Congressional Research Service Reports - 93 Matching Results

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Broadband Internet Access: Background and Issues

Description: From a public policy perspective, the goals are to ensure that broadband deployment is timely, that industry competes fairly, and that service is provided to all sectors and geographical locations of American society. The federal government -- through Congress and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) -- is seeking to ensure fair competition among the players so that broadband will be available and affordable in a timely manner to all Americans who want it. While the FCC's position is not to intervene at this time, some assert that legislation is necessary to ensure fair competition and timely broadband deployment. One proposal would ease certain legal restrictions and requirements, imposed by the Telecommunications Act of 1996, on incumbent telephone companies who provide high speed data (broadband) access. Another proposal would compel cable companies to provide "open access" to competing Internet service providers.
Date: January 10, 2001
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G. & Gilroy, Angele A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Encryption Export Controls

Description: This report discusses encryption export controls, beginning with background on the development and use of encryption, and continuing with a description of export controls imposed under the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and the Export Administration Act (EAA); a discussion of recent federal court rulings in First Amendment challenges to AECA and EAA regulations; and a summary of 106th Congress legislation aimed at liberalizing law and policy affecting encryption exports.
Date: January 11, 2001
Creator: Grimmett, Jeanne J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Internet Privacy - Protecting Personal Information: Overview and Pending Legislation

Description: The privacy of information collected by operators of World Wide Web sites is a growing issue of concern. Many in Congress and the Clinton Administration prefer to rely on industry self regulation to protect consumer privacy, but frustration at industry's slow pace led to the 1998 passage of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act in 1998 (P.L. 105-277). This report provides a very abbreviated overview of Internet privacy issues and tracks pending legislation.
Date: January 16, 2001
Creator: Smith, Marcia S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Electronic Signatures: Technology Developments and Legislative Issues

Description: Electronic signatures, a means of verifying the identity of the user of a computer system to control access or authorize a transaction, are increasingly being used in electronic commerce. Several technologies can be used to produce electronic signatures, the most prominent being digital signatures, which use cryptographic techniques to provide data integrity and nonrepudiation. Legislation enacted in the 106th Congress enables the legal recognition of electronic signatures in interstate commerce. Other legislation introduced but not enacted was intended to promote federal agency use of electronic signatures to enable electronic filing of information.
Date: January 19, 2001
Creator: Nunno, Richard M
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: January 6, 2002
Creator: Whittaker, William G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

China: Possible Missile Technology Transfers from U.S. Satellite Export Policy - Actions and Chronology

Description: 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.
Date: January 11, 2002
Creator: Kan, Shirley A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Extending the Internet Tax Moratorium and Related Issues

Description: The Internet Tax Freedom Act, enacted in 1998, placed a 3-year moratorium on the ability of state and local governments 1) to impose new taxes on Internet access or 2) to impose multiple or discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce. It grandfathered existing taxes on Internet access. The original moratorium expired on October 21, 2001. Numerous bills to extend the moratorium were introduced in the first session of the 107th Congress. The Congress approved H.R. 1552 (P.L. 107-75, enacted November 28, 2001) which extended the prior moratorium by 2 years, until November 1, 2003.
Date: January 17, 2002
Creator: Noto, Nonna A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Internet Commerce and State Sales and Use Taxes

Description: In theory, state sales and use taxes are based on the destination principle, which prescribes that taxes should be paid where the consumption takes place. States are concerned because they anticipate gradually losing more tax revenue as the growth of Internet commerce allows more residents to buy products from vendors located out-of-state and evade use taxes. The size of the revenue loss from Internet commerce and subsequent tax evasion is uncertain. Congress is involved in this issue because commerce conducted by parties in different states over the Internet falls under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. The degree of congressional involvement is an open question.
Date: January 18, 2002
Creator: Maguire, Steven
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Internet Commerce and State Sales and Use Taxes

Description: State governments rely on sales and use taxes for approximately one-third (32.3%) of their total tax revenue – or approximately $174 billion in FY2000. Local governments derived 16.4% of their tax revenue or $51.6 billion from local sales and use taxes in FY1999. Both state and local sales taxes are collected by vendors at the time of transaction and are levied at a percentage of a product’s retail price. Alternatively, use taxes are not collected by vendors if they do not have nexus (loosely defined as a physical presence) in the consumer’s state. Consumers are required to remit use taxes to their taxing jurisdiction. However, compliance with this requirement is quite low. Because of the low compliance, many observers suggest that the expansion of the internet as a means of transacting business across state lines, both from business to consumer (B to C) and from business to business (B to B), threatens to diminish the ability of state and local governments to collect sales and use taxes. Congress has a role in this issue because commerce between parties in different states conducted over the Internet falls under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. Congress can either take an active or passive role in the “Internet tax” debate. This report intends to clarify important issues in the Internet tax debate.
Date: January 18, 2002
Creator: Maguire, Steven
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Internet Commerce and State Sales and Use Taxes

Description: State governments rely on sales and use taxes for approximately one-third (32.3%) of their total tax revenue – or approximately $174 billion in FY2000. Local governments derived 16.4% of their tax revenue or $51.6 billion from local sales and use taxes in FY1999. Both state and local sales taxes are collected by vendors at the time of transaction and are levied at a percentage of a product’s retail price. Alternatively, use taxes are not collected by vendors if they do not have nexus (loosely defined as a physical presence) in the consumer’s state. Consumers are required to remit use taxes to their taxing jurisdiction. However, compliance with this requirement is quite low. Because of the low compliance, many observers suggest that the expansion of the internet as a means of transacting business across state lines, both from business to consumer (B to C) and from business to business (B to B), threatens to diminish the ability of state and local governments to collect sales and use taxes. Congress has a role in this issue because commerce between parties in different states conducted over the Internet falls under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. Congress can either take an active or passive role in the “Internet tax” debate. This report intends to clarify important issues in the Internet tax debate.
Date: January 18, 2002
Creator: Maguire, Steven
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: January 6, 2003
Creator: Whittaker, William G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cooperative R&D: Federal Efforts to Promote Industrial Competitiveness

Description: In response to the foreign challenge in the global marketplace, the United States Congress has explored ways to stimulate technological advancement in the private sector. The government has supported various efforts to promote cooperative research and development activities among industry, universities, and the federal R&D establishment designed to increase the competitiveness of American industry and to encourage the generation of new products, processes, and services. Among the issues before Congress are whether joint ventures contribute to industrial competitiveness and what role, if any, the government has in facilitating such arrangements.
Date: January 24, 2003
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department