Congressional Research Service Reports - 23 Matching Results

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"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. Also, some spam involves fraud, or includes adult-oriented material that offends recipients or that parents want to protect their children from seeing. Proponents of UCE insist it is a legitimate marketing technique that is protected by the First Amendment. While 36 states have anti-spam laws, there is no federal law specifically concerning spam. Nine “antispam” bills are pending in the 108th Congress: H.R. 1933 (Lofgren), H.R. 2214 (Burr-Tauzin-Sensenbrenner), H.R. 2515 (Wilson-Green), S. 563 (Dayton), S. 877 (Burns-Wyden), S. 1052 (Nelson-FL), S. 1231 (Schumer), S. 1293 (Hatch), and S. 1327 (Corzine). Two (S. 877 and S. 1293) have been reported from committee. Tables providing brief “side-by-side” comparisons of the bills are included at the end of this report.
Date: October 6, 2003
Creator: Smith, Marcia S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Computer Attack and Cyber Terrorism: Vulnerabilities and Policy Issues for Congress

Description: This report presents a working definition for the term “cyber terrorism”, plus background information describing how current technology and management processes may leave computers exposed to cyber-attack, and a discussion of possible effects of a cyber-attack. Potential issues for Congress are presented in the second section, including: whether appropriate guidance exists for a DOD information warfare response to a cyber-attack; whether the need to detect possible cyber terrorist activity interferes with individual privacy; whether the roles and responsibilities for protecting against a possible cyber terrorist attack need more clarity for government, industry, and home users; and, whether information sharing on cyber threats and vulnerabilities must be further increased between private industry and the federal government. The final section describes possible policy options for improving protection against threats from possible cyber terrorism.
Date: October 17, 2003
Creator: Wilson, Clay
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: October 23, 2002
Creator: Smith, Marcia S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Telemarketing: Dealing with Unwanted Telemarketing Calls

Description: This report provides summaries of the federal laws and regulations particular to telemarketing, the establishment of a national do-not-call registry, and the options that are available to consumers to limit the calls that they receive from telemarketers and to report questionable telemarketing practices to local or federal authorities. The report also lists sources of additional information with addresses, phone numbers, and Internet sites (if available).
Date: October 9, 2003
Creator: Riehl, James R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Telemarketing: Dealing With Unwanted Telemarketing Calls

Description: This report provides summaries of the federal laws and regulations particular to telemarketing, the establishment of a national do-not-call registry, and the options that are available to consumers to limit the calls that they receive from telemarketers and to report questionable telemarketing practices to local or federal authorities. The report also lists sources of additional information with addresses, phone numbers, and Internet sites (if available).
Date: October 8, 2002
Creator: Riehl, James R.
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: October 2, 2002
Creator: Kruger, Lennard G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Deficit Reduction and Spectrum Auctions: FY2006 Budget Reconciliation

Description: The Congressional Budget Office has informally estimated a value of $10 billion from auction proceeds for these commercial channels; many believe the amount could be higher. Broadcasters are holding this valuable spectrum (channels 52-69) but would be required to relinquish it after the transition to digital television (DTV) is achieved. Without a hard deadline, the transition to digital television has been delayed and the spectrum has not been made available for other uses. Congress anticipates applying some of the proceeds received from auctions of the spectrum to be cleared to help meet deficit-reduction goals passed in H.Con.Res. 95.
Date: October 20, 2005
Creator: Moore, Linda K. & Kruger, Lennard G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Emergency Communications: The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and All-Hazard Warnings

Description: The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is one of several federally managed warning systems. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) jointly administers EAS with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in cooperation with the National Weather Service (NWS), an organization within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The NOAA/NWS weather radio system has been upgraded to an all-hazard warning capability. This report summarizes the technology and administration of EAS and the NOAA/NWS all-hazard network, and some of the key proposals for change
Date: October 4, 2006
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Spectrum Policy in the Age of Broadband: Issues for Congress

Description: 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.
Date: October 22, 2009
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Telework for Executive Agency Employees: A Side-by-Side Comparison of Legislation Pending in the 111th Congress

Description: S. 1000, the Telework Enhancement Act of 2007, and H.R. 4106, the Telework Improvements Act of 2008, are currently pending in the 110th Congress. Under the pending legislation and Senate amendments, the heads of executive branch agencies would be required to establish policies under which employees (with some exceptions) could be eligible to participate in telework. This report presents a side-by-side comparison of the provisions of S. 1000, as reported; H.R. 4106, as passed by the House.
Date: October 20, 2008
Creator: Schwemle, Barbara L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Public Safety Communications and Spectrum Resources: Policy Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses pieces of legislation passed by Congress that are intended to help surmount failures in public safety radio communications such as insufficient interoperability among radio systems, a problem that hampered rescue efforts on and after September 11; and insufficiently robust networks, a shortcoming revealed after Hurricane Katrina struck in August 2005.
Date: October 14, 2009
Creator: Moore, Linda K.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Text and Multimedia Messaging: Emerging Issues for Congress

Description: This report covers issues for Congress regarding text and multimedia messaging. The increasing use of text and multimedia messaging has raised several policy issue, such as distracted driving, SMS spam, the inability of consumers to disable text messaging, text messaging price fixing, carrier blocking of common short code messages, deceptive and misleading common short code programs, protecting children from inappropriate content on wireless devices.
Date: October 22, 2009
Creator: Moloney Figliola, Patricia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Reauthorizing the Satellite Home Viewing Provisions in the Communications Act and the Copyright Act: Issues for Congress

Description: This report discusses the regulatory framework for the retransmission of broadcast television signals by satellite television operators,the Satellite Home Viewer Act of 1994, the 1999 Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act (SHVIA), and the 2004 Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act (SHVERA)
Date: October 9, 2009
Creator: Goldfarb, Charles B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Text and Multimedia Messaging: Emerging Issues for Congress

Description: This report covers issues for Congress regarding text and multimedia messaging. The increasing use of text and multimedia messaging has raised several policy issue, such as distracted driving, SMS spam, the inability of consumers to disable text messaging, text messaging price fixing, carrier blocking of common short code messages, deceptive and misleading common short code programs, protecting children from inappropriate content on wireless devices.
Date: October 17, 2008
Creator: Moloney Figliola, Patricia
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Access to Broadband Networks: The Net Neutrality Debate

Description: This report discusses the current debate over "net neutrality." While there is no single accepted definition of "net neutrality," most agree that any such definition should include the general principles that owners of the networks that compose and provide access to the Internet should not control how consumers lawfully use that network, and they should not be able to discriminate against content provider access to that network.
Date: October 29, 2009
Creator: Gilroy, Angele A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Open Access Publishing and Citation Archives: Background and Controversy

Description: This report begins with an inventory of basic information: definitions and guides to histories of the growth of open access publishing and citation archives and descriptions of selected major open access activities. It moves on to summarize major points of difference between proponents and opponents of nongovernmental open access publishing and databases, and then highlights federal, including National Institutes of Health (NIH), open access activities and contentious issues surrounding these developments. The report also briefly describes open access developments in the United Kingdom (where a number of governmental and nongovernmental initiatives have occurred) and in the international arena. Finally, controversial issues which could receive attention in the 109th Congress are summarized.
Date: October 10, 2006
Creator: Knezo, Genevieve J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Telemarketing: Dealing with Unwanted Telemarketing Calls

Description: This report provides summaries of the federal laws and regulations particular to telemarketing, the establishment of a national do-not-call registry, and on the options that are available to consumers to attempt to limit the calls that they receive from telemarketers and to report questionable telemarketing practices to local or federal authorities. The report also lists sources of additional information with addresses, phone numbers, and Internet sites (if available) and will be updated as legislation or news events warrant.
Date: October 5, 2004
Creator: Riehl, James R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The FCC's Political Broadcasting Regulations

Description: This report provides an overview of the Federal Communication Commission's political broadcasting regulations, including general public interest obligations; the equal opportunity (equal time) regulations; and the various interpretations of the Fairness Doctrine, which is no longer enforced by the Commission. A brief section of frequently asked questions regarding political broadcasting is also provided.
Date: October 27, 2004
Creator: Welborn, Angie A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department