tv The Communicators Rep. Bob Latta R-OH CSPAN July 29, 2019 8:00am-8:32am EDT
c-span is brought to you by your local cable or satellite provider. c-span, your unfiltered view of government. >> host: congressman bob latta is the top republican on the subcommittee on communications and technology, arguably the most significant subcommittee when it comes to technology and telecommunications in the congress. he is against this week on "the communicators." congressman latta, what has your subcommittee been up to? >> guest: the good news is for the american citizens whether on the telephone, we passed the robocall legislation. that's significant because when you think of the almost 50 billion robocalls that are made every year into this country, it's going to hopefully provide relief to the american citizens out there. it's important because a lot of
people say one of the top issues people contact me about, and it's also the top issue that the fcc and the ftc receive every year is about robocalls. people say to me i thought i signed up for this do not call list, what happened? unfortunately, you signed up for it but these calls are coming in from overseas. there's been great work that has occurred on this, , not only in congress but also with the fcc and the carriers. because earlier this year in the meetings i've had with the fcc, what we will see is they had with the call call identification and its sort of stir shaking technology, when that call originates, when you look at your phone you will know that is who that call is coming from. it will not be spoofed. spoofing is when someone who thinks -- i'm answering a a cal from my daughter, my friend, my
doctor, but really they are spoofing it to make you pick that call up. and at the same time you will be able to say no, that it's exactly who the culprits. our legislation legislation also makes it, congressman drove from pennsylvania who is the chairman of the subcommittee, that is also in the legislation, we have an opt out provision for people, not an opt in provision. what defined as people don't want to opt into these things. wait a minute, what am i doing? we will take care of it for you. you are out already. if you want to start back in, i want to receive these calls, but at the same time we want to make sure when we did the legislation there are some robocalls you want to get, your doctor remind you of the appointment the pharmacies and your prescription is ready. your kids at home, it was a happy state in our household when the state called and said no school today because of snow. there are certain things we want
to make sure that you get through but that's wasted the government -- significant. the other significant thing is you always hear about everyone in congress is fighting, always working together. this is truly legislation that's bipartisan that worked its way through the committee in the good process with the fcc to come up with a very good bill worsening over to the senate now. >> host: to help us dissected some issues your committee is working on, ashley gold is with us. she is with the publication called the information. >> good to see you. thanks for coming. we had the robocall happening yesterday. now it goes to the senate. do you foresee an issue getting those bills reconciled and getting to the president's desk or do you think it is smooth sailing? >> guest: i spoke with my senate colleagues and said we will have this bill out and it's really important because this is one of the issues again that the american people want us to
solve. and so it's important and i think we are going to see both houses get together on this, hopefully quickly, to get it done and get it to the president's desk. it shows that, first of all, congress can work, and then we can resolve issues for people out there across america. when you are talking about robocalls it's important because they are annoying, they can be harmful. the ftc and the irs did a a ser scam event in my district. seniors are scammed $37 billion out of their hard earned savings in the last year alone. when they pick up the phone calls, and i've heard these heartbreaking stories were a grandparent will hear my grandson, they called and said he had been arrested, send $5000 to the quote-unquote court, that he would be out actually 5000
more and they wire that money and they lost $10,000. we want to stop this. there's a lot of issues, just not the annoyance but a lot of harm out there. this is legislation that needs to get to the president's desk. >> this is something people can agree on. and i think also on a bipartisan basis there's agreement there needs to be a strong consumer protection data privacy law. that's a place for that hasn't been quite as much agreement. that hasn't moved as fast as some people have hoped. i'm sure you were paying attention yesterday to the ftc facebook settlement, and i was there in the press conference with chairman simons, commissioner phillips and the main message i was in from them is this is the best we could do without the consumer privacy law. we would've been more if we had a consumer privacy law to work with toothache facebook, maybe you can't collect that they become maybe you can't collect quite so much data but they did with the could with her
authority and with the resources they had. now that that settlement is over do you think it will provide any motivation to finally get that data privacy deal done? if not, what is the main holdup? is it the folks in the senate, differences between democrats and republicans? >> guest: one of the things, you're right, we have to get a bill passed. we started in committee in the last congress working on this. in the last congress when we controlled, i was a subcommittee chairman digital commerce consumer protection. if my memory serves me right, we had about ten different meetings and hearings on these issues alone. we had mr. zuckerberg before us when that occurred with facebook. we also need to remember when with equifax, we had 147 million americans were breached here it's really important we get this done because also we have to have the uniform standards
out there for people to understand what's going on. at the end of this year, california's going to kick in with the legislation that they passed, and so we're up against that december 31 date right off the bat which is important. because again if we don't get something done, and this is really important, and done right, you will not only have california but all of these other states will start think we are going to do it. how do all of these companies and folks after start saint now i have to comply with not just a standard, but maybe 50 standards, 51 standards with the district of columbia, when you put this all together. it's important we get done but it's really important we have folks out there who understand what their rights are, what the difference is between transparency and we also want to make sure, when we sat through and mr. zuckerberg was about five a half hours, it was interesting because when he started his testimony, i can
still remember it, he said when they started the idea for me the company in the dorm room they were optimistic and idealistic. i remember writing right next to the statement, but not realist. this class to be considered but were talking about a massive amount of information that's out there. a lot of people when they scroll down, this is why we have to make it much easier for people, when the scroll that after 20, 30 pages it looks like and it says do you accept or decline? most people say if i want this they will accept it. i only know one person who reads all of that and he is been in computer security at the university. >> right. i cover the stuff and i don't even fully read it. >> host: what are the non-negotiables for you personally when you look at the privacy security built? >> guest: right now we have to have something in writing out there. i know that the democrats on the
committee are working on something right now, looking for the text but it's really we have to see what they come up with. last year it was a consortium out there with the chamber of commerce that trying to get people on the same page. a lot of times it's never would happen, you'll never get 100% but you have to have a good piece of legislation that everyone can sit at and same we can work from this. because i know some people say why do we do with the do in europe, with the gdpr? we have something called the first amendment in this country things are different. our issues are different when we think about this, but we really need to have, some sit downs with folks, tell us where you are. again, we are looking for language right now that might be coming from democrats on the committee. >> to republicans on the committee plan offering their own language? >> guest: i think in a
situation like this i think it's better look at bipartisanship. because again there were some questions of one of the other committee members might be coming up with another piece of legislation, but again we look at a date we have to get something in and that's why -- one of the great things but think of the energy and commerce committee, that we can work together. when you look at the number of bills, more bills and a past that come out of our committee and signed into law than any other committee. will greg walden from oregon whs chairman, i think was even a three or 94% 4% of all our bills that came out for bipartisan. just like what we able to do last week, passing out over 25 pieces of legislation, we worked together on these bills to get into the house floor.
>> that december 31 timeline you spoke about, sources i talked to on a frequent basis and we really had a lot of faith at the beginning of this year that congress was when you get this done. now it seems like they're running out of steam. we are not positive it's going to get done before california is permitted. do you agree that timeline -- >> host: >> guest: , you're right. where liquid have about 40 hard-working days and last days are added to the calendar but that's over the summer work period, there will have to be some work that in my opinion as we keep progressing along to make sure that we get to that point. we are up to a date that we know something will happen, and that is with california kicking and. >> host: congressman latta, ashley reference this earlier but the ftc fine of $5 billion on facebook, is that enough in
your opinion? is it too much? there's also talk about the tech companies being too big. >> guest: i think again, we do have jurisdiction over the federal trade commission as well as the federal communications commission. my subcommittee that i i chaird in the last congress which i am still on, we have jurisdiction over the ftc. when you saw the find come out, 5 billion, not 5 million, 5 billion, the largest find that have been issued by the ftc, and then the different areas because we asked, do you have what you need to do a check to get done? so i think not only did we have to from the ftc is, tell us into something out there that congress needs to act on that you thought you might not have had in the long that you could do? but again with the find they put out because there has been a
consent decree that had been out there since 2011, and then also you had the issue with -- not the issue but with what they came up with more monitoring that has to be done on the pricey side of the company. i guess i really want to sit down with them now and find out exactly, you know, , did it work the way it's supposed to work? but again you talk about a $5 billion fine, to most people that spread substantial. >> host: what about the size of the social media companies? >> guest: and again, we were dealing with companies out there that people like to be on their platform. if you think about all the different things anymore, words have become almost like a now to people or maybe even a verb. did you google something, or how they facebook, you go through it
but they become such a large platforms it such a large group of the population that uses. it's like that's what the american people have gone to. that's where business has gone to. government has gone too. it's getting messages and things like that. but again have to look at the over all, we after breaking up but i think first of all we have to sometimes, okay, is it working? is a working within the parameters we have in the long now? that's what we have to do and that's with committee work is all about. i'm a preacher of committee. i like to do committee work. that's what you bring people in, you have hearings and meetings before them. just like in the last congress when we had my bill which was autonomous vehicles. the committee staff had 300 meetings leading up to that bill. that's what this is about. actually getting the facts out there that we need to know as we go, if we need to do something
in the future. >> speaking of the federal trade commission, it came out yesterday after all the dust had settled about the privacy settlement that their opening an antitrust investigation into facebook. they spoke told investors this yesterday on the earnings call. you've been on the consumer protection subcommittee and you guys have jurisdiction over the ftc. you think that's right thing for the ftc to be spending enough time on an antitrust investigation of facebook? do you personally see any issues within facebook's businesses? >> guest: first, again, we want to ftc to do the job, and actually important. as they progress we want to make sure they're doing what you're supposed to do. and again we want to make, that's a great thing about committees, with oversight. if we don't think that a board, a commission, an agency or department is doing what they're
supposed be doing, that's the oversight that we have. if they believe that's the course they're going to start, then we have that ability to have that oversight to see okay, is at the right oversight? when it comes to questions as to antitrust, again that's what you need to be doing. also the question, if congress holds hearings on different companies, because it's just like when we had the facebook and the equifax hearings last year, that's our job. that's where the oversight comes from. it's just like when we have certain hearings, just like where the laws on the books are ready for the regulation, the did not do with the law said they were do? that's will be look to the ftc or the sec or any other departments that's out there, do their job to make sure they are on the enforcement side if
someone has gone and done an antitrust violation. so at this stage i think they need to do their work first. >> and antitrust and the idea that the tech companies are too big and too powerful, it's become very political. it's crude some strange bedfellows, kind of on a bipartisan basis. do you think that's dangerous that antitrust has become this political hot topic? >> guest: when you look at the companies themselves, as it talked about earlier, they have become a platform where people go to to get information, you know. when was the last time you looked at a yellow page? some people literally become self-reliant. one of the great things about being on the committee of energy and commerce with our broad jurisdiction, but a special this subcommittee on telecommunication, when you sit
in our committee hearings we are looking over the horizon five to ten years. what we are seeing is an hearing is that the companies out there, where they want to be an x number of years and how they will get there, and what we want to make sure is where passing the right legislation and the right regulations that come from them to make sure they can get out there. it's just like when we did the autonomous vehicle legislation last year the past out of committee unanimously and out of the house, one of the things i asked everyone who testified and everybody i was talking with, were you at the point where you thought you would be five years ago? everybody said no, we are much farther ahead. with technology today and what's happening, it's really spurring growth. it's almost like it multiplies itself as it goes. we want to make sure we have the right lost out there, that we can have, you know, we want the united states to be a place where entrepreneurs can come and
say, or be here and say that this is our idea and build it up and by george, it works. you look around the world where you see so much of the tech coming from, it's here because we have an environment here that encourages this and want to make sure we keep that. we want to make sure that again, that the laws we have on the books, that the regulars are doing their jobs are saying that yes, this is what we have got and it works. if not i know when we're having some hearings especially with equifax, and afterwards when we talked with the fcc, it was kind of, we had a discussion going back and forth, okay, if something is not working, let us know. >> host: congressman latta, you talked about looking at. let's look at the 2020 and election security. is it something the committee has looked at? >> guest: it's important because want to make sure
americans feel their elections, the processes are secure. when you think about this, when i have talked with are the leaders from around the world, of the legislators from around the world, we have seen a link that's occurred by the russians in other election cycles. their greatest thing they can do is say to people or have people in the back of the my thinking is this really fair? is this working the way supposed to? even if it did you would have them printing something out there they are for one candidate, you think and individuals doing this but they are out there doing one thing and at the same time when you might be attacking somebody they would be saying we are for them. you end up with the platforms out there, people after saying this is horrible, this is terrible what's going on. but they never knew who is causing it. we want to make sure, i know in a state of ohio with our secretary of state, that they
want to make sure, and he talks frequently and her former secretary of state did, , too, that our elections are secure and people go in. some people say to a go back to paper ballots? that's the only way. i can tell the we know from past experience across this country the paper ballots always did me that it was there. all of a sudden you would have boxes that were stuffed or you would find a box out someplace, i found another box. we need to count this. it's important that we do have that security in this country on our election because that's what is always set us apart in this country is that people say we had fair elections, but we have people revson as who we voted for. >> host: besides the robocall issue, do your constituents are some officials in northwest ohio talked you backing of the issues we discussed so far? >> guest: i hear certain, it's interesting because it depends
on what's happening nationally that people hearing about but there's other issues in my district i hear a lot about. one of the issues is like world broadband. it's so important because in a metropolitan areas you think about 95% of the country has the broadband thingy, but the other 5% is out there. if you don't have it, you can't do multiple things. if you're in school, so much of your homework now is done on the internet and you've got to have internet did your homework. we don't want kids having to go to a local fast food chain to be able to use their wi-fi to do their homework. we want to make sure a small business owner is able to have the internet connection so they can talk and get orders from around the world. we want to make sure that the local hospitals can have telemedicine, that this is becoming so important. commissioner carr from the secs in my district several months ago, the same week another
commissioner for another meeting but commissioner carr was on telemedicine helping with stroke. but again if you don't have the broadband out there and the spectrum that we need to come you've got a problem. it also runs down for farmers because i did a precision agriculture bill which is included in the last farm bill. and again we what farmers to be able to utilize all the technology to get everything out that they possibly can because they got to minimize costs and get of profits. we want to do everything possible we can. a lot of times, it's more localized and so again what i hear a lot about is broadband and how are we going to get it out to our local regions of the country. >> on the rural broadband issue i think we've been hearing this for many years now, that we need
to expand world broadband. it something republicans and democrats agree about. what is the main holdup of getting that done? is it that there's not enough spectrum? is it that private company still want to invest in rural areas? what is the main hurdle? >> guest: it's a multiple and that something else we have. i'm one of the cochairs of the world broadband caucus, and again this is not a republican-democratic independent issue. it affects us all. i think when you look at the issues that the company one of the things we found that too long ago was the mapping. when we saw the maps that have been coming out from the fcc, if you were doing your job right on your district, and in no sense to keep track of me in the last seven years, i've been in over 1000 is the my district if it when i'm out i can tell when i'm driving in the car where i'm going to lose connection. it gives real quiet.
we looked at these maps and said wait a minute, these maps are not correct. what we need to have, for the fcc to do their job they have to have correct maps. we appropriated more money to them to make sure they could get on the mapping. we have legislation out there that i'm working on that we want to make sure local governments know that the maps are not correct. it's important that first of all you have to know exactly where you have, what you have and what you don't have. one of the issues we also run into is this. the words unserved and underserved. and what is so important is we have to get into the unserved areas because if we have, you know, somebody might have two bars but we have none. we need to help those folks out there that have zero because that's what we really need to concentrate our efforts is getting these unserved areas. i think the fcc sees that, too,
in their policies that we have to get into the unserved. but then you can help the underserved areas but it so important that we do. we end up in a situation again, as we've been talking, that you will have large cities have all the advantage and venue of the rural areas where we have a large segment of our population living and want to live, but they don't have anything. this is an issue that we talked about multiple times in committee hearings, that's an issue that we talk with the fcc about and i think when we point out that the maps are not correct, they look at and they said okay, we will work to make sure we have acted maps. again, you can't do anything until you know what the problem is and where the problem is to begin with. >> host: ashley gold, we have time for one more question. >> i wanted to ask you, some of
your democratic colleagues in the draft bill you were talking about, you said you were looking for the text, i read that they propose a new federal agency that would govern data privacy rather than the ftc. what you think about that? >> guest: i think most people across the country would say we have good government. we have enough government and i say what we need to do is make sure that the departments and agencies that we have are doing the jobs they are supposed to do. they have expertise right now. i think that and believe we need to make sure they're they are s after getting it done. i'd say who died at on another layer and start, , it's almost like you start all over. let's start with the art and move them forward. and again that our oversight responsibility in committee. >> host: and finally, congressman latta, a political question to close this out. the president recently held a social media summit at the white house. our conservatives being censored
on social media, in your view? >> guest: i set before marsha blackburn went to the senate, she sat next to me in committee and we all remember what happened to her on social media. i think it's really important that the algorithms that are being used by the companies out there are fair. that's where again the oversight that we are talking about is that we want to make sure that everybody has the right opportunity to be out there on our social media sites. all of a sudden they're saying we don't like this one word or this term, and if it is affecting conservatives more than the other side, we have to make sure it's not -- we want to make sure that it's free and fair speech out there, that people have the opportunity to get out there and express their opinions. >> host: congressman bob latta of ohio is the top republican on the committee kaisha and technology subcommittee. is that our guest on "the
communicators" this week. and ashley gold is washington reporter for a publication called the information. thank you both for being with us here all communicators including this one are available as podcasts. >> in 1979, a small a small network with an unusual name rolled out a big idea. let viewers make up their own minds. ceased and open doors to washington policymaking for all to see bringing unfiltered content from congress and beyond. a lot has changed over the years but today that big idea is more relevant than ever. on television and online c-span is your unfiltered view of government so you can make up your own mind. project as a public service by your cable or satellite provider.
>> the justice department recently held a daylong summit on combating anti-semitism. in this portion of the settlement treasury secretary steven mnuchin and fbi director christopher wray delivered remarks. this is about 25 minutes. >> it is now my privilege to introduce the assistant attorney general for the office of legal policy, beth williams.