Congressional Research Service

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Policy and Research Papers

Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources

Cybersecurity vulnerabilities challenge governments, businesses, and individuals worldwide. Attacks have been initiated by individuals, as well as countries. Targets have included government networks, military defenses, companies, or political organizations, depending upon whether the attacker was seeking military intelligence, conducting diplomatic or industrial espionage, or intimidating political activists. In addition, national borders mean little or nothing to cyberattackers, and attributing an attack to a specific location can be difficult, which also makes a response problematic.

Congress has been actively involved in cybersecurity issues, holding hearings every year since 2001. There is no shortage of data on this topic: government agencies, academic institutions, think tanks, security consultants, and trade associations have issued hundreds of reports, studies, analyses, and statistics.

This report provides links to selected authoritative resources related to cybersecurity issues. This report includes information on:

  • “Legislation”
  • “Executive Orders and Presidential Directives”
  • “Data and Statistics”
  • “Cybersecurity Glossaries”
  • “Reports by Topic”
  • Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports
  • White House/Office of Management and Budget reports
  • Military/DOD
  • Cloud Computing
  • Critical Infrastructure
  • National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC)
  • Cybercrime/Cyberwar
  • International
  • Education/Training/Workforce
  • Research and Development (R&D)
  • “Related Resources: Other Websites”

The report will be updated as needed.

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Supporting Criminal Justice System Reform in Mexico: The US Role

This report gives an overview of Mexico’s 2008 judicial reforms and looks at the extent to which these reforms have been implemented. It then analyzes US support for the reforms and raises issues for Congress to consider as it oversees current US justice sector programs and considers future support to Mexico.

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A Unified National Security Budget?

This report looks at a proposal for “unified national security budgeting” (UNSB). In recent years a number of observers and practitioners have identified various facets of US government national security practice as inherently “cross-cutting.” In order to encourage holistic consideration of national security issues, they have called for UNSB. To be clear, the authors argue, their goal is not to refine the US federal system of budgeting, but rather to use budgetary mechanisms to drive changes in US national security practices.

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Crisis in Mali

This paper provides an overview on the Recent Developments concerning the security, political, and humanitarian crises in Mali. Further, it highlights the role of the Congress  in shaping U.S. policy toward Mali and it raises the issues of assessing AQIM and associated extremist groups, the planned regional military intervention in addition to the concerns of the humanitarian conditions.

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Foreign Aid: International Donor Coordination of Development Assistance

Many experts believe that improved coordination among donor governments and multilateral aid organizations could make global development assistance more efficient and effective. Proliferation of donors in recent decades, and fragmentation of aid among an increasing number of countries and projects, has increased calls for coordination. More than 45 countries and 21 multilateral organizations reported providing official development assistance (ODA) in 2010. An estimated 150 countries received this assistance in 2010, with the United States alone providing aid to 139 countries. Many developing countries host officials from dozens of bilateral and multilateral aid agencies each year. This diffuse aid structure, reformer advocates argue, leads to redundancy, policy incoherence, inefficient use of resources, and unnecessary administrative burdens on host countries. While some observers argue that there are benefits to pluralism in foreign assistance, donors and recipients alike have expressed support for improved donor coordination and consolidation of aid activities. A series of high-level forums sponsored by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Working Party on Aid Effectiveness, between 2002 and 2011, established widely accepted goals for key aspects of coordination, or harmonization, as well as mechanisms for evaluating progress toward those goals.

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