Congressional Research Service Reports - 369 Matching Results

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Detention of U.S. Persons as Enemy Belligerents

Description: The detainee provisions passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2012 affirm that the Authorization for Use of Military Force in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, authorizes the detention of persons captured in connection with hostilities. This report provides a background to the legal issues presented, followed by a brief introduction to the law of war pertinent to the detention of different categories of individuals. An overview of U.S. practice during wartime to detain persons deemed dangerous to the national security is presented.
Date: February 1, 2012
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS): Background and Funding

Description: The Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program was created by Title I of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-322). The mission of the COPS program is to advance community policing in all jurisdictions across the United States. Legislation introduced in the 111th Congress would reauthorize the COPS program through FY2014 and reestablish COPS as a multi-grant program. This report provides an overview and analysis of issues Congress might choose to consider when taking up legislation to reauthorize the COPS program.
Date: June 2, 2011
Creator: James, Nathan
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Smart Meter Data: Privacy and Cybersecurity

Description: Fueled by stimulus funding in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), electric utilities have accelerated their deployment of smart meters to millions of homes across the United States with help from the Department of Energy's Smart Grid Investment Grant program. As the meters multiply, so do issues concerning the privacy and security of the data collected by the new technology. Smart meters must record near-real time data on consumer electricity usage and transmit the data to utilities over great distances via communications networks that serve the smart grid. Detailed electricity usage data offers a window into the lives of people inside of a home by revealing what individual appliances they are using, and the transmission of the data potentially subjects this information to interception or theft by unauthorized third parties or hackers. Unforeseen consequences under federal law may result from the installation of smart meters and the communications technologies that accompany them. This report examines federal privacy and cybersecurity laws that may apply to consumer data collected by residential smart meters.
Date: February 3, 2012
Creator: Murrill, Brandon J.; Liu, Edward, C. & Thompson, Richard M., II
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Trafficking in Persons: U.S. Policy and Issues for Congress

Description: Trafficking in persons (TIP) for the purposes of exploitation is believed to be one of the most prolific areas of international criminal activity and is of significant concern to the United States and the international community. This report discusses the global and ongoing problem of TIP in detail, as well as anti-TIP programs and U.S. and international efforts to combat TIP.
Date: January 12, 2012
Creator: Siskin, Alison & Wyler, Liana Sun
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Terrorist Watch List Screening and Brady Background Checks for Firearms

Description: The November 2009 shooting at Fort Hood, TX, renewed interest in terrorist watchlist screening and Brady background checks for firearms through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). In the 110th Congress, Senator Frank Lautenberg and Representative Peter King introduced a bill based on a legislative proposal developed by DOJ that would have authorized the Attorney General to deny the transfer of firearms or the issuance of firearms (and explosives) licenses/permits to "dangerous terrorists." They reintroduced this proposal in the 111th Congress and supporters dubbed it the "Terror Gap" proposal. It was reintroduced once again in the 112th Congress. The Terror Gap proposal raises several potential issues for Congress, which are discussed in this report.
Date: February 1, 2012
Creator: Krouse, William J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Latin America: Terrorism Issues

Description: U.S. attention to terrorism in Latin America intensified in the aftermath of the September 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, with an increase in bilateral and regional cooperation. Over the past several years, policymakers have been concerned about Iran's increasing activities in Latin America, particularly its relations with Venezuela, although there has been disagreement over the extent and significance of Iran's relations with the region. In the 112th Congress, several initiatives have been introduced related to terrorism issues in the Western Hemisphere regarding Mexico, Venezuela, and the activities of Iran and Hezbollah, and several oversight hearings have been held.
Date: January 5, 2012
Creator: Sullivan, Mark P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Organized Crime: An Evolving Challenge for U.S. Law Enforcement

Description: In the last two decades, organized crime has grown more complex, posing evolving challenges for U.S. federal law enforcement. These criminals have transformed their operations in ways that broaden their reach and make it harder for law enforcement to combat them. They have adopted more-networked structural models, internationalized their operations, and grown more tech savvy. They are a significant challenge to U.S. law enforcement. There still is no single agency charged with investigating organized crime in the way the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been designated the lead investigative agency for terrorism. Further, resources to tackle this issue are divided among many federal agencies. As such, Congress may exert its oversight authority regarding the federal coordination of organized crime investigations via the 2011 strategy. Policymakers may also debate the efficacy of current resources appropriated to combat organized crime.
Date: January 6, 2012
Creator: Bjelopera, Jerome P. & Finklea, Kristin M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Authority of State and Local Police to Enforce Federal Immigration Law

Description: This report discusses the authority of state and local law enforcement to assist in the enforcement of federal immigration law through the investigation and arrest of persons believed to have violated such laws. It describes current provisions in federal law that permit state and local police to enforce immigration law directly, analyzes major cases concerning the ability of states and localities to assist in immigration enforcement, and briefly examines opinions on the issue by the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) within the Department of Justice.
Date: September 17, 2010
Creator: Garcia, Michael John & Manuel, Kate M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

FBI Directorship: History and Congressional Action

Description: This report first provides some legislative history surrounding the enactment of the 1968 and 1976 amendments to the appointment of the FBI Director, as well as information on the nominees to the FBI Directorship since 1972. The report then discusses precedent for lengthening the tenure of an office and the constitutionality of extending the tenure of the Directorship for the current incumbent, and addresses whether it would be necessary for Mr. Mueller to be appointed a second time.
Date: June 7, 2011
Creator: Chu, Vivian S. & Hogue, Henry B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Gun Control Legislation

Description: This report looks at past gun control legislation and also how recent events (such as the shooting in Tucson, AZ on January 8, 2011 which notably wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords) have influenced current legislation. This report concludes with discussion of other salient and recurring gun control issues that have generated past congressional interest.
Date: June 11, 2012
Creator: Krouse, William J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Gun Control Legislation

Description: This report provides basic firearms-related statistics, an overview of federal firearms law, and a summary of legislative action in the 111th Congress. The report concludes with salient issues that have generated significant congressional interest, including the 1994-2004 LCAFD ban.
Date: June 9, 2011
Creator: Krouse, William J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Gun Control Legislation

Description: This report looks at past gun control legislation and also how recent events (such as the shooting in Tucson, AZ on January 8, 2011 which notably wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords) have influenced current legislation. This report concludes with discussion of other salient and recurring gun control issues that have generated past congressional interest.
Date: May 16, 2012
Creator: Krouse, William J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Mexico's Drug Trafficking Organizations: Source and Scope of the Rising Violence

Description: This report provides background on drug trafficking in Mexico, identifies the major drug trafficking organizations, and analyzes the context, scope, and scale of the violence. It examines current trends of the violence, analyzes prospects for curbing violence in the future, and compares it with violence in Colombia.
Date: September 7, 2011
Creator: Beittel, June S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

DNA Databanking: Selected Fourth Amendment Issues and Analysis

Description: This report looks at how the practice of DNA database programs, which have been looked at favorably by Congress, are in possible violation of the Fourth Amendment's prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures. It looks at how the databases' legality has currently been holding up in court, as well as how new advances and revelations in the science of forensic analysis and databanking may have potentially significant legal implications.
Date: June 6, 2011
Creator: Barbour, Emily C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Detention of U.S. Persons as Enemy Belligerents

Description: This report provides a background to the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2012, the Authorization to use Military Force act, and the President's power to detain "enemy combatants." It then gives a brief introduction to the law of war pertinent to the detention of different categories of individuals and an overview of U.S. practice during wartime to detain persons deemed dangerous to national security. It concludes by discussion Congress's role in prescribing rules for wartime detention as well as legislative proposals in the 112th Congress to address the detention of U.S. persons.
Date: February 1, 2012
Creator: Elsea, Jennifer K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

International Criminal Court Cases in Africa: Status and Policy Issues

Description: The International Criminal Court (ICC) has, to date, opened cases exclusively in Africa. Cases concerning 25 individuals are open before the Court, pertaining to crimes allegedly committed in six African states: Libya, Kenya, Sudan (Darfur), Uganda (the Lord's Resistance Army, LRA), the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Central African Republic. This report provides background on current ICC cases and examines issues raised by the ICC's actions in Africa.
Date: July 22, 2011
Creator: Arieff, Alexis; Margesson, Rhoda; Browne, Marjorie Ann & Weed, Matthew C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S.-Mexican Security Cooperation: The Mérida Initiative and Beyond

Description: Increasing violence perpetrated by drug trafficking organizations and other criminal groups is threatening citizen security and governance in Mexico. Escalating violence has increased U.S. concerns about stability in Mexico, a key political and economic ally, and about the possibility of violence spilling over into the United States. In recent years, U.S.-Mexican security cooperation has increased significantly, largely as a result of the development and implementation of the Mérida Initiative, a counterdrug and anticrime assistance package for Mexico and Central America that was first proposed in October 2007. This report looks at the funding and Congressional oversight for this Initiative.
Date: August 15, 2011
Creator: Ribando Seelke, Clare & Finklea, Kristin M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Southwest Border Violence: Issues in Identifying and Measuring Spillover Violence

Description: There has been an increase in the level of drug trafficking-related violence within and between the drug trafficking organizations in Mexico. This violence has generated concern among U.S. policy makers that the violence in Mexico might spill over into the United States. This report looks at the nature of the drug trafficking conflict and assessments of how the conflict could spill across the border.
Date: June 9, 2011
Creator: Finklea, Kristin M.; Krouse, William J. & Rosenblum, Marc R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department