Congressional Research Service Reports - 28 Matching Results

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Computer Services Personnel: Overtime Pay Under the Fair Labor Standards Act
The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA), as amended, is the primary federal statute in the area of minimum wages and overtime pay. Through administrative rulemaking, the Secretary of Labor has established two tests through which to define eligibility under the Section 13(a)(1) exemption: a duties test and an earnings test. In the 106th Congress, legislation was introduced by Representatives Andrews and Lazio that would have increased the scope of the exemption: first, by expanding the range of exempt job titles, and then, through a relative reduction in the value of the earnings threshold or test. For example, were the minimum wage increased to $6.15 per hour, as pending proposals would do, the value of the computer services exemption threshold would be 4.5 times the federal minimum wage. Ultimately, neither bill was enacted, but the issue has re-emerged as H.R. 1545 (Andrews) and H.R. 546 (Quinn).
Computer Services Personnel: Overtime Pay Under the Fair Labor Standards Act
The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA), as amended, is the primary federal statute in the area of minimum wages and overtime pay. Through administrative rulemaking, the Secretary of Labor has established two tests through which to define eligibility under the Section 13(a)(1) exemption: a duties test and an earnings test. In the 106th Congress, legislation was introduced by Representatives Andrews and Lazio that would have increased the scope of the exemption: first, by expanding the range of exempt job titles, and then, through a relative reduction in the value of the earnings threshold or test. For example, were the minimum wage increased to $6.15 per hour, as pending proposals would do, the value of the computer services exemption threshold would be 4.5 times the federal minimum wage. Ultimately, neither bill was enacted, but the issue has re-emerged as H.R. 1545 (Andrews) and H.R. 546 (Quinn).
Is Broadband Deployment Reasonable and Timely?
This report briefly discusses the state of broadband Internet in America as determined by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in its latest Broadband Progress Report.
Internet Statistics: Explanation and Sources
No Description Available.
The Transition to Digital Television: Is America Ready?
This report discusses the background and potential effects of the DTV Delay Act, which directs that all over-the-air full-power television broadcasts will become digital only.
Point & Click: Internet Searching Techniques
This report discusses criteria to consider when judging the quality of an internet site and the best strategies for locating information on the World Wide Web. There are two ways to search the Internet. The first is to use subject guides (e.g., Yahoo, Galaxy, or WWW Virtual Library), which are compiled by human indexers. These present an organized hierarchy of categories so a searcher can “drill down” through their links. The second option is to use a search engine (e.g., Alta Vista, Hotbot, or InfoSeek), an automated software robot which indexes Web pages and retrieves information based on relevancy-ranked algorithms. This report describes how search engines index the World Wide Web, as well as various features common to most search engines. In addition, the report suggests searching tips for retrieving the most precise information. Finally, the report discusses Usenet news groups, email discussion lists, gophers, and miscellaneous Web resources.
Digital Television: An Overview
Digital television (DTV) is a new television service representing the most significant development in television technology since the advent of color television in the 1950s. DTV can provide sharper pictures, a wider screen, CD-quality sound, better color rendition, and other new services currently being developed. A successful deployment of DTV requires: the development by content providers of compelling digital programming; the delivery of digital signals to consumers by broadcast television stations, as well as cable and satellite television systems; and the widespread purchase and adoption by consumers of digital television equipment. A key issue in the Congressional debate over the digital transition has been addressing the millions of American over-the-air households whose existing analog televisions will require converter boxes in order to receive digital signals when the analog signal is turned off.
Point and Click: Internet Searching Techniques
No Description Available.
The FDA Medical Device User Fee Program: MDUFA IV Reauthorization
This report describes current law regarding medical device user fees, the impact of Medical Device User Fee and Modernization Act (MDUFMA) on Federal Drug Administration (FDA) review time of various medical device applications, and the agency's medical device program budget.
Municipal Broadband: Background and Policy Debate
This report discusses the debate surrounding Municipal Broadband, which is controversial because it involves governmental entities entering a commercial telecommunications marketplace that had previously been the exclusive domain of private sector providers.
“Junk E-mail”: An Overview of Issues and Legislation Concerning Unsolicited Commercial Electronic Mail (“Spam”)
This report discusses unsolicited commercial e-mail (UCE), also called “spam” or “junk e-mail.” Not only can it be a nuisance, but its cost may be passed on to consumers through higher charges from Internet service providers who must upgrade their systems to handle the traffic.
Internet Privacy: Overview and Pending Legislation
No Description Available.
"Junk E-mail": An Overview of Issues and Legislation Concerning Unsolicited Commercial Electronic Mail ("Spam")
Unsolicited commercial e-mail (UCE), also called “spam” or “junk e-mail,” aggravates many computer users. Not only can spam be a nuisance, but its cost may be passed on to consumers through higher charges from Internet service providers who must upgrade their systems to handle the traffic. Also, some spam involves fraud, or includes adult-oriented material that offends recipients or that parents want to protect their children from seeing. Proponents of UCE insist it is a legitimate marketing technique that is protected by the First Amendment. While 36 states have anti-spam laws, there is no federal law specifically concerning spam. Nine “antispam” bills are pending in the 108th Congress: H.R. 1933 (Lofgren), H.R. 2214 (Burr-Tauzin-Sensenbrenner), H.R. 2515 (Wilson-Green), S. 563 (Dayton), S. 877 (Burns-Wyden), S. 1052 (Nelson-FL), S. 1231 (Schumer), S. 1293 (Hatch), and S. 1327 (Corzine). Two (S. 877 and S. 1293) have been reported from committee. Tables providing brief “side-by-side” comparisons of the bills are included at the end of this report.
Internet Privacy: Overview and Pending Legislation
No Description Available.
Delivery Drones: Coming to the Sky Near You?
This legal sidebar briefly examines the prospect of highly-automated fleets of drones being used routinely to deliver packages, which raises a number of legal questions.
Internet Governance and the Domain Name System: Issues for Congress
This report provides a definition regarding Internet governance and how the Internet is currently governed. The report discusses the role of United States government and future model of Internet governance.
Internet Domain Names: Background and Policy Issues
This report discusses the Domain Name System (DNS), which is the distributed set of databases residing in computers around the world that contain address numbers mapped to corresponding domain names, making it possible to send and receive messages and to access information from computers anywhere on the Internet.
The U.S. Science and Engineering Workforce: Recent, Current, and Projected Employment, Wages, and Unemployment
This report uses a modified version of the Standard Occupation Classification (SOC) system to categorize scientists and engineers. The report taxonomy includes six science and engineering (S&E) S&E occupational groups, each composed of closely related detailed occupations.
Nanotechnology and Environmental, Health, and Safety: Issues for Consideration
This report identifies the potential environmental, health, and safety opportunities and challenges of nanotechnology; explains the importance of addressing nanotechnology environmental, health, and safety (EHS) concerns; identifies and discusses nanotechnology EHS issues; and summarizes options for Congressional action, including the nanotechnology EHS-related provisions of selected legislation. The report also includes two appendices.
Big Data in U.S. Agriculture
This report discusses big data within the context of agriculture. Many observers predict that the growth of big data will bring positive benefits through enhanced production, resource efficiency, and improved adaptation to climate change. While lauded for its potentially revolutionary applications, big data is not without issues. From a policy perspective, issues related to big data involve nearly every stage of its existence, including its collection (how it is captured), management (how it is stored and managed), and use (how it is analyzed and used). It is still unclear how big data will progress within agriculture due to technical and policy challenges, such as privacy and security, for producers and policymakers. As Congress follows the issue, a number of questions may arise, including a principal one--what is the federal role?
China: Possible Missile Technology Transfers under U.S. Satellite Export Policy - Actions and Chronology
This CRS Report discusses security concerns, significant congressional and administration action, and a comprehensive chronology pertaining to satellite exports to the PRC. The report discusses issues for U.S. foreign and security policy (including that on China and weapons nonproliferation), such as: What are the benefits and costs of satellite exports to China for U.S. economic and security interests? Should the United States continue, change, or cease the policy in place since the Reagan Administration that has allowed exports of satellites to China (for its launch and – increasingly – for its use)? Etc.
The Clean Coal Technology Program: Current Prospects
The Clean Coal Technology (CCT) program, started in the 1980's and funded generously in the early 1990's, has completed most of its surviving projects and has not funded any new ones since 1994. However, President Bush’s FY2002 budget outline proposed spending $2 billion over 10 years on a restructured CCT program. It is not clear what kind of projects would be included in the new program.
Navy Network-Centric Warfare Concept: Key Programs and Issues for Congress
No Description Available.
The Advanced Technology Program
The Advanced Technology Program (ATP) was created by P.L. 100-418, the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988, to encourage public-private cooperation in the development of pre-competitive technologies with broad application across industries. This activity has been targeted for elimination as a means to cut federal spending. Since FY2000, the original House-passed appropriation bills have not included funding for ATP. Many of the Administration’s budget requests have proposed termination of the program. However, ATP continues to be supported, although at levels below that achieved in FY1995 when the activity was expanded significantly. This report discusses funding (or lack thereof) appropriated for the ATP for FY2006.
Advanced Vehicle Technologies: Energy, Environment, and Development Issues
This report discusses four major vehicle technologies — electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and fuel cell vehicles — as well as advanced component technologies. Each technology is discussed in terms of cost, fueling and maintenance infrastructure, and performance.
The Google Library Project: Is Digitization for Purposes of Online Indexing Fair Use Under Copyright Law?
The Google Book Search Library Project, announced in December 2004, raised important questions about infringing reproduction and fair use under copyright law. Google planned to digitize, index, and display "snippets" of print books in the collections of five major libraries without the permission of the books' copyright holders, if any. Google's proposed reproduction and display of copyrighted books was not authorized by the rights holders, who alleged that the Google Library Project infringed their copyrights. This report provides background on the Library Project, legal issues raised by digitization and indexing projects, and the proposed settlement.
Internet Tax Bills in the 107th Congress: A Brief Comparison
No Description Available.
Data Security: Federal Legislative Approaches
This report discusses the core areas addressed in federal legislation, including the scope of coverage (who is covered and what information is covered); data privacy and security safeguards for sensitive personal information; requirements for security breach notification (when, how, triggers, frequency, and exceptions); restrictions on social security numbers (collection, use, and sale); credit freezes on consumer reports; identity theft penalties; causes of action; and preemption.