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Internet Privacy: Overview and Pending Legislation

Description: Internet privacy issues encompass concerns about the collection of personally identifiable information from visitors to Web sites, as well as debate over law enforcement or employer monitoring of electronic mail and Web usage. In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, debate over the issue of law enforcement monitoring has intensified, with some advocating increased tools for law enforcement to track down terrorists, and others cautioning that fundamental tenets of democracy, such as privacy, not be endangered in that pursuit. This report provides a brief overview of Internet privacy issues and tracks pending legislation.
Date: November 13, 2001
Creator: Smith, Marcia S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Industrial Competitiveness and Technological Advancement: Debate Over Government Policy

Description: This report discusses contribution of technological advancement to economic growth and productivity increases. Because technology can contribute to economic growth and productivity increases, congressional interest has focused on how to augment private-sector technological development.
Date: December 3, 2001
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H.
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

“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

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

Description: Unsolicited commercial e-mail (UCE), also called “spam” or “junk e-mail,” aggravates many computer users. 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. Proponents of UCE insist it is a legitimate marketing technique and protected by the First Amendment. Legislation to place limits on UCE was considered by the last two Congresses, but no bill cleared Congress. Several bills have been introduced in the 107th Congress. H.R. 718 was reported from the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Judiciary Committee (H. Rept. 107-41, Parts 1 and 2). The two versions are quite different. S. 630 was ordered reported from the Senate Commerce Committee.
Date: May 28, 2002
Creator: Smith, Marcia S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Industrial Competitiveness and Technological Advancement: Debate Over Government Policy

Description: This report discusses the ongoing congressional interest in the pace of U.S. technological advancement due to its influence on U.S. economic growth, productivity, and international competitiveness. Because technology can contribute to economic growth and productivity increases, congressional interest has focused on how to augment private-sector technological development. Legislative activity over the past decade has created a policy for technology development, albeit an ad hoc one. Because of the lack of consensus on the scope and direction of a national policy, Congress has taken an incremental approach aimed at creating new mechanisms to facilitate technological advancement in particular areas and making changes and improvements as necessary.
Date: January 27, 2003
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

Description: Unsolicited commercial e-mail (UCE), also called “spam” or “junk e-mail,” aggravates many computer users. 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. Proponents of UCE insist it is a legitimate marketing technique and protected by the First Amendment. Legislation to place limits on UCE was considered by the last three Congresses (105th-107th), but no federal law was enacted (27 states have anti-spam laws, however). Two bills have been introduced in the 108th Congress: S. 563 (Dayton) and S. 877 (Burns).
Date: April 15, 2003
Creator: Smith, Marcia S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Industrial Competitiveness and Technological Advancement: Debate Over Government Policy

Description: This report discusses the ongoing congressional interest in the pace of U.S. technological advancement due to its influence on U.S. economic growth, productivity, and international competitiveness. Because technology can contribute to economic growth and productivity increases, congressional interest has focused on how to augment private-sector technological development. Legislative activity over the past decade has created a policy for technology development, albeit an ad hoc one. Because of the lack of consensus on the scope and direction of a national policy, Congress has taken an incremental approach aimed at creating new mechanisms to facilitate technological advancement in particular areas and making changes and improvements as necessary.
Date: May 8, 2003
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

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

Description: 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. Proponents of spam insist it is a legitimate marketing technique and protected by the First Amendment. While 27 states have anti-spam laws, there is no federal law. Four bills are pending in the 108th Congress: H.R. 1933, S. 563, S. 877, and S. 1052. (Spam on wireless devices such as cell phones is discussed in CRS Report RL31636.)
Date: May 15, 2003
Creator: Smith, Marcia S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Advanced Technology Program

Description: This report discuses the Advanced Technology Program (ATP) that 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
Date: July 25, 2003
Creator: Schacht, Wendy H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Dual-Use Biological Equipment: Difficulties in Domestic Regulation

Description: A question in the current debate over chemical and biological terrorism is: how well do current United States policies limit opportunities to terrorist groups for acquisition of such weapons? The domestic purchase and use of “dual-use” biological equipment, such as fermenters, centrifuges, and other equipment, is one area suggested as potentially providing opportunities for terrorist, biological weapons development. Dual-use equipment has both legitimate civilian and military use. Regulating international sale of dual-use equipment is used as a nonproliferation policy tool. Similar regulation of domestic sales has not been employed. This report will discuss the difficulties of applying domestic controls on dual-use biological equipment and the potential advantages and disadvantages of doing so.
Date: January 22, 2004
Creator: Shea, Dana A.
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 (33.6%) of their total tax revenue - or approximately $179 billion in FY2002 .' Local governments derived 12.4% of their tax revenue or $44 .1 billion from local sales and use taxes in FY20012 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 the vendor if the vendor does 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: March 31, 2004
Creator: Maguire, Steven
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

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

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

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

High Performance Computers and Export Control Policy: Issues for Congress

Description: Congress has a strong interest in export control policy with regard to technologies that may have both commercial and military applications outside of the United States. Through its constitutionally delegated authority to regulate foreign commerce, Congress has the authority to control exports for national security or foreign policy purposes. This report examines congressional interest in the exportation of High Performance Computers, which are either single computing machines (usually called supercomputers) or a cluster of easily available, high-end workstations or personal computers.
Date: January 25, 2006
Creator: McLoughlin, Glenn J. & Fergusson, Ian F
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department