Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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“Junk E-mail”: An Overview of Issues and Legislation Concerning Unsolicited Commercial Electronic Mail (“Spam”)

Description: 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.
Date: March 1, 2002
Creator: Smith, Marcia S.
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

Illegal Internet Streaming of Copyrighted Content: Legislation in the 112th Congress

Description: This report describes streaming technology, explains the disparity in criminal penalties for different forms of infringement committed by electronic means, analyzes legislation in the 112th Congress that would harmonize penalties for illegal streaming with those available for other forms of online copyright infringement, and summarizes arguments for and against such a legislative change.
Date: December 1, 2011
Creator: Yeh, Brian T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

The EU-U.S. Safe Harbor Agreement on Personal Data Privacy: In Brief

Description: This report discusses a recent judgement by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) that invalidates the Safe Harbor Agreement between the United States and the 28-member European Union (EU). Safe Harbor is a 15-year-old accord, under which personal data could legally be transferred between EU member countries and the United States.
Date: October 29, 2015
Creator: Weiss, Martin A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cybersecurity and Information Sharing: Comparison of H.R. 1560 and H.R. 1731 as Passed by the House

Description: This report compares provisions in two bills in the House of Representatives that address information sharing and related activities in cybersecurity. Both bills focus on information sharing among private entities and between them and the federal government.
Date: June 18, 2015
Creator: Fischer, Eric A. & Logan, Stephanie M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U.S.-China Cyber Agreement

Description: During the state visit on September 24-25, 2015, President Xi Jinping of China and President Barack Obama reached a Cyber Agreement. This report briefly discusses that agreement.
Date: October 16, 2015
Creator: Rollins, John W.; Lawrence, Susan V.; Rennack, Dianne E. & Theohary, Catherine A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Manhattan Project, the Apollo Program, and Federal Energy Technology R&D Programs: A Comparative Analysis

Description: This report compares and contrasts the goals of, and the investments in, three research and development (R&D) initiatives, which may provide useful insights for Congress as it assesses and debates the nation's energy policy.
Date: September 24, 2008
Creator: Stine, Deborah D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

Description: 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 and software that would be capable of addressing the problems and issues the government needed to solve and study.
Date: October 23, 2008
Creator: Figliola, Patricia Moloney
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A Federal Chief Technology Officer in the Obama Administration: Options and Issues for Consideration

Description: 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.
Date: January 21, 2009
Creator: Sargent, John F., Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Internet Tax Freedom Act: In Brief

Description: This report discusses the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA; P.L. 105-277), which enacted in 1998, implemented a three-year moratorium preventing state and local governments from taxing Internet access, or imposing multiple or discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce.
Date: October 5, 2015
Creator: Stupak, Jeffrey M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

Description: This report discusses the federal government's role in the country's information technology (IT) research and development (R&D) activities. Support of IT R&D began because the government had an important interest in creating computers and software that would be capable of addressing the problems and issues the government needed to solve and study.
Date: August 3, 2015
Creator: Moloney Figliola, Patricia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Industrial Competitiveness and Technological Advancement: Debate Over Government Policy

Description: 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.
Date: August 25, 2008
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Data Mining and Homeland Security: An Overview

Description: This report explores the issue of data mining in detail and in the context of homeland security, as well as relevant initiatives and pieces of legislation. 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. In the context of homeland security, data mining can be a potential means to identify terrorist activities, such as money transfers and communications, and to identify and track individual terrorists themselves, such as through travel and immigration records.
Date: August 27, 2008
Creator: Seifert, Jeffrey W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Encryption and Evolving Technology: Implications for U.S. Law Enforcement Investigations

Description: This report provides an overview of the perennial issue involving technology outpacing law enforcement and discusses how policy makers and law enforcement officials have dealt with this issue in the past. It discusses the current debate surrounding smartphone data encryption and how this may impact U.S. law enforcement operations. The report also discusses existing law enforcement capabilities, the debate over whether law enforcement is "going dark" because of rapid technological advances, and resulting issues that policy makers may consider.
Date: September 8, 2015
Creator: Finklea, Kristin
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS): Commercial Outlook for a New Industry

Description: This report discusses unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)--commonly referred to as drones-- which have become a staple of U.S. military reconnaissance and weapons delivery in overseas war zones such as Afghanistan. Now some new technologies and pending federal regulations are enabling the manufacture and use of UAS in domestic commerce, giving rise to a growing commercial UAS industry.
Date: September 9, 2015
Creator: Canis, Bill
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

OPM Data Breach: Personnel Security Background Investigation Data

Description: This report provides information on the types of data that may be collected in a typical personnel security background investigation. In a July 9, 2015, news release on the cyber-intrusions of its systems, OPM "concluded with high confidence that sensitive information, including the Social Security Numbers (SSNs) of 21.5 million individuals, was stolen from the background investigation databases." This report is not an official statement of the data that was compromised in the OPM breach.
Date: July 24, 2015
Creator: Christensen, Michelle D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department