tv Communicators at State of the Net Conference CSPAN January 28, 2017 6:30pm-7:02pm EST
announcer: c-span, where history -- unfoldsuted daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by cable companies, has brought you today by your service provider. this week, the communicators went to the state of the net conference in washington dc. we talked with several people who are key voices in communications policy and with a government lawyer who combat the use of the internet by terrorists. >> you recently left the scc. -- the fcc. what was your job there? >> i was counselor to chairman wheeler. my main goal was to make sure neweholders on the outside what was going on and make sure
that they had a voice. that was my main job. i also advised the chairman on various policy issues and did a good bit of press. i had a variety of jobs. i was at the intersection of press shop and policy shop and stakeholder shop. kind of a multifaceted job. >> do you think you got results? >> absolutely. chairman wheeler was one of the most active chairman in the history of the fcc. and he was only there for three years. that's remarkable. we did everything. we adopted privacy rules for lasting netiders, neutrality rules, adopted numerous protections for disabled citizens so they could get access to communication, adopted rules that made public safety more hearty.
--important, we asked restrictions -- we strengthened the enforcement arm of the agency. the chairman put in charge somebody who really went after folks who broke all the rules. that was critically important. this is about protecting consumers, promoting competition , ensuring fast, fair, and open networks. >> the new administration is coming to town. there's a lot of talk about the net neutrality provisions being overturned. >> let's get one thing straight. this debate is not about net neutrality. comcast, at&t, verizon, they are ok with not blocking, not throttling, not discriminating. this is about whether the fcc will have the legal power to protect consumers, promote competition, and promote fast, fair, and open with works.
we adopted the net neutrality rules in 2015, we had to make sure they were on firm legal ground. in order to do so, we had to say that broadband internet access was akin to telephone service. to put it on the firmest legal footing, and that's what we did. tot gave us the ability protect consumers when it comes to fraudulent broadband dealing, , when marriotton blocked wi-fi illegally. it's important that the fcc continue to have that power. when people say net neutrality, i don't like that, everybody likes net neutrality. what they don't like is the fcc possibility to be a referee on the field and make sure that networks are fast, fair, and open. what kind of job do you think the new chairman would do? >> i like him very much.
our policy predilections are completely different. regulator, --e hd much more a the regulator. waswheeler's mantra competition, competition, competition. i believe the new mantra will be consolidation. undo a lot ofill the consumer policies and protections we adopted. he is extremely smart, he has worked in the agency. he will be able to hit the ground running. in that regard, his pic scares me the most. had brought in somebody that didn't know the agency or wasn't that familiar with the content of what we do, it would take them at least six months or a year to get up to speed, and time is on your side when you've adopted new policies. he's going to be able to start day one. he knows the staff, he is well-liked by the staff. he knows where the bodies are buried.
it is a scary proposition for those of us who want to see the fcc authority to protect consumers and promote competition. -- and promote copy should be preserved. is there any force external or internal you would promote? >> i think the fcc should be more transparent. there's no doubt about that. those kind of structural changes are something i would support. but don't be full. when people talk about restructuring the fcc, when the folks who are now in charge talk about that, they are talking about firing people. they are talking about getting rid of enforcement. a are about getting rid of fcc authority. i worked alongside a woman in my office who did a whole report on fcc process reform.
i would like to see more of those adopted. froms a far cry essentially stripping the fcc of its powers to protect consumers and protopic -- and promote competition. >> using congress understands what the fcc does? thinkhink they do, but i there's a partisan divide between those who think the fcc should protect consumers and promote, edition and those who don't. it's been that way for the last decade or so. at the very beginning, it was not partisan. it is increasingly becoming partisan over the years. there can be many reasons for that. i think it's unfortunate because it is one thing we can all agree on, everybody should have access speed communications. how you get there, i think that is where the rubber has at the road and where the differences have come up. >> how did you get into this kind of work? >> i majored in broadcasting and -- i had my eyes on
being a screenwriter. first, i wanted to be a sportscaster. i wasn't great at that, so i decided i would be a screenwriter. then i took a couple of classes junior and senior year for broadcast law and policy. that is how i really got in the law and the desire of the communications act of 1934 to make sure everyone has access to communication. >> having worked in the agency in beta in this field for a a telecom law, does it get in the way? >> i think the 1986 telecom law has become a fantastic promoter of broadband employment and adoption of universal service. it's funny, for years i used to , was theonference
telecom act a failure question mark i can say unequivocally it was a success. does it need to be updated? i think we could have a debate on that. of the the principles original communities act of 1934 and the 1996 tele communications act need to remain. that is competition is key, protection is key, universal access is key, opened networks are key. there may be places around the edges where the loss has gotten a little long in the tooth, and they can be fixed. but whether we need a conference of rewrite, i'm not so sure. >> what is your reaction to what the former chairman bill kinard had to say? as a historical, technological, and market boundaries this thing
pushing these industries bird, the statutory differences make less and less sense. >> i would agree with that. i think the silent approach is a little long in the tooth. it may be time to think about making them more consistent. however, that doesn't mean getting rid of the fcc power to protect consumers and promote competition. that is still necessary. is interesting to see some of the folks who have been helping with the fcc transition. they have been siding a lot to former chairman kinard. desire to restructure the agency and go more towards deregulatory ways of regulating or not regulating. what is critical for chairman kinard was there had to be competition. atyou look particularly internet service providers today, a full 78% of census blocks in this country have a twoce of either one or
high-speed broadband providers providing 25 megabits per second. there is not the kind of competition that needs to happen today. until you have that competition, you can't just deregulate. you have got to make sure there is a referee on the field. if every community had five or six or seven internet service providers to choose from, we would be having this conversation. but that is not the case. i do knows it can ever be the case at this point. right now, it is certainly not the case. >> president trump has spoken negatively about the at&t merger with time warner. as well about the comcast merger a couple of years ago. you agree with him? >> i absolutely do. whether he will continue to believe that and if he continues
to believe that that is a bad merger, whether he will direct -- the fcc right now is not involved in the merger. at&t has not filed with the fcc. will president trump tell his department justice to block the merger? it remains to be seen. these walked it back a little bit. he said last week after meeting with the commissioner that he still have to see the facts. i would love to be able to agree with president trump on the problems with the at&t-time warner merger, but we will see. >> what are you doing today? >> i'm speaking on a panel about whether communications regulation should be changed and how it should be changed, and how should the fcc be reformed. it is many of the same themes i was talking about, and i think it all comes down to this. i believe the sec should have the legal power to protect consumers, provoke a petition, -- the fcc should have the legal
power to protect consumers, promote competition, and fair and free access. the eight inaugural leadership fellows who wanted to continue good work but did have time over the government service to figure out what was next for them. >> as always, we appreciate your time. >> thanks, peter. peter: joining us on the communicators is mark jamieson, a visiting fellow at the university of florida. what is your role with the trumpet ministration? -- with the trumpet ministration? -- with the trump administration? what kind of issues did you look at? >> we look at the federal communications commission.
i can't go into anything and that work, but that was the focus. peter: in your personal view, do you think there could be restructuring of the fcc? could be a lote of improvement. i think it's vision needs to be more sharply focused and i think it needs to structurally adapt as well. i'd like to see things that elevate the technical analysis, the economics work, the engineering work. , how is the best way to say this -- to bring into focus on working on issues where there is market power. peter: what are some of those issues? in terms of the market power and focused. peter: -- >> one of the major decisions we saw from the fcc recently decided to regulate internet service providers as if they were a telephone company. fromusing legislation several decades ago. in doing that, the fcc specifically said we are not
paying attention to whether those market powers are here or not. but those types of regulation were put in place in a day when the telephone companies were a monopoly. theserrespondence between regulations make sense when you have a monopoly structure. i think we need to clarify that. peter: what would happen if the sec when away? >> you have direct political involvement in determining how telik me should make -- how telik munication is company's would go. i would like to see an independent agency. center, theis the public utility research center question mark -- research center? >> focusing on making sure we have good techniques on analyzing regulatory issues. it started primarily in florida and was a florida focused center
until i arrived in 1996. i was brought in specifically to help center it internationally. we work all over the world trying to help people involved ,n regulation of utilities whether it be energy, telecommunications, or water. make sure they have the best practices they can have so whatever issues they face, they can adapt to their situation. peter: if you have an electric utility that is more or less a natural monopoly, is that a natural monopoly as opposed to telik munication? >> i think it's much more natural than in telecommunications. you want to have one set of electric wires running to your home, not competing electric wires. in the case of telecommunications, we have alternative pathways. we have a telephone company running wires and a cable company, and the radio.
you have alternative pathways trying to reach the customer. i know you are here at the state of the net conference. by recently went to a speech the commerce chair. did he say anything that caught your ear? >> he talked about we need to modernize the fcc. i think he's exactly right. way to modernize the law under which it operates. when you talk about subsidies for broadband, and that is a difficult issue. difficult, because if you do that outside of an agency that has to stand apart and be independent of the political pressures, then you can have favors.ith political we have seen that happen in the
past. through thent out department of commerce or agriculture. you will find that oftentimes they go to political allies or -- to political allies. ther: greg walden, chairing commerce committee. what do you know about him? >> not very much. i met him a few times. staff ofo be on the senator brownback, now governor of kansas. i talked to him about him. peter: what are you doing this year? >> my work is to write technology loans. i will be working on the issues we think our work is important. about what do you think
the custom options process that has been ongoing? a i think the sec took on monumental task. it is incredibly difficult to design an option where people are both bidding in and buying theyand these are things are baiting and and buying out aren't the same things. everyone i have talked with around the world about this, including here in d.c., agree that this will either be a wonderful success or a dismal failure. in this case, if the economy is working with the sec, i think they pull it off. i think they did a good job. peter: should wireless broadcast , cable come a should they be regulated in silence as they are now? >> absolutely not. these are people competing in the same space.
we should let the competition work. peter: a couple things coming up and in a year or two, media ownership rules and mergers. what is your philosophy? >> i don't know much about media ownership. i'm not paid much attention to that at all. mergers, i think we have a challenge and how we analyze this. this is a little bit on the underside, but when we analyze a merger, what we do is take things from the past and data from the past and say, why would this merger be at this point in time? market boundaries are changing all the time, customers are changing. i just don't think that's a good predictor anymore. i think the economics community needs to rethink how we consider market power to look at what creates that as opposed to can we find it in the recent past and make policy for the future. peter: what kind of disruption
with their bf the net neutrality rules go away? >> i don't think it be that disruptive. a year and a half ago, they weren't there. i don't think the world falls apart. i think the world is liberated to do more things. one thing i am trying to emphasize to people is that the people who benefit the most from net neutrality are the large enterprises. the small, not so much. if you are facebook or google, you have your own network, a significant network of euro net you customize exactly for your service. can't do that.rs they need to be able to get features and functions from internet service providers to really compete effectively against the big guys. i think that's something we should go back to. peter: mark jamison has been our guests. we look forward to having you on again. was different in the digital realm -- peter: what is your role in the
department of justice? >> i'm the acting assistant attorney general for the national securities division. peter: how long have you been with doj? since 1994.bout 20 years in the u.s. attorney's office in d.c. as a career prosecutor and the last 2.5 years in the national securities division. peter: what does it mean when there is a political appointee and a career? is your job change? >> i don't feel like my job changes. we are a little less susceptible youolitics in terms of how approach the threat, because the threat is real and changing. we always have to respond to it. our mission, we have litigating
divisions prosecuting terrorists, spies. we are responsible for all of the work in front of the foreign intelligence court. a law and policy shop. our mission continues, and most of us in the division think aeryone except the ag is career attorney. -- >> obviously, we are handing glove with the fbi. peter: what do you do at the state of the net conference? >> i am participating in a panel with the private sector and a dhs official to talk about radicalization of the internet and use of the internet by
terrorist organizations such as the islamic state. is itillegal -- peter: illegal for isis to be on the internet? >> is not illegal to be on the nanette -- on the internet. there are different types of things that may be posted that might come up if they solicit acts of violence, might be criminal actions. if you solicit violence against specific individuals, that my cross the line into criminal behavior. much of the content you see on the internet is protected by the first amendment. not content that would be criminal. there is a fair bit of content that violates terms of service of different social begin providers. i think we will hear some of that today at the panel and what some of the providers have done to try to address that. that's very different than being criminal. peter: was your message to these private providers? effortsally applaud the they have undertaken in the last couple of years to start to
address the threat that we are seeing online. i don't think any american social media provider ever intended or its services to be misused by terrorists. yet they have seen that happen and taken steps to take down accounts. we have seen twitter taking down hundreds of thousands of accounts, which i think has had an impact in the ability of high to get outf isil it's propaganda. the height of their propaganda in summer 2015, they were putting out about 700 visual propaganda pieces of month, down to fewer than 200 this past august. part of that is denial of the platform, which in large part we have to credit the private sector for. i think we are going to hear more today. i have heard some google, facebook, and others to create counter messages. the government is uniquely not in the position to be a counter messenger. i think that's where the private
sector has started to step up. i am heartened, and i think a lot of us in the field are happy to see the private sector doing its part to try to combat the threat. peter: why is the government not in a good position? >> as a matter of a credible voice out there to those who might be listening and otherwise be swayed by some of the content that terrorists are putting out there. not sure the government counter messaging is going to be something they would necessarily be inclined to listen to. lawyer,ow do you, as a combat terrorism online? certainly, and many of our criminal cases, we have seen some sort of use of social media by terrorists. rareing a case, it is very , whether is a prosecution for someone traveling to join a terrorist organization or
plotting some sort of attack in the homeland, and almost every case, we have seen some sort of social media component, whether it is direct contact with syria-based isil members, whether it is pledging allegiance to a baghdadi online, doing research and watching a lot of propaganda from foreign terrorist organizations that may be contributed to radicalizing the individual. we see it time and time again. we see a lot of the plotting taking place online. it might start out in open social media and move then to private one-on-one messaging, encrypted messaging, and the like. we see it over and over again. case andcan develop a a prosecution is warranted, we oftenthose cases and times, where we have the evidence to support a material support charge, will do that.
since your focus is national security, what kind of growth have you seen in online work for your department? isil has revolutionized the way terrorists use the internet, harking back to al qaeda. magazine come out online, which was published in english, so it did have followers. we had lectures which had followers. but we saw none of the types of recruitment we see with isil, so this is exponentially greater we -- than anything we have seen in the past. peter: what kind of conversations about censorship have happened in your office? >> we are not engaged in a type of censorship. i don't think the private sector is engaged in that.
they have been careful to respect first amendment rights of not only u.s. persons but all persons to send and receive content that is protected by the first amendment. as i said earlier, when it crosses that line for the social media producers, the private sector, they have terms of service were they can take down content when it violates the terms of service. many times, that is tethered to incitement of violence. when things get really extreme in and citing specific violence against specific individuals, that can even move into the criminal sphere. peter: president trump has said fighting isil is one of the major policy initiatives he wants to undertake. will the doj have a role in that? >> certainly insofar as we will continue prosecuting cases of material support and other cases related to terrorism, homegrown violence and extremism.
also, the doj does have a seat on the national security council , and the national security division supports the role of the attorney general in that policymaking body. acting assistant attorney general for national security, thank you for your time. announcer: if you would like to see more of c-span's "communicators" program, go to c-span.org. c-span, where history unfolds daily. in 1979, c-span was created as a public service by america's cable television companies, and is brought you today by your cable or satellite provider. on newsmakers, louisiana senator bill cassidy talks about his replacement plan for the affordable care act that he and maine senators susan collins introduced. he will also discuss immigration, the border wall, and other issues. newsmakers, sunday at 10:00 a.m.
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