Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed Senate amended (10/08/1998)

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Title I: Moratorium on Certain Taxes

Title II: Other Provisions

Title III: Government Paperwork Elimination Act

Title IV: Children's Online Privacy Protection

Title V: Oregon Institute of Public Service and

Constitutional Studies

Title VI: Paul Simon Public Policy Institute

Title VII: Howard Baker School of Government

Title VIII: John Glenn Institute for Public Service and

Public Policy

Internet Tax Freedom Act - Title I: Moratorium on Certain Taxes - Prohibits a State or political subdivision thereof from imposing the following taxes on Internet transactions occurring during the period beginning on October 1, 1998, and ending three years after the date of enactment of this Act: (1) taxes on Internet access, unless such tax was generally imposed and actually enforced prior to October 1, 1998; or (2) multiple or discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce. Provides an exception from such moratorium for: (1) persons selling or transferring, by means of the World Wide Web, material that is harmful to minors, unless such a person requires the use of an adult personal identification number or other procedures as the Federal Communications Commission may prescribe to restrict access to such material by persons under 17 years of age; and (2) an Internet access provider unless such provider offers its customer screening software designed to permit the customer to limit access to Internet material that is harmful to minors.

(Sec. 102) Establishes the Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce to study and report to the Congress on Federal, State, local, and international taxation and tariff treatment of transactions using the Internet and Internet access and other comparable intrastate, interstate, or international sales activities.

Title II: Other Provisions - Expresses the sense of the Congress that no new Federal taxes similar to the taxes described above should be enacted with respect to the Internet and Internet access during the moratorium period.

(Sec. 202) Amends the Trade Act of 1974 to direct the U.S. Trade Representative to identify and analyze foreign acts, policies, or practices which constitute significant barriers to U.S. electronic commerce, as well as to estimate the value of additional U.S. electronic commerce that would have been exported into, or invested in, such country except for such acts, policies, or practices.

(Sec. 203) Expresses the sense of the Congress that the President should seek bilateral, regional, and multilateral agreements to remove barriers to global electronic commerce through specified international organizations and other appropriate venues. Includes as negotiating objectives under such agreements: (1) to assure that electronic commerce is free from tariff and nontariff barriers, burdensome and discriminatory regulation, and discriminatory taxation; and (2) to accelerate the growth of electronic commerce by expanding market access opportunities for the development of telecommunications infrastructure, the procurement of telecommunications equipment, the provision of Internet access and telecommunications services, and the exchange of goods, services, and digitalized information.

Title III: Government Paperwork Elimination Act - Government Paperwork Elimination Act - Requires the Director of the Office of Management and Budget to acquire alternative information technologies that provide for: (1) electronic submission, maintenance, or disclosure of information as a substitute for paper; and (2) the use and acceptance of electronic signatures. Requires the Director to: (1) develop procedures for the use and acceptance of electronic signatures by executive agencies; (2) ensure that such agencies, within five years after enactment of this Act, provide for the option of the electronic submission, maintenance, or disclosure of information as a substitute for paper, as well as for the use of electronic signatures; (3) develop procedures to permit private employers to store and file electronically with executive agencies forms containing information pertaining to the employees of such employers; and (4) conduct an ongoing study (with required periodic reports) of the use of electronic signatures under this title on paperwork reduction and electronic commerce, individual privacy, and the security and authenticity of transactions.

(Sec. 307) Provides for the: (1) full legal effect and enforcement of electronic records and signatures developed under this title; and (2) protection of such records and related information from unauthorized disclosure.

Title IV: Children's Online Privacy Protection - Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 - Prohibits an operator of a website or online service directed to children, or any operator having actual knowledge that it is doing so, from collecting personal information from a child in a manner that violates regulations required under this title which are designed to protect such children from unlawful and deceptive practices in the collection of personal information. Provides an exception for information disclosed to a child's parent.

Directs the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to prescribe regulations requiring such operators to follow specified procedures in connection with the collection and use of personal information from children, including: (1) obtaining verifiable parental consent for the collection, use, or disclosure of such information; and (2) requiring such operators to establish and maintain procedures to protect the confidentiality, security, and integrity of collected information. Provides exceptions to the parental consent requirement.

(Sec. 404) Allows an operator to satisfy such regulatory requirements by following a set of FTC-approved self-regulatory guidelines established by appropriate online representatives. Directs the FTC to provide incentives for such self-regulation.

(Sec. 405) Authorizes the States to enforce such regulations by bringing actions on behalf of its residents, requiring the appropriate attorney general to first notify the FTC of such action. Authorizes the FTC to intervene in any such action.

(Sec. 406) Provides for the enforcement of this title through the Federal Trade Commission Act.

(Sec. 407) Directs the FTC to review and report to the Congress on the implementation of this title.

Title V: Oregon Institute of Public Service and Constitutional Studies - Authorizes the Secretary of Education (Secretary) to award a grant to Portland State University in Portland, Oregon, for the establishment of an endowment fund to support the Oregon Institute of Public Service and Constitutional Studies at the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government at such University. Directs the University to establish such Institute to receive such grant. Sets forth Institute duties, including to generate resources, improve teaching, enhance curriculum development, and further the knowledge and understanding of students of all ages about public service, the U.S. Government, and the Constitution. Requires the Institute to operate under a Leadership Council.

(Sec. 506) Requires the endowment fund to be managed in accordance with standard endowment policies established by the Oregon University System.

(Sec. 507) Authorizes appropriations for FY 1999.

Title VI: Paul Simon Public Policy Institute - Authorizes the Secretary to award a grant to Southern Illinois University for the establishment of an endowment fund to support the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. Directs the University to establish such Institute to receive such grant. Requires the Institute to engage in research, analysis, debate, and policy recommendations affecting world hunger, mass media, foreign policy, education, and employment. Provides: (1) a matching funds requirement; and (2) authorized endowment investments, withdrawals, and expenditures. Authorizes the Secretary to terminate a grant and recover grant funds if the University fails endowment requirements.

(Sec. 606) Authorizes appropriations for FY 1999.

Title VII: Howard Baker School of Government - Authorizes the Secretary to award a grant to the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Tennessee, for the establishment of an endowment fund to support the Howard Baker School of Government at such University. Directs the University, to receive such grant, to establish the School, which shall further the study of democratic institutions and public affairs. Requires the School to operate under the advice and guidance of a Board of Advisors.

(Sec. 705) Requires the endowment fund to be managed in accordance with standard endowment policies established by the University of Tennessee System.

(Sec. 706) Authorizes appropriations for FY 2000.

Title VIII: John Glenn Institute for Public Service and Public Policy - Authorizes the Secretary to award a grant to Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, for the establishment of an endowment fund to support the John Glenn Institute for Public Service and Public Policy, which shall further the study of public service and public policy issues. Provides: (1) a matching funds requirement; and (2) authorized endowment investments, withdrawals, and expenditures. Limits awarded grants to 20-year periods. Authorizes the Secretary to terminate a grant and recover grant funds if the University fails endowment requirements.

(Sec. 806) Authorizes appropriations for FY 2000.