Congressional Research Service Reports - 54 Matching Results

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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.
Industrial Competitiveness and Technological Advancement: Debate Over Government Policy
This report discusses congressional interest in the pace of U.S. technological advancement due to its influence on U.S. economic growth, productivity, and international competitiveness. The proper role of the federal government in technology development and the competitiveness of U.S. industry continues to be a topic of congressional debate.
The President's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP): Issues for Congress
This report discusses the role of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), including an overview of the history of science and technology advice to the President, issues and options for Congress regarding (OSTP) Director, OSTP management and operations, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), and the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). The report also discusses actions taken by the Obama Administration regarding OSTP.
The President's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP): Issues for Congress
This report discusses the role of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), including an overview of the history of science and technology advice to the President, issues and options for Congress regarding (OSTP) Director, OSTP management and operations, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), and the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). The report also discusses actions taken by the Obama Administration regarding OSTP.
The President's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP): Issues for Congress
This report discusses the role of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), including an overview of the history of science and technology advice to the President, issues and options for Congress regarding (OSTP) Director, OSTP management and operations, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), and the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). The report also discusses actions taken by the Obama Administration regarding OSTP.
The President's Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP): Issues for Congress
This report discusses the role of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), including an overview of the history of science and technology advice to the President, issues and options for Congress regarding (OSTP) Director, OSTP management and operations, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), and the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). The report also discusses actions taken by the Obama Administration regarding OSTP.
Federally-Funded Innovation Inducement Prizes
This report discusses the status of current federally-funded innovation inducement prizes, addresses the different types of prizes, analyzes when prizes may be appropriate and effective, and summarizes assessments that have been made of their effectiveness. The report also provides the lessons that may be learned from completed competitions, and policy options for those Members of Congress interested in taking action regarding federally-funded innovation inducement prizes. The report concludes with an overview of 111th congressional activities regarding prizes.
Advertising Industry in the Digital Age
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.
The Google Library Project: Is Digitization for Purposes of Online Indexing Fair Use Under Copyright Law?
This report provides background on the Google Library Project, legal issues raised by digitization and indexing projects, and the proposed settlement between Google and rights holders.
Nanotechnology: A Policy Primer
This report provides an overview of nanotechnology, nanomanufacturing, and public understanding of and attitudes toward nanotechnology. Congress has demonstrated continuing support for nanotechnology and has directed its attention primarily to three topics that may affect the realization of this hoped for potential: federal research and development (R&D) in nanotechnology; U.S. competitiveness; and environmental, health, and safety (EHS) concerns.
A Federal Chief Technology Officer in the Obama Administration: Options and Issues for Consideration
This report addresses issues related to the potential scope of duties and authorities of a CTO, as well as other issues Congress may choose to consider if it opts to exert oversight or to develop legislation to create the position and/or office of a CTO.
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act
This report provides a summary and explanation of the provisions in the HITECH Act, which is intended to promote the widespread adoption of health information technology (HIT) for the electronic sharing of clinical data among hospitals, physicians, and other health care stakeholders. It gives an overview of prior actions taken by Congress and the Administrations to promote HIT, and briefly describes efforts by the 109th and 110th Congresses to enact comprehensive HIT legislation.
Electric Power Storage
This report summarizes the technical, regulatory, and policy issues that surround implementation of electric power storage.
Nanotechnology: A Policy Primer
This report provides an overview of the nanotechnology that is believed by many to offer extraordinary economic and societal benefits, which are discussed in more detail in other CRS reports—and two others: nanomanufacturing and public understanding of and attitudes toward nanotechnology.
Privacy Law and Online Advertising: Legal Analysis of Data Gathering By Online Advertisers Such As Double Click and NebuAd
This report discusses privacy issues arising from so called "e-havioral" advertising. This individual behavioral targeting has raised a number of privacy concerns.
Infrastructure Programs: What's Different About Broadband?
This report discusses the unique characteristics that may dictate that government programs in support of broadband deployment be structured differently than conventional infrastructure programs.
The Technology Innovation Program
The Technology Innovation Program (TIP) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) was established in 2007 to replace the Advanced Technology Program (ATP). This effort is designed " ... to support, promote, and accelerate innovation in the United States through highrisk, high-reward research in areas of critical national need," according to the authorizing legislation. Grants are provided to small and medium-sized firms for individual projects or joint ventures with other research organizations. The elimination of ATP and the creation of TIP have renewed the debate over the role of the federal government in promoting commercial technology development. This report discusses the opposing sides of this ongoing debate.
The U.S. Newspaper Industry in Transition
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.
Science, Technology, and American Diplomacy: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of current U.S. international science and technology (S&T) policy; describes the role of the Department of State (DOS), the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and other federal agencies; and discusses possible policy options for Congress. It focuses on international science and technology diplomacy, where American leadership in science and technology is used as a diplomatic tool to enhance other country's development and to improve understanding by other nations of U.S. values and ways of doing business.
Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program: An Overview
This report provides a brief overview of The Hollings Manufacturing Partnership (MEP), which is a program of regional centers set up to assist small and medium-sized manufacturing companies use knowledge and technologies developed under the auspices of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
The Year 2000 Computer Problem: Congressional Issues
Many computers were designed to store a two-digit number for the year, which makes the year 2000 indistinguishable from 1900. Unless they are corrected, many computers will not be able to process dates beyond the year 2000, and may cause many costly problems in commerce and government. In the 106th Congress, hearings are being held and will continue to provide the public with the most accurate information available on the status of Y2K remediations at federal agencies, state and local agencies, private sector entities, and international organizations. Congress may also consider additional legislation to ensure that private sector systems are compliant, to establish emergency preparedness measures to address problems that might occur, and to limit liability associated with Y2K failures for manufacturers and industry groups.
The Google Library Project: Is Digitization for Purposes of Online Indexing Fair Use Under Copyright Law?
In December 2004, Google announced its Library Project, which was to entail digitizing, indexing, and displaying "snippets" of print books in the collections of five major libraries, among other things. The Library Project was not limited to books in the public domain (e.g., books whose terms of copyright protection had expired), and Google did not seek the permission of copyright holders, in part, because it asserted that its proposed uses were fair uses. Many authors, publishers, and other rights holders disagreed. This report provides background on the Library Project, legal issues raised by digitization and indexing projects, and the status of the litigation over the Library Project.
Spectrum Policy in the Age of Broadband: Issues for Congress
This report considers the possibility of modifying spectrum policy: (1) to support national goals for broadband deployment by placing more emphasis on attracting new providers of wireless broadband services; and (2) to accommodate the wireless broadband needs of industries that are considered by many to be the economic drivers of the future, not only communications, but also areas such as energy, health care, transportation, and education.
Spectrum Policy in the Age of Broadband: Issues for Congress
This report considers the possibility of modifying spectrum policy: (1) to support national goals for broadband deployment by placing more emphasis on attracting new providers of wireless broadband services; and (2) to accommodate the wireless broadband needs of industries that are considered by many to be the economic drivers of the future, not only communications, but also areas such as energy, health care, transportation, and education.
The U.S. Newspaper Industry in Transition
This report analyzes China's mixed record on human rights: major human rights problems, new human rights legislation, and the development of civil society, legal awareness, and social and political activism. This report discusses major areas of interest but does not provide an exhaustive account of all human rights abuses or related incidents.
Science, Technology, and American Diplomacy: Background and Issues for Congress
This report focuses on international science and technology diplomacy, where American leadership in science and technology is used as a diplomatic tool to enhance another country's development and to improve understanding by other nations of U.S. values and ways of doing business.
The U.S. Science and Technology Workforce
This report provides an overview of the status of the U.S. science and technology (S&T) workforce, and identifies some of the issues and options that are currently being discussed in Congress.
Border Searches of Laptop Computers and Other Electronic Storage Devices
This report discusses a developing issue in the law of search and seizure: whether the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution permits warrantless searches of the content of laptop computers and other electronic storage devices at U.S. borders. The federal courts that have addressed this issue have held that the border search exception to the Fourth Amendment applies to these searches, making warrantless searches permissible.
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.
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.
Broadband Internet Access and the Digital Divide: Federal Assistance Programs
This report provides an overview of the "digital divide", which is a term used to describe a perceived gap between those Americans who use or have access to telecommunications and information technologies and those who do not.
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.
Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program: An Overview
This report provides a brief overview of The Hollings Manufacturing Partnership (MEP), which is a program of regional centers set up to assist small and medium-sized manufacturing companies use knowledge and technologies developed under the auspices of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
Cybersecurity: Current Legislation, Executive Branch Initiatives, and Options for Congress
This report identifies cybersecurity policy issues that have been proposed for priority consideration. The report lists and synopsizes current legislation that has been developed to address various aspects of the cybersecurity problem. It then lists the current status of the legislation and compares legislation with existing executive branch initiatives. Finally, analysis of information contained in executive branch initiatives and congressional legislation is used to further highlight related considerations for Congress.
Science, Technology, and American Diplomacy: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of current U.S. international S&T policy; describes the role of the Department of State (DOS), the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and other federal agencies; and discusses possible policy options for Congress. It focuses on international science and technology diplomacy, where American leadership in science and technology is used as a diplomatic tool to enhance another country's development and to improve understanding by other nations of U.S. values and ways of doing business.
Science, Technology, and American Diplomacy: Background and Issues for Congress
This report provides an overview of current U.S. international S&T policy; describes the role of the Department of State (DOS), the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and other federal agencies; and discusses possible policy options for Congress. It focuses on international science and technology diplomacy, where American leadership in science and technology is used as a diplomatic tool to enhance another country's development and to improve understanding by other nations of U.S. values and ways of doing business.
The U.S. Science and Technology Workforce
This report provides an overview of the status of the U.S. science and technology (S&T) workforce, and identifies some of the issues and options that are currently being discussed in Congress.
The DHS Directorate of Science and Technology: Key Issues for Congress
The Directorate of Science and Technology is the primary organization for research and development (R&D) in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The directorate is headed by the Under Secretary for Science and Technology. In the past, some Members of Congress and other observers have been highly critical of the directorate's performance. Although management changes have somewhat muted this criticism in recent years, fundamental issues remain, which this report discusses in detail. Congressional policymakers are widely expected to consider reauthorization legislation for DHS during the 111th Congress. Such legislation would likely include provisions that would affect the Science and Technology Directorate.
Science and Technology Policymaking: A Primer
Science and technology policy is concerned with the allocation of resources for and encouragement of scientific and engineering research and development, the use of scientific and technical knowledge to enhance the nations' response to societal challenges, and the education of Americans in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This report describes the science and engineering community, policymakers' interest in that community and its various endeavors, and the organizations that provide science and technology policy advice to agencies of the federal government and/or Members of Congress.
The Technology Innovation Program
This report discusses the Technology Innovation Program (TIP) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which is designed "to support, promote, and accelerate innovation in the United States through high-risk, high-reward research in areas of critical national need," according to the authorizing legislation. Grants are provided to small and medium-sized firms for individual projects or joint ventures with other research organizations.
Science and Technology Policymaking: A Primer
This report provides a basic understanding of science and technology policy including the nature of S&T policy, how scientific and technical knowledge is useful for public policy decisionmaking, and an overview of the key stakeholders in science and technology policy.
Spectrum Policy in the Age of Broadband: Issues for Congress
The convergence of wireless telecommunications technology and Internet protocols is fostering new generations of mobile technologies. This transformation has created new demands for advanced communications infrastructure and radio frequency spectrum capacity that can support high-speed, content-rich uses. This report considers the possibility of modifying spectrum policy: (1) to support national goals for broadband deployment by placing more emphasis on attracting new providers of wireless broadband services; and (2) to accommodate the wireless broadband needs of industries that are considered by many to be the economic drivers of the future, not only communications, but also areas such as energy, health care, transportation, and education.
The U.S. Science and Technology Workforce
In the 21st century, global competition and rapid advances in science and technology will challenge the scientific and technical proficiency of the U.S. workforce. This report provides an overview of the status of the U.S. science and technology (S&T) workforce, and identifies some of the issues and options that are currently being discussed in Congress.
Managing Electronic Waste: Issues with Exporting E-Waste
This report looks at issues specifically related to export for recycling of electronic waste (e-waste). Particularly, it discusses documented impacts to human health and the environment that have been tied to unsafe recycling practices in developing countries, as well as issues that have motivated certain stakeholders to divert e-waste from landfill disposal and, hence, increase recycling.
Geospatial Information and Geographic Information Systems (GIS): Current Issues and Future Challenges
This report provides a primer on geospatial data and GIS and provides several examples of their use. The report discusses issues that may be of interest to Congress: sharing, coordination, and management of geospatial information, including examples of legislation. Finally, recommendations are included from several organizations for how to improve the coordination and management of geospatial information at the federal and state levels.
Net Neutrality: Background and Issues
This report discusses the continued debate amongst congressional policymakers regarding telecommunications reform. A major point of the ongoing discussion is whether action is needed to ensure unfettered access to the Internet.
Protection of Children Online: Federal and State Laws Addressing Cyberstalking, Cyberharassment, and Cyberbullying
This report discusses Internet crimes, such as cyberbullying, cyberharassment, and cyberstalking, along with the limitations of such laws in the current environment. While Congress, under the Commerce Clause, has authority to regulate the Internet, Internet "harassment" presents new challenges for legislators in terms of defining and prosecuting such activity.
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.
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.
Spyware: Background and Policy Issues for Congress
This report discusses whether to enact new legislation specifically addressing spyware, or to rely on industry self-regulation and enforcement actions by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice under existing law, as well as the opinions of both the opponents and the supporters of industry self-regulation.