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Data Security: Protecting the Privacy of Phone Records

Description: 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.
Date: February 28, 2006
Creator: Stevens, Gina Marie & Rainson, Tara Alexandra
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit: An Overview of Implementation for Dual Eligibles

Description: This report provides background information on the early stages of the implementation of the Medicare Part D outpatient prescription drug program. This report describes certain policies and implementation issues related to those who are not dually eligible.
Date: February 6, 2006
Creator: O'Sullivan, Jennifer & Tritz, Karen
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Internal Revenue Service's Use of Private Debt Collection Agencies: Current Status and Issues for Congress

Description: Under the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 (AJCA, P.L. 108-357), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has acquired for the second time in its history the legal authority to hire private debt collection agencies (PCAs) to assist in the collection of certain individual tax debt. The grant of authority grew out of a proposal made by the Bush Administration in its budget request for the IRS in both FY2004 and FY2005. This report focuses on IRS’s current plan for hiring PCAs to collect delinquent individual taxes and the policy issues it raises. It begins with an examination of the scope of IRS’s authority to use PCAs under the AJCA and concludes with a discussion of the main issues for Congress as it oversees IRS’s efforts to implement and manage the private tax debt collection initiative. The report will be updated to reflect significant legislative action and new developments related to the initiative
Date: January 11, 2006
Creator: Guenther, Gary
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Credit Card Minimum Payments

Description: Recently, credit card issuers began adjusting their minimum payment formulas, raising the amount of the required monthly payment. Congress has focused on the need to increase consumer awareness of the financial jeopardy that can result from paying only the required minimum. This report provides an overview of the issues and congressional action. It will be updated as events warrant.
Date: December 21, 2005
Creator: Smale, Pauline
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Farm Product "Check-Off" Programs: A Constitutional Analysis

Description: This report begins with a brief introduction to check-off programs and then describes many of the First Amendment principles that have been discussed in checkoff cases. Next is an analysis of the first two challenges that reached the Supreme Court, as well as a brief discussion of subsequent lower court decisions. This report concludes with a discussion of Johanns v. Livestock Marketing Association and its possible implications for check-off programs.
Date: June 21, 2005
Creator: Vina, Stephen R
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Beneficiary Information and Decision Supports for the Medicare-Endorsed Prescription Drug Discount Card

Description: On December 8, 2003 the President signed into law the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA, P.L. 108-173). This legislation establishes a Medicare prescription drug benefit, effective January 1, 2006. In the interim, the legislation requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish a temporary program of Medicare-endorsed prescription drug discount cards. This report discusses the objectives and benefits of this legislation.
Date: March 24, 2005
Creator: Justice, Diane
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Copyright Law: Digital Rights Management Legislation in the 107th and 108th Congresses

Description: Digital Rights Management (DRM) refers to the technology that copyright owners use to protect digital media. This report surveys several of the DRM bills that were introduced in the 107th and 108th Congresses. Generally, the bills are directed at two separate goals. One goal is to increase access to digitally-protected media for lawful purposes. The other attempts to thwart digital piracy and would do so by enhancing civil and criminal sanctions for digital (and traditional) copyright infringement and educating the public about the rights of copyright holders.
Date: January 5, 2005
Creator: Jeweler, Robin
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Wireless Privacy and Spam: Issues for Congress

Description: Wireless communications devices such as cell phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs) are ubiquitous. Some consumers, already deluged with unwanted commercial messages, or “spam,” via computers that access the Internet by traditional wireline connections, are concerned that such unsolicited advertising is expanding to wireless communications, further eroding their privacy. Congress continues to debate how to protect wireless subscribers further, and several bills were considered in the 108th Congress.
Date: December 22, 2004
Creator: Smith, Marcia S.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Overview of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003

Description: This report examines the the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, which creates a prescription drug benefit for Medicare beneficiaries and establishes a new Medicare Advantage program to replace the current Medicare+Choice program.
Date: December 6, 2004
Creator: O'Sullivan, Jennifer; Chaikind, Hinda; Tilson, Sibyl; Boulanger, Jennifer & Morgan, Paulette
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Telemarketing: Dealing with Unwanted Telemarketing Calls

Description: This report provides summaries of the federal laws and regulations particular to telemarketing, the establishment of a national do-not-call registry, and on the options that are available to consumers to attempt to limit the calls that they receive from telemarketers and to report questionable telemarketing practices to local or federal authorities. The report also lists sources of additional information with addresses, phone numbers, and Internet sites (if available) and will be updated as legislation or news events warrant.
Date: October 5, 2004
Creator: Riehl, James R.
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Copyright Law: Digital Rights Management Legislation

Description: Digital Rights Management (DRM) refers to the technology that copyright owners use to protect digital media. This report surveys several of the DRM bills that were introduced in the 107th Congress and those that are pending in the 108th Congress. Generally, the bills are directed at two separate goals. One goal is to increase access to digitally-protected media for lawful purposes. The other attempts to thwart digital piracy and would do so by enhancing civil and criminal sanctions for digital (and traditional) copyright infringement and educating the public about the rights of copyright holders.
Date: October 1, 2004
Creator: Jeweler, Robin
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Copyright Law: Digital Rights Management Legislation

Description: Digital Rights Management (DRM) refers to the technology that copyright owners use to protect digital media. This report surveys several of the DRM bills that were introduced in the 107th Congress and those that are pending in the 108th Congress. Generally, the bills are directed at two separate goals. One goal is to increase access to digitally-protected media for lawful purposes. The other attempts to thwart digital piracy and would do so by enhancing civil and criminal sanctions for digital (and traditional) copyright infringement and educating the public about the rights of copyright holders.
Date: August 2, 2004
Creator: Jeweler, Robin
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Copyright Law: Digital Rights Management Legislation

Description: Digital Rights Management (DRM) refers to the technology that copyright owners use to protect digital media. This report surveys several of the DRM bills that were introduced in the 107th Congress and those that are pending in the 108th Congress. Generally, the bills are directed at two separate goals. One goal is to increase access to digitally-protected media for lawful purposes. The other attempts to thwart digital piracy and would do so by enhancing civil and criminal sanctions for digital (and traditional) copyright infringement and educating the public about the rights of copyright holders.
Date: May 28, 2004
Creator: Jeweler, Robin
Item Type: Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department