduced or Free Postage: An Overview

Description: This report discusses proposed legislation to establish a free-mail-to-troops postage benefit. Various bills introduced in Congress would provide members of the Armed Forces serving overseas with free-postage vouchers every month. Recipients of these vouchers would be able to transfer them to family members or other persons in the United States, who then could use the vouchers to mail a letter or package to the troops postage-free.
Date: September 29, 2009
Creator: Kosar, Kevin R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Post Office and Retail Postal Facility Closures: Overview and Issues for Congress

Description: The United States Postal Service (USPS) announced in May 2009 that it was considering the closure of 3,105 of its 4,851 post office branches and stations. Since the original announcement, the USPS has indicated that the number of possible closures may be more than 3,200. This report provides (1) information on this recent announcement; (2) historical data on the number of post offices and other retail postal facilities; (3) an explanation of the legal authorities relevant to retail postal facility closures; (4) a review of the retail postal facility closure processes, including data on public appeals of closures, and H.R. 658's proposed alterations to the processes; and (5) a concluding discussion that suggests observations and possible issues for Congress.
Date: July 23, 2009
Creator: Kosar, Kevin R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Post Office and Retail Postal Facility Closures: Overview and Issues for Congress

Description: This report provides information on the announcement that the United States Postal Service was considering the closure of 3,105 branches; historical data on the number of post offices and other retail postal facilities; an explanation of the legal authorities relevant to retail postal facility closures; a review of the retail postal facility closure processes, including data on public appeals of closures, and H.R. 658's proposed alterations to the processes; and a concluding discussion that suggests observations and possible issues for Congress.
Date: July 23, 2009
Creator: Kosar, Kevin R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department