Congressional Research Service Reports - 772 Matching Results

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Science and Technology Issues in the 115th Congress
This report briefly outlines an array of science and technology (S&T) policy issues that may come before the 115th Congress. It breaks down selected issues into nine categories: overarching issues, agriculture, biomedical research and development, defense, energy, environment and natural resources, homeland security, information technology, physical and material sciences, and space.
Dark Web
This report illuminates information on the various layers of the Internet, with a particular focus on the Dark Web. It discusses both legitimate and illicit uses of the Dark Web, including how the government may rely upon it. Throughout, the report raises issues that policy makers may consider as they explore means to curb malicious activity online.
Broadband Internet Access and the Digital Divide: Federal Assistance Programs
This report provides an overview of the "digital divide," which is a term used to describe a perceived gap between those Americans who use or have access to telecommunications and information technologies and those who do not.
Cybersecurity: Legislation, Hearings, and Executive Branch Documents
This report provides links to cybersecurity-related committee hearings in the 112th, 113th, and 114th Congresses. It also provides a list of executive orders and presidential directives pertaining to information and computer security.
Digital Searches and Seizures: Overview of Proposed Amendments to Rule 41 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure
This report provides a brief overview of the proposed amendment to Rule 41, which would amend the federal search and seizure rules to permit the government to remotely access electronic devices although the location of the device may be unknown. First, the report provides a background on the origin of, and rationale underlying, the proposed amendment and a description of the rule as currently written. Second, it reviews the potential changes made by the proposed amendment and will survey various concerns commenters have raised with the proposal. Lastly, this report addresses efforts being made in Congress to alter, delay, or stop this rule change.
Digital Searches and Seizures: Overview of Proposed Amendments to Rule 41 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure
This report provides a brief overview of the proposed amendment to Rule 41. First, it provides a background on the origin of, and rationale underlying, the proposed amendment and a description of the rule as currently written. Second, it reviews the potential changes made by the proposed amendment and will survey various concerns commenters have raised with the proposal. Lastly, this report addresses efforts being made in Congress to alter, delay, or stop this rule change.
Nanotechnology: A Policy Primer
This report provides a brief overview of three major topics related to nanotechnology: federal research and development (R&D) investments under the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI); U.S. international competitiveness in nanotechnology; and environmental, health, and safety (EHS) concerns. It also discusses nanomanufacturing and public attitudes toward, and understanding of, nanotechnology.
Digital Searches and Seizures: Overview of Proposed Amendments to Rule 41 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure
This report provides a brief overview of the proposed amendment to Rule 41, which would amend the federal search and seizure rules to permit the government to remotely access electronic devices although the location of the device may be unknown. First, the report provides a background on the origin of, and rationale underlying, the proposed amendment and a description of the rule as currently written. Second, it reviews the potential changes made by the proposed amendment and will survey various concerns commenters have raised with the proposal. Lastly, this report addresses efforts being made in Congress to alter, delay, or stop this rule change.
U.S. Semiconductor Manufacturing: Industry Trends, Global Competition, Federal Policy
This report provides background information on the Zika virus, discusses challenges faced by governments and implementing partners in the Latin America and Caribbean region that are attempting to control the ongoing outbreak, and analyzes these above issues in the context of the U.S. Zika response.
Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP): History and Overview
This report provides an overview of the history of science and technology (S&T) advice to the President and discusses selected recurrent issues for Congress regarding Office of Science and Technology Policy's (OSTP) Director, OSTP management and operations, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), and the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC).
Overview of FY2017 Appropriations for Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS)
This report tracks and describes actions taken by the Administration and Congress to provide FY2017 appropriations for the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) accounts. It also provides an overview of FY2016 appropriations for agencies and bureaus funded as part of annual CJS appropriations.
The Future of Internet Governance: Should the United States Relinquish Its Authority over ICANN?
This report discusses legislation relevant to the future of Internet governance that has been introduced in the 113th and 114th Congresses which would prevent, delay, or impose conditions or additional scrutiny on the transition of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA's) stewardship role and procedural authority over key Internet domain name functions to the global Internet multi-stakeholder community.
The FDA Medical Device User Fee Program: MDUFA IV Reauthorization
This report describes current law regarding medical device user fees, the impact of Medical Device User Fee and Modernization Act (MDUFMA) on Federal Drug Administration (FDA) review time of various medical device applications, and the agency's medical device program budget.
Treasury Issues White Paper on Fintech and Marketplace Lending
This report briefly discusses the context and contents of a white paper issued on May 10, 2016 by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The paper analyzes regulatory issues for the marketplace lending industry and offers several recommendations for industry and government responses.
U.S.-EU Data Privacy: From Safe Harbor to Privacy Shield
This report provides background on U.S. and European Union (EU) data protection policies and the Safe Harbor Agreement, discusses the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruling, and reviews the key elements of the newly-proposed Privacy Shield. It also explores various issues for Congress, including implications for U.S. firms of Safe Harbor's invalidation and the role of the Judicial Redress Act in helping to ameliorate U.S.-EU tensions on data privacy and protection issues.
Delivery Drones: Coming to the Sky Near You?
This legal sidebar briefly examines the prospect of highly-automated fleets of drones being used routinely to deliver packages, which raises a number of legal questions.
The Internet Tax Freedom Act: In Brief
This report discusses the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA; P.L. 105-277) enacted in 1998, which implemented a three-year moratorium preventing state and local governments from taxing Internet access, or imposing multiple or discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce.
Municipal Broadband: Background and Policy Debate
This report discusses the debate surrounding Municipal Broadband, which is controversial because it involves governmental entities entering a commercial telecommunications marketplace that had previously been the exclusive domain of private sector providers.
Cybersecurity: Legislation, Hearings, and Executive Branch Documents
This report provides links to cybersecurity-related committee hearings in the 112th, 113th, and 114th Congresses. It also provides a list of executive orders and presidential directives pertaining to information and computer security.
Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP): History and Overview
This report provides an overview of the history of science and technology (S&T) advice to the President and discusses selected recurrent issues for Congress regarding OSTP's Director, OSTP management and operations, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), and the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC).
Internet Governance and the Domain Name System: Issues for Congress
This report provides a definition regarding Internet governance and how the Internet is currently governed, and discusses the role of United States government and future model of Internet governance.
The Future of Internet Governance: Should the United States Relinquish Its Authority over ICANN?
This report discusses legislation relevant to the future of Internet governance that has been introduced in the 113th and 114th Congresses which would prevent, delay, or impose conditions or additional scrutiny on the transition of NTIA's stewardship role and procedural authority over key Internet domain name functions to the global Internet multi-stakeholder community.
Encryption: Selected Legal Issues
This report first provides background to the ongoing encryption debate, including a primer on encryption basics and an overview of Apple, Google, and Facebook's new encryption policies. Next, it provides an overview of the Fifth Amendment right to be free from self-incrimination.
Cybersecurity: Overview Reports and Links to Government, News, and Related Resources
This report directs the reader to authoritative sources that address many of the most prominent issues related to cybersecurity. Included in the reports are resources and studies from government agencies (federal, state, local, and international), think tanks, academic institutions, news organizations, and other sources.
Court-Ordered Access to Smart Phones: In Brief
This report specifically examines certain encryption issues that have been raised in the investigation of the December 2, 2015, terrorist attack in San Bernardino, CA. This report highlights certain issues that policymakers may examine as they follow the ongoing dispute between law enforcement and technology companies, and it focuses on questions related to the government's request.
Encryption and Evolving Technology: Implications for U.S. Law Enforcement Investigations
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 also outlines the current debate surrounding smartphone data encryption and how this may impact U.S. law enforcement operations, as well as 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.
The Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program: Background, Funding, and Activities
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.
Renewed Crypto Wars?
This report briefly examines renewed tensions between tech companies and the government regarding encryption "back doors" and how quickly-advancing technologies could impact law enforcement investigations.
Is Broadband Deployment Reasonable and Timely?
This report briefly discusses the state of broadband Internet in America as determined by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in its latest Broadband Progress Report.
Cybersecurity: Legislation, Hearings, and Executive Branch Documents
This report provides links to cybersecurity-related committee hearings in the 112th, 113th, and 114th Congresses. It also provides a list of executive orders and presidential directives pertaining to information and computer security.
The Federal Cybersecurity Workforce: Background and Congressional Oversight Issues for the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security
This report examines congressional oversight of two strategies undertaken by Congress and the executive branch to strengthen the federal cybersecurity workforce: initiatives to define and identify the federal cybersecurity workforce, and hiring and pay flexibilities applicable to cybersecurity positions at the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Big Data in U.S. Agriculture
This report discusses big data within the context of agriculture. Many observers predict that the growth of big data will bring positive benefits through enhanced production, resource efficiency, and improved adaptation to climate change. While lauded for its potentially revolutionary applications, big data is not without issues. From a policy perspective, issues related to big data involve nearly every stage of its existence, including its collection (how it is captured), management (how it is stored and managed), and use (how it is analyzed and used). It is still unclear how big data will progress within agriculture due to technical and policy challenges, such as privacy and security, for producers and policymakers. As Congress follows the issue, a number of questions may arise, including a principal one--what is the federal role?
Using Data to Improve Defense Acquisitions: Background, Analysis, and Questions for Congress
This report examines (1) the extent to which the Department of Defense (DOD) effectively uses data to inform decisionmaking, (2) some of the critical elements needed for DOD to use data more effectively, (3) recent efforts to improve DOD's use of data, and (4) potential questions for Congress. This report focuses primarily (but not exclusively) on defense acquisitions as a case study.
Data Security and Breach Notification Legislation: Selected Legal Issues
This report describes the common elements of several data security and breach notification bills that have been introduced in the 114th Congress, which broadly would impose security and notification requirements on businesses regardless of industry sector. It also discusses state laws that may apply in the event of a data breach and addresses two legal issues that may arise in consideration of new legislation about data security and breach notification.
Internet Governance and the Domain Name System: Issues for Congress
This report provides a definition regarding Internet governance and how the Internet is currently governed, and discusses the role of United States government and future model of Internet governance.
Cybersecurity: Legislation, Hearings, and Executive Branch Documents
This report provides links to cybersecurity-related committee hearings in the 112th, 113th, and 114th Congresses. It also provides a list of executive orders and presidential directives pertaining to information and computer security.
Internet Governance and the Domain Name System: Issues for Congress
This report provides a definition regarding Internet governance and how the Internet is currently governed. The report discusses the role of United States government and future model of Internet governance.
The EU-U.S. Safe Harbor Agreement on Personal Data Privacy: In Brief
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.
U.S.-China Cyber Agreement
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.
The Internet of Things: Frequently Asked Questions
This report was developed to assist Congress in responding to some commonly asked questions about the Internet of Things (IoT), a complex, often poorly understood phenomenon.
The Internet Tax Freedom Act: In Brief
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.
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS): Commercial Outlook for a New Industry
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.
Encryption and Evolving Technology: Implications for U.S. Law Enforcement Investigations
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.
Policy Implications of the Internet of Things
This report briefly discusses the Internet of Things (IoT), which is an umbrella term that many policymakers use to refer to the technologies and network structures that interconnect objects, humans, and animals to collect and analyze data and manage processes.
Cybersecurity: Legislation, Hearings, and Executive Branch Documents
This report provides links to cybersecurity committee hearings and legislation from the 112th, 113th, and 114th Congresses, as well as a list of executive orders and presidential directives pertaining to information and computer security. Summaries of activities and findings are included as a series of tables.
The Federal Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Program: Background, Funding, and Activities
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.
Expansion of WTO Information Technology Agreement Targets December Conclusion
This report discusses the World Trade Organization (WTO) expansion and agreement to expand the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) and eliminate tariffs on 201 goods not included in the original 1996 ITA.
OPM Data Breach: Personnel Security Background Investigation Data
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.
Cyber Intrusion into U.S. Office of Personnel Management: In Brief
This report provides an overview of the current understanding of the recent U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) breaches, which may have compromised personal information of former and current federal employees. It also discusses issues and questions raised about the source of the breaches, possible uses of the information exfiltrated, potential national security ramifications, and implications for the cybersecurity of federal information systems.
Cybersecurity: Legislation, Hearings, and Executive Branch Documents
This report provides links to cybersecurity-related committee hearings in the 112th and 113th Congresses. It also provides a list of executive orders and presidential directives pertaining to information and computer security.