Congressional Research Service Reports - 24 Matching Results

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Access to Government Information In the United States: A Primer
The U.S. Constitution makes no specific allowance for any one of the three branches of the federal government to have access to information held by the others. No provision in the U.S. Constitution expressly establishes a procedure for public access to government information. Congress has legislated various public access laws. Among these laws are two records access statutes, The Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act, and two meetings access statutes, the Federal Advisory Committee Act, and the Government in the Sunshine Act. This report offers an overview of the four information access laws noted above, and provides citations to additional resources related to these tools.
Access to Government Information in the United States
The U.S. Constitution makes no specific allowance for any one of the three branches of the federal government to have access to information held by the others. No provision in the U.S. Constitution expressly establishes a procedure for public access to government information. Congress has legislated various public access laws. Among these laws are two records access statutes, The Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act, and two meetings access statutes, the Federal Advisory Committee Act, and the Government in the Sunshine Act. This report offers an overview of the four information access laws noted above, and provides citations to additional resources related to these tools.
Director of National Intelligence Statutory Authorities: Status and Proposals
This report discusses the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) position created by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-458). It includes an overview of the authorities granted to the DNI by legislation in 2004 and later as well as the varying opinions of Congress regarding new DNI authorities, as well as related legislation.
Congressional Printing: Background and Issues for Congress
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.
Iraq: Map Sources
This report identifies online sources for maps of Iraq, including government, library, and organizational websites.
Federal Rulemaking: The Role of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs
This report discusses the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980, which created the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) within the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). This report addresses OIRA's responsibilities, controversies related to OIRA, and possible legislative issues involving OIRA, including increasing or decreasing the office's funding and staffing, and improvements in the transparency of OIRA's review process.
The 2010 Decennial Census: Background and Issues
This report discusses the major innovations that were planned for the 2010 Census, problems encountered in the attempt to automate certain decennial field operations, issues of census accuracy and coverage, and efforts to ensure an equitable count.
Military Service Records and Unit Histories: A Guide to Locating Sources
This report provides information on locating military unit histories and individual service records of discharged, retired, and deceased military personnel. It includes contact information for military history centers, websites for additional sources of research, and a bibliography of other publications.
Congress as a Consumer of Intelligence Information
This report examines the role of Congress as a consumer of national intelligence and examines several issues that Congress might address in the 111th Congress.
"Gang of Four" Congressional Intelligence Notifications
This report reviews the history of Gang of Four notification process and compares this procedure with that of the "Gang of Eight" notification procedure.
Terrorism Information Sharing and the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Report Initiative: Background and Issues for Congress
This report describes the Nationwide SAR Initiative (NSI), the rationale for the sharing of terrorism-related Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs), and how the NSI seeks to achieve this objective. It examines the privacy and civil liberties concerns raised by the initiative and identifies other oversight issues for Congress.
Federal Information Security and Data Breach Notification Laws
This report provides an overview of federal information security and data breach notification laws that are applicable to certain entities that collect, maintain, own, possess, or license sensitive personal information.
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): Issues for the 111th Congress
This report includes a brief history of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), discusses subsequent modifications of FOIA, addresses statutory changes to FOIA that have not yet been implemented, examines Obama Administration efforts to modify the act, and outlines possible legislative issues related to the act.
"Gang of Four" Congressional Intelligence Notifications
"Gang of Four" intelligence notifications generally are oral briefings of certain particularly sensitive non-covert action intelligence activities, including principally, but not exclusively, intelligence collection programs, that the Intelligence Community typically limits to the chairmen and ranking members of the two congressional intelligence committees, and at times, but not always, to their respective staff directors. This report reviews the history of Gang of Four notification process and compares this procedure with that of the "Gang of Eight" notification procedure.
Sensitive Covert Action Notifications: Oversight Options for Congress
This report describes the statutory provision authorizing Gang of Eight notifications, reviews the legislative history of the provision, and examines the impact of such notifications on congressional oversight.
Sensitive Covert Action Notifications: Oversight Options for Congress
This report describes the statutory provision authorizing Gang of Eight notifications, reviews the legislative history of the provision, and examines the impact of such notifications on congressional oversight.
"Gang of Four" Congressional Intelligence Notifications
This report reviews the history of Gang of Four notification process and compares this procedure with that of the "Gang of Eight" notification procedure.
Security Classification Policy and Procedure: E.O. 12958, as Amended
This report describes security classification policy and procedure, largely prescribed in a series of successive presidential executive orders issued over the past 50 years. This policy provides the rationale and arrangements for designating information officially secret for reasons of national security, and for its declassification as well.
Security Classification Policy and Procedure: E.O. 12958, as Amended
This report describes security classification policy and procedure, largely prescribed in a series of successive presidential executive orders issued over the past 50 years. This policy provides the rationale and arrangements for designating information officially secret for reasons of national security, and for its declassification as well.
The State Secrets Privilege and Other Limits on Litigation Involving Classified Information
This report provides an overview of the protections afforded to government organizations and officials by the state secrets privilege. The state secrets privilege, derived from common law, is an evidentiary privilege that allows the government to resist court-ordered disclosure of information during litigation if there is a reasonable danger that such disclosure would harm the national security of the United States.
Covert Action: Legislative Background and Possible Policy Questions
This report examines the statutory procedures governing covert action and associated questions to consider. Published reports have suggested that the Pentagon has expanded its counter-terrorism intelligence activities, and some observers have asserted that the Department of Defense (DOD) may have been conducting certain kinds of counterterrorism intelligence activities that would statutorily qualify as "covert actions," and thus require a presidential finding and the notification of the congressional intelligence committees.
Government Access to Phone Calling Activity and Related Records: Legal Authorities
This report summarizes legal authorities regarding access by the government, for either foreign intelligence or law enforcement purposes, to information related to telephone calling patterns or practices. Where pertinent, it also discusses statutory prohibitions against accessing or disclosing such information, along with relevant exceptions to those prohibitions.
Covert Action: Legislative Background and Possible Policy Questions
Published reports have suggested that in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Pentagon has expanded its counter-terrorism intelligence activities as part of what the Bush Administration termed the global war on terror. This report discusses the Department of Defense's (DOD) various counter-terrorist intelligence activities, whether or not they constitute classification as "covert action," and the challenge of clarifying the roles and responsibilities of various intelligence activities with regard to clandestine activities. This report examines the statutory procedures governing covert action and associated questions to consider.
The Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program: Funding Issues and Activities
This report discusses the federal government's role in the country's information technology (IT) research and development (R&D) activities. The government's support of IT R&D began because it had an important interest in creating computers that would be capable of addressing the problems and issues the government needed to solve and study.