The Dark Web, and More from CRS

07.16.15 | 2 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

A new report from the Congressional Research Service introduces the “Dark Web” and its implications for law enforcement and security.

“The Dark Web is a general term that describes hidden Internet sites that users cannot access without using special software. Users access the Dark Web with the expectation of being able to share information and/or files with little risk of detection,” the CRS report said.

“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.” See Dark Web, July 7, 2015.

Other new or updated reports from CRS on topics of current policy interest include the following.

Cybersecurity: Legislation, Hearings, and Executive Branch Documents, July 15, 2015

Is There a Judicial Remedy for Victims of Federal Data Breaches?, CRS Legal Sidebar, July 15, 2015

Iran: U.S. Economic Sanctions and the Authority to Lift Restrictions, July 15, 2015

State and Local “Sanctuary” Policies Limiting Participation in Immigration Enforcement, July 10, 2015

Recent Shooting in San Francisco Raises Questions about “Sanctuary Cities” and Compliance with Immigration Detainers, CRS Legal Sidebar, July 9, 2015

Stafford Act Declarations 1953-2014: Trends, Analyses, and Implications for Congress, July 14, 2015

Federal Disaster Assistance Response and Recovery Programs: Brief Summaries, July 9, 2015

Women in Combat: Issues for Congress, July 14, 2015

Abortion and Family Planning-Related Provisions in U.S. Foreign Assistance Law and Policy, July 15, 2015

Counting Regulations: An Overview of Rulemaking, Types of Federal Regulations, and Pages in the Federal Register, July 14, 2015

Use of the Annual Appropriations Process to Block Implementation of the Affordable Care Act (FY2011-FY2016), July 10, 2015

H.R. 6: The 21st Century Cures Act, July 8, 2015

Hydropower: Federal and Nonfederal Investment, July 7, 2015

Reestablishment of Diplomatic Relations with Cuba, CRS Insights, July 10, 2015

Display of the Confederate Flag at Federal Cemeteries, CRS Insights, July 10, 2015

Armed Conflict in Syria: Overview and U.S. Response, July 15, 2015

Momentum appears to be gathering in favor of providing authorized public access to CRS reports. (The access offered by Secrecy News is “unauthorized” by Congress or CRS.)

“By providing public access to CRS reports, we can elevate our national discourse and make it easier for citizens to cut through the misinformation that too often confuses the national debate,” wrote Reps. Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and Mike Quigley (D-IL) in a June 17 letter to the House Administration Committee. See “Should Congressional Research Service Reports Be Public?” by Hannah Hess, Roll Call, July 14.

Meanwhile, CRS has recently updated its arguments in opposition to such public access. See “Considerations Arising from the Public Dissemination of CRS Products,” April 2015.