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Kirt Blattenberger,
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RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The Internet was still largely an unknown entity at the time and not much was available in the form of WYSIWYG ...

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House Bill S.2206 - Let Me Google That for You Act

"Let Me Google That For You Act" - RF Cafe (graphic copyright)Question: What do Google, LinkedIn, Apple, Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo, Bing, Verizon, Microsoft, Sprint, etc., etc., etc., all have in common? Answer: They all willingly participate with the NSA, FBI, CIA, DHS, ATF, etc., etc., etc., in collecting as much data as possible about you and me. You might say the former group has become an unofficial branch of the later group. Well, it is about to become official based on House Bill S.2206 - Let Me Google That for You. It is just as well since the Google twins (not really twins) already get discount military jet fuel purchases and, along with other American royalty like Mr. Gates and Jeff Bezos, have open doors to the White House any time they demand it. The Act is ostensibly a cost-cutting measure and effectively a privatization of the National Technical Information Service (NTIS). "NTIS is tasked with collecting and distributing government-funded scientific, technical, engineering, and business-related information and reports." Other government agencies are required to transfer money from their budgets to the NTIS' budget (i.e., "purchase") informational reports when needed. The Act points out that most of the reports and papers available from NTIS at a cost could be accessed at to no cost on the Internet via various search engines like Google (95% availability). The Act further points out that in 1999 the Secretary of Commerce admitted that the NTIS would eventually outlive its usefulness and be unable to sustain its revenue-losing profit model. Therefore, "No Federal agency should use taxpayer dollars to purchase a report from the National Technical Information Service that is available through the Internet for free." HB S.2206, in effect, is the death knell for the NTIS. "RIP," I say, and the same to many other bloated and unnecessary government bureaucracies and their over-privileged, over-paid, over-benefitted, over-politicized, under-challenged staffs. The only problem is that the joke's on us because government never shrinks - the leviathan simply transfers personnel and grows larger.

 


Since this is a proposed bill and the wording will likely change prior to its final passage, and since there is no copyright in place on these government documents, I've replicated its entirety here for the record.

S.2206 - Let Me Google That For You Act
113th Congress (2013-2014)
Bill
Sponsor: Sen. Coburn, Tom [R-OK] (Introduced 04/03/2014) 
Cosponsors: 1
Latest Action: 04/03/2014 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
Tracker:
This bill has the status Introduced
Text: S.2206 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)
There is one version of the bill.
Bill text available as:
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Shown Here:
Introduced in Senate (04/03/2014)
Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this legislative text may be shown
by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. 
For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF or HTML/XML.

[Congressional Bills 113th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[S. 2206 Introduced in Senate (IS)]

113th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                S. 2206

      To streamline the collection and distribution of government 
                              information.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                             April 3, 2014

 Mr. Coburn (for himself and Mrs. McCaskill) introduced the following 
 bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, 
                      Science, and Transportation

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
      To streamline the collection and distribution of government 
                              information.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the "Let Me Google That For You Act".

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    Congress finds the following:
            (1) The National Technical Information Service (referred to 
        in this Act as "NTIS"), the National Archives and Records 
        Administration, the Government Accountability Office (referred 
        to in this section as "GAO"), and the Library of Congress all 
        collect, categorize, and distribute government information.
            (2) NTIS was established in 1950, more than 40 years before 
        the creation of the Internet.
            (3) NTIS is tasked with collecting and distributing 
        government-funded scientific, technical, engineering, and 
        business-related information and reports.
            (4) GAO found that NTIS sold only 8 percent of the 
        2,500,000 reports in its collection between 1995 and 2000.
            (5) A November 2012 GAO review of NTIS made the following 
        conclusions:
                    (A) "Of the reports added to NTIS's repository 
                during fiscal years 1990 through 2011, GAO estimates 
                that approximately 74 percent were readily available 
                from other public sources.".
                    (B) "These reports were often available either 
                from the issuing organization's website, the Federal 
                Internet portal (http://www.USA.gov) or from another 
                source located through a web search.".
                    (C) "The source that most often had the report 
                [GAO] was searching for was another website located 
                through http://www.Google.com.".
                    (D) "95 percent of the reports available from 
                sources other than NTIS were available free of 
                charge.".
            (6) No Federal agency should use taxpayer dollars to 
        purchase a report from the National Technical Information 
        Service that is available through the Internet for free.
            (7) As far back as 1999, Secretary of Commerce William 
        Daley--
                    (A) admitted that the National Technical 
                Information Service would eventually outlive its 
                usefulness and be unable to sustain its revenue-losing 
                profit model;
                    (B) explained that "declining sales revenues soon 
                would not be sufficient to recover all of NTIS' 
                operating costs"; and
                    (C) attributed this "decline to other agencies' 
                practice of making their research results available to 
                the public for free through the Web".
            (8) According to the November 2012 GAO report--
                    (A) "NTIS product expenditures exceeded revenues 
                for 10 out of the past 11 fiscal years.";
                    (B) "The agency lost, on average, about $1.3 
                million over the last 11 years on its products."; and
                    (C) "The decline in revenue for its products 
                continues to call into question whether NTIS's basic 
                statutory function of acting as a self-financing 
                repository and disseminator of scientific and technical 
                information is still viable.".
            (9) NTIS has compensated for its lost revenue by charging 
        other Federal agencies for various services that are not 
        associated with NTIS's primary mission.
            (10) Future technological advances will ensure that the 
        services offered by NTIS are even more superfluous for 
        essential government functions than they are today.

SEC. 3. NATIONAL TECHNICAL INFORMATION SERVICE.

    (a) Repeal.--Effective on the date that is 1 year after the date of 
the enactment of this Act, the National Technical Information Act of 
1988 (subtitle B of title II of Public Law 100-519; 15 U.S.C. 3704b) is 
repealed.
    (b) Transfer of Critical Functions.--
            (1) Consultation requirement.--The Secretary of Commerce, 
        the Archivist of the United States, the Comptroller General of 
        the United States, and the Commissioner of Social Security 
        shall consult with the Director of the Office of Management and 
        Budget to determine if any function of the National Technical 
        Information Service is critical to the economy of the United 
        States.
            (2) GAO certification.--The Comptroller General of the 
        United States shall determine which of the critical functions 
        identified pursuant to paragraph (1) are not being carried out 
        by any other agency or instrumentality of the Federal 
        Government.
            (3) Transfers authorized.--Before the effective date set 
        forth in subsection (a), the Secretary of Commerce may transfer 
        the responsibility for any critical function of NTIS (as 
        identified under paragraph (1)) that is not otherwise being 
        carried out (as determined under paragraph (2)) to another 
        office within the Department of Commerce.
    (c) Abolition of Functions.--Except for the functions transferred 
pursuant to subsection (b), all functions of the National Technical 
Information Service immediately before the repeal date described in 
subsection (a) are abolished on such repeal date.

SEC. 4. SECRETARY OF COMMERCE CERTIFICATION.

    Before the effective date set forth in section 3(a), the Secretary 
of Commerce shall submit a written certification to the Committee on 
Finance of the Senate and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the 
House of Representatives that all of the operations of the National 
Technical Information Service have been terminated.
                                 

 

 

 

 

Posted  April 14, 2014