Congressional Research Service Reports - 44 Matching Results

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Science and Technology Policy: Issues for the 109th Congress

Description: Science and technology have a pervasive influence over a wide range of issues confronting the nation. Decisions on how much federal funding to invest in research and development (R&D), and determining what programs have the highest priority, for example, may have implications for homeland security, new high technology industries, government/private sector cooperation in R&D, and myriad other areas. This report indicates the sweep of science and technology in many public policy issues, although it cannot provide a comprehensive examination of every science or technology issue which may be of interest to Congress. This report identifies other CRS reports that treat most of those issues in more depth. It is updated occasionally.
Date: August 22, 2005
Creator: Smith, Marcia S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Computer Services Personnel: Overtime Pay Under the Fair Labor Standards Act

Description: 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).
Date: February 7, 2005
Creator: Whittaker, William G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Telecommunications Discounts for Schools and Libraries: The “E-Rate” Program and Controversies

Description: This report addresses the controversial issues surrounding the E-rate program’s implementation and subsequent legislative measures introduced to address these issues. An additional issue, concern that minors may gain access to “inappropriate” material through the Internet has also had an impact on the E-rate program.
Date: July 28, 2005
Creator: Gilroy, Angele A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Data Mining: An Overview

Description: Data mining is emerging as one of the key features of many homeland security initiatives. Often used as a means for detecting fraud, assessing risk, and product retailing, data mining involves the use of data analysis tools to discover previously unknown, valid patterns and relationships in large data sets. This report discusses the data mining uses (i.e. Terrorism Information Awareness (TIA) Program) and issues (i.e. data quality, interoperability, privacy), as well as the limitations of data mining.
Date: June 7, 2005
Creator: Seifert, Jeffrey W
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Data Mining: An Overview

Description: Data mining is emerging as one of the key features of many homeland security initiatives. Often used as a means for detecting fraud, assessing risk, and product retailing, data mining involves the use of data analysis tools to discover previously unknown, valid patterns and relationships in large data sets. This report discusses the data mining uses (i.e. Terrorism Information Awareness (TIA) Program) and issues (i.e. data quality, interoperability, privacy), as well as the limitations of data mining.
Date: June 7, 2005
Creator: Seifert, Jeffrey W
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Internet Taxation: Issues and Legislation

Description: The Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) placed a three-year moratorium on the ability of state and local governments to (1) impose new taxes on Internet access or (2) impose any multiple or discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce. The act grandfathered the state and local access taxes that were “... generally imposed and actually enforced prior to October 1, 1998 ....” This report discusses issues of state and local taxation of Internet transactions because commerce conducted by parties in different states over the Internet.
Date: February 3, 2005
Creator: Maguire, Steven & Noto, Nonna A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program: Funding Issues and Activities

Description: This report discusses federal funding for IT research and development. Proponents assert that federal support of IT R&D has produced positive outcomes for the country and played a crucial role in supporting long-term research into fundamental aspects of computing. Critics assert that the government, through its funding mechanisms, may be picking “winners and losers” in technological development, a role more properly residing with the private sector.
Date: May 2, 2005
Creator: Moloney Figliola, Patricia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Federal Voluntary Voting System Guidelines: Summary and Analysis of Issues

Description: This report begins with a discussion of the historical context of the VVSG, followed by a summary of the guidelines and a discussion of each of the issues identified above. However, there are many specific issues, such as whether wireless communications should be permitted, that are not covered here. The report also briefly summarizes relevant legislative proposals in the 109th Congress
Date: November 9, 2005
Creator: Fischer, Eric A
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Digital Television: An Overview

Description: 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.
Date: June 22, 2005
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Internet Development and Information Control in the People's Republic of China

Description: Since its founding in 1949, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has exerted great effort in manipulating the flow of information and prohibiting the dissemination of viewpoints that criticize the government or stray from the official Communist party view. The introduction of Internet technology in the mid-1990’s presented a challenge to government control over news sources, and by extension, over public opinion. While the Internet has developed rapidly, broadened access to news, and facilitated mass communications in China, many forms of expression online, as in other mass media, are still significantly stifled. This report discusses the history of this issue and examines the U.S.'s response.
Date: November 22, 2005
Creator: Lau, Michelle W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Broadband Internet Access and the Digital Divide: Federal Assistance Programs

Description: Some policymakers, believing that disparities in broadband access across American society could have adverse economic and social consequences on those left behind, assert that the federal government should play a more active role to avoid a “digital divide” in broadband access. One approach is for the federal government to provide financial assistance to support broadband deployment in underserved areas. Others, however, believe that federal assistance for broadband deployment is not appropriate. Some opponents question the reality of the “digital divide,” and argue that federal intervention in the broadband marketplace would be premature and, in some cases, counterproductive.
Date: July 21, 2005
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G. & Gilroy, Angele A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cybercrime: An Overview of the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Statute and Related Federal Criminal Laws

Description: The federal computer fraud and abuse statute, 18 U.S.C. 1030, protects federal computers, bank computers, and computers used in interstate and foreign commerce. It shields them from trespassing, threats, damage, espionage, and from being corruptly used as instruments of fraud. It is not a comprehensive provision, but instead it fills crack and gaps in the protection afforded by other federal criminal laws. This is a brief sketch of section 1030 and some of its federal statutory companions.
Date: June 28, 2005
Creator: Doyle, Charles & Weir, Alyssa Bartlett
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department