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tv   The Communicators Rep. Greg Walden Sen. Ed Markey  CSPAN  March 25, 2019 2:06pm-2:35pm EDT

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american citizen. i have traveled the world, and i consider myself a proud american. ♪ >> voices from the road on c-span. >> host: and "the communicators" is on capitol hill this week to talk to members of congress about issues such as 5g, autonomous cars, net neutrality and privacy. senator ed markey is a democrat from massachusetts. serves on the commerce committee and has introduced a bill to save the internet. senator, how is that related to the first net neutrality bill you ever introduced in congress? >> guest: well, it's the same goal. it is to make sure that the internet is open, that it's free, that there's no discrimination that can be used against anyone regardless of whether they're a small company or a small individual just seeking to have their voices heard. so net neutrality's just another
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way of saying non-discrimination. everyone's equal. once you pay your monthly bill, you should be able to go anywhere you want, and you shouldn't have restrictions that accompany -- that a company can place upon you. >> host: but aren't we live anything that world today? are there restrictions today? >> guest: well, right now there is a court case in the district of columbia circuit court of appeals. and as a result, the big broadband companies don't feel safe to begin to impose discriminatory practices that could hurt consumers, that could hurt small entrepreneurs. so pending the outcome of that case, right now they're not doing anything that is anti-consumer or anti-competitive. but they fought vigorously to take net neutrality off of the books. so if they have no intention on discriminating, why did they want the anti-discrimination law takingen off the books other
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than maybe, after the court case is decided, they're free to be able to, once again, do whatever they want to do to consumers regardless of whether or not they've paid their bill that month. >> host: does your safety internet act include title ii as the rating regulatory framework? >> guest: yeah, that's our goal. our goal is to make sure that we treat it like a telecommunications service, that we insure that consumers are given the same protections that traditionally we've always provided to people who use their telephone. and this is an upgraded version of it, but still the principles should be intact, that you have universal access, that as a consumer you're treated equally and that a the cable companies -- the cable companies, the telephone companies just cannot discriminate against you. >> host: and this would return, then, the regulatory framework to the fcc from the ftc.
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>> guest: so our bill returns america to the same rules which barack obama's federal communications commission put on the books in 2016 and donald trump's federal communications commission took off the books in december of 2017. we go back to the obama era. we go back to non-discrimination. you can't just tip people upside down, you can't create fast lanes and slow lanes, make people pay extra, all of that was protected against during the obama era, and all my bill does is just return us to that era. and i'm doing it with chuck schumer and nancy pelosi and mike doyle and many other great people. and i think we have a really good chance to build some momentum this year towards insuring those protections are enshrined in the law. >> host: it probably has a better chance in the house, correct, than the senate? >> guest: it's -- i think there's a high probability that it's going to move through the
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house, but last year i brought out a congressional review act to overturn that which the trump federal communications commission had done, which is take the obama rules off the books, and i won 52-47 on the senate floor with three republicans voting with me. so i'm not ruling out once the bill does pass the house that it's impossible for us to generate a vote out on the, out on the senate floor as well. it's only supported by 8ing 6% of all -- 86 of all americans. it's only something that pretty much if every millennial believes is a right they should be given as users of the internet, so there's going to be a lot of political pressure on the senate once it passes the house to give a vote to the american people on the free and open internet bill, the net neutrality bill that i'm introducing.
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>> host: as a consumer, what would we notice right away? anything? anything different? >> guest: well, for the time being we just want to the restore that which was in place until january of 2017. the broadband companies haven't had the temerity during the pendency of the litigation before the d.c. circuit court of appeals. it's more to protect against truly the deleterious consequences for our consumers once the mitigation has ended -- litigation has ended and broadband companies feel free to discriminate. so if they say they don't want to discriminate, then just support our bill, and it'll just be end shrined in law, and no one ever has to worry. >> host: senator markey, privacy has become an issue discussed up here on capitol hill.
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are there privacy provisions in your bill? >> guest: well, it allows for the tradition alltel communications -- traditional telecommunications laws to be used. but on privacy there was a separate proceeding that the federal communications commission promulgated during the obama administration that was also stripped off of the books by the, by the republicans on the floor of the united states senate in 2017, in march of 2017. so there's a separate privacy bill now moving through the united states senate and house, and my hope is that we'll be able to enshrine those safeguards in place, do it legislatively and, as a result, permanently. and then add the federal communications commission, the federal trade commission to implement those safeguards. and i'm very hopeful, especially
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for children, that we'll be able to put a privacy bill of rights on the books. >> host: what's your reaction to some of the revelations about facebook and their use of data and lack of privacy? >> guest: well, it just proves once again that there's a dickenswith -- dickensian quality. it can enable and ennoble, but it can also degrade and debase. we're clearly seeing the more sinister side of cyberspace, and it's time for the congress to take action in order to insure that we put the protections on the books that guarantee that we don't see a repetition of what we've all learned in the past few years about what facebook and others have allowed to happen to the american public on behalf of their own profit-making at a corporate level. >> host: is it important that congress acts and states have acted on their own on net
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neutrality and privacy now? >> guest: well, europe has acted on privacy, california has acted on privacy, and now corporate america is coming to washington and saying, you know what? i think we need a national privacy bill. but, of course, it's being driven by what's now happening internationally and in california. so what they want more than anything is a principle preemption of california law and other states that might act. and so then the question that's posed to congress is, if you want us to preempt california, how strong is the privacy law for all 50 states that you're willing to put on the books? and so that's the debate which we're going to have in the congress this year. and from my opinion, if it's not the strongest possible privacy protection, then there's no point in preempting the states that want to give strong privacy protection to their citizens. >> host: a couple more telecommunications issues before we let you go, sir. mergers. at&t/time warner has been struck
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down by the courts. or the challenge to it, i should say. we've got t-mobile and sprint coming up, not that the congress necessarily has a role, but what's your general view about mergers like that, of that -- >> guest: in general, well, we'll just take the t-mobile merger. back in 1993 there were two cell phone companies in america, it was 50 cents a minute, it was analog, and the phone looked like something gordon gekko had in the movie "wall street." i was -- the third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seven license went out on the market, and by 1995, three years later, earnedded had a flip phone in their pocket. big evolution. gotta keep moving. and then ten years later another smart fern said, you know what? we could figure out how to take
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that spectrum and create a phone in even's pocket that's as powerful as the computer on the apollo mission to the moon. so how did that happen? darwinian paranoia ca-inducing competition. so we've gone from seven companies to six companies, to five companies, to four companies, my great fear is it just takes the paranoia that you have to continue to innovate out of the system. in general, i think the competition and consumers benefit from the additional companies that are in the marketplace. and when you get down to only four large companies, you're getting into very dangerous territory in terms of getting all the benefits that our society gets from innovation and consumer protections. >> host: i do have to ask, does that flip phone still work? >> guest: oh, yeah. the flip phone works, and there are still millions of people who use a flip phone, and there are many more that use an iphone, but the point is that you have consumer choice now.
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you can head anywhere you want with. i can find out right now if the red sox have signed a reliever yet before believe spring training. but i can also call people very quickly on this, it's a very convenient phone just to be walking down the street and talking to people. i use both, and they each have a unique capacity. i can use the iphone for both, but in general i'm -- maybe i have a residual loyalty to that 200 megahertz that i moved over in '93 for this revolution. i just can't quite give it up, but it doesn't mean i'm not moving to the future simultaneously. >> host: would you use a huawei phone? >> guest: i would be very hesitant to trust a huawei huawei-manufactured device. i think that we have a lot to learn about china.
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there's clearly a close working relationship between chinese private sector companies especially in the technology sector and the chinese government and army. and so i just think that there's a real caution sign that we should put up if we're going to allow these technologies into our country. especially if they don't allow us to have similar access to their telephone networks in their country. so i'd be, i'd be very careful. and there are countries around the world that are right now, including the britain, who are trying to take the huawei system out of their telecommunications system because they now understand that there could, in fact, have been additional elements built in that might compromise the privacy of the information that people in the british isles. >> host: as the ranking member on the senate subcommittee on the foreign relations committee, when it comes to cybersecurity,
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particularly with elections, are we ready for 2020? >> guest: i don't think we're 100% ready. i think that there's a lot of work to be done in order to make sure that we've built in the proper cybersecurity protections into all of our networks. and it's good it's an issue, but that's why dan sullivan and i, the chairman of the securities subcommittee, are going to be focusing on all of these issues heading into the next couple of years so that we're sending out the warning to the cities, to the states, to the federal government that more work must be done, and it should be done in a telescoped time frame in order to build in the protections against a compromise of our networks. >> host: when it comes to cybersecurity, does partisan stop at the shore? >> guest: historically, historically for me in passing so many of the bills which i've
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worked on in the past, yeah, that's been the case. i'm working right now with john thune, a republican from south dakota, on a bill to ban robocalls. i'm working with josh hawley, republican senator from missouri, on legislation to have a privacy bill of rights for all children in our country under 16. we're no longer in the bf era, the before facebook era. we just have to know that kids' information's being exposed, and it's compromiseable. so i try my best to find ways to work on a bipartisan basis because, ultimately, that's the best way to go. and dan sullivan, republican from alaska, and ed markey, liberal from massachusetts, we've agreed we're going to partner and do so in a way that's bipartisan because that's always the best way to go. >> host: and finally, senator markey, 5g. why is it important that the u.s. lead the race, or do you think it's important? >> guest: yeah, 5g is the next
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stage. again, it's following on 1g, 2g, 3g, 4g, you know? so 1g, you know, 3g, 4g, it just keeps moving along, and the more that it goes is the more that you're able to build it into automobiles, build it into appliances, build it into the whole of our society. and so we want to be cutting edge. we've kind of led the revolution the whole way. we don't want to be left behind, but at the same time it doesn't necessarily mean we have to follow a chinese model, you know? we didn't follow the japanese model in the 1980 when everyone said, oh, my god, atari and sony and mitsubishi, they're just going to bury us, where are we? we created our own model, and we became number one within 5-10 years because all of a sudden america had a plan. america should respect china, but we shouldn't fear them, okay? america with a plan always wins. america without a plan will lose. is so it's just time for us to
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have our own 5g plan, implement it, and is we'll be fine. but that gives us the greatest position to insure that the 5g plan of other countries doesn't insinuate itself into our telecommunications networks. >> host: sometimes we forget that massachusetts has its own silicon valley. >> guest: the, the internet itself, daughter a pa net -- darpa net, it was called, origin nateed in massachusetts. ibm turned down the contract to build the network in 1965. ibm turned down the contract in 1965. they each said, no, we're fine. and so the contract went to a company called bb and n on memorial drive in came bridge, massachusetts, and then -- cambridge, massachusetts, and then they hired the first scientists, the first 20, that began the process of creating what was called darpa net, and then in 1990 it started to be called the internet because the
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worldwide web had been invented in 1989 by tim bearers in-lee who is now at mit up in massachusetts. so, yes, we're very proud of the fact that not only the internet, but many other great things that benefit not just the united states, but the whole world originated in massachusetts. >> host: senator markey, thanks for joining us on "the communicators." >> guest: thank you. thanks for having me on. >> host: and congressman greg walden is a top republican on the energy and commerce committeement congressman walden, we talked recently with mike doyle of the democrats, and he said his priority is to enshine net neutrality into law. do you agree with that as a priority? >> guest: well, i do in the sense of having an open internet and protection for consumers. he goes a little farther and puts the government in a big, controlling role as part of what we call title ii which is a statute originally created to
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manage monopoly telephone companies. and if you think about it, the internet grew up in an era of virtually no regulation, and it was only for a two-year period that the legislation he wants to enact oversaw the internet. and so i think what we can agree on, we should agree on, and that is to prevent bad behave by the internet service providers -- behavior. things like blocking, throttling, where they advantage their content over a competitor. even paid prioritization, i've come out and said we should address. and i think there's bipartisan consensus around that. >> host: and if the democrats come forward with a bill with title ii, the republicans all vote against it, or does it have a chance of passing? >> >> guest: well, i wouldn't presume to speak for all republicans. they'll make informed choices. but our party has generally been opposed to sort of what i would call the dead end of government regulation on the vibrancy of the internet. and so i think, yes, you would see an overwhelming no vote on
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our side if they want to put a brand new and virtually unlimited powers in the that hands of the federal communications commission. it's kind of ironic in the era of donald trump that my friend mr. doyle wants to give his fcc all this new power. and it would be unbridled power and authority at the fcc. and i think it would go too far over time and have a chilling effect on free and open internet. >> host: in your view, congressman, do you think the federal trade commission is capable of regulating the internet? >> guest: yeah, i do. i do. and in this respect, that when you sign up for a service, this is a user agreement. now, i know we all read all of the fine print, right? but it's a commitment that they make to their customers that is enforceable by the federal trade commission. and they have done that. they've done it with edge providers, with others, and they, you know, you get a little grace, but then they enter into
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dissent decrees, and they can enforce them. i think there is a cop on the beat with the ftc, and that's important. but again, i want to not -- i want to emphasize that the growth of the internet for nearly its entire life, the internet, had very light touch regulation. it didn't have this heavy-handed monopoly era government decision making overhanging it. and that allowed for the vibrancy and brilliance to grow here in america. other countries have had heavy-handed government regulation, and you don't see the same innovation. >> host: the worldwide web is now 30 years old. tim berners-lee, the father of it, said recently that we do not have the web we wanted. do you agree with him? >> guest: well, it depends upon how you describe it. he is, indeed, the father of the internet. he's testified before our committee before, and he's a brilliant man. and i think there's a lot the
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internet brought the world of innovation, education, medical advancements, i mean, we all know from competitive shopping opportunities to everything else in terms of social interaction and connectivity in the world, it's been remarkable. but it also has brought with it some downsides, some criminal and illicit behaviors, some, i would say, degradation of civility as a result of people on social media thinking they're somewhat anonymous so can say really mean and harsh things and bully others. and so it has had its downsides. and then, of course, the topic of privacy arises. and i think consumers are looking more and more at the apps and the edge providers and saying, now wait a minute, what are you tracking and where -- you're tracking me? and what are you doing with my data? i thought i was just buying a product or service, and now you're selling that to somebody else? and i think it's time for a
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nationwide privacy law that gives parents, gives users of the internet the opportunity to have more decision making, to have transparency and accountability in how your data are used. >> host: would you model it on the european gdpr? >> guest: no, not necessarily. i think what we've seen from gdpr is an enormous cost of compliance. we had a witness a few weeks ago in the energy and commerce committee that says on average it costs $3 million to comply. and now there's evidence in europe that some content providers have chosen not to let their content be provided in europe -- some newspapers in america, for example -- because of the costs of compliance and the risks are too high. we've also seen a fairly substantial decline in investment in start-ups in europe in this space and a record investment here in the united states. so there are probably lots of factors involved in that, but
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it's undeniable that post-gdpr you've seen a decline in tech innovation in europe and an uptick here in the united states. so i think they went too far which sometimes those countries are prone to do, and that's where i favor the light touch. but accountability and transparency and more consumer choice without going to the fairly heavy-handed regulatory regime gdpr put in place. you know, california's got a law that hasn't taken effect yet. it's pretty over the top, i think. but maybe we can look at that and what other states have done and find a model that works for the whole cup. >> host: you also mentioned the degradation on the internet. should there be regulation of speech? >> guest: well, you know, that's an interesting topic. so i have a journalism degree, i'm a big free speech advocate, but you're seeing regulation of speech by the edge providers. not the isps, but the edge providers. and we've had hearings with facebook and mark zuckerberg, we've had hearings on getter, there were questions about
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shadow banning. you've seen the debate on facebook with a few ads elizabeth warren had that were taken down a allegedly because they used the facebook logo, but it's raised questions about the algorithms, the decision making. and for those of us who are more on the conservative side, there's been a deep concern about anti-conservative bias. we know it exists in enormous measure in silicon valley. the question is, does it find itself getting subtly integrated into the algorithms and the decision making of these platforms about what gets put where, where do you stack up in terms of purity. and i think -- priority. and i think those are important questions for congress to look at. >> host: well, that leads to the political debate that the nation is having now which is should these large edge providers be broken up. >> guest: well, there are certainly advocates for that. i saw an exchange with senator ted cruz saying it's one of the rare times he may actually agree
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with elizabeth warren that these platforms have become so big and monopolistic, they should be broken up. i don't know if i'm there yet, but i do think in the information age we should consider whether sol of these unique platforms that really have no competitor are, in effect, common carriers in the information age. you know, they have special privileges and protections to guard against the content that's on their platform being assigned to them in terms of liability. it's called section 230. and that's a pretty big waiver of liability and responsibility. in the meantime, they want to regulate the internet service providers with heavy-handed government regulation, i would call title ii that, but they don't want it for themselves. and if you think about the internet, it is like the superhighway we drive down. but what really happens is eventually you need to take an offramp to get into the neighborhood where you want to go. the offramps are your search engines, your social media. you think about facebook, google
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and some of the other providers really have enormous control over what we see, when we access it, how we access it. and so i think this is ripe for the public square for a debate and deep consideration. and are there really pet to haves to these platforms -- competitors to these platforms, or are we seeing monopolies before our eyes. >> host: and finally, congressman wald p, would you use a huawei product? >> guest: no. >> host: why? >> guest: well, for a lot of reasons, some of which are out of the classified realm. but let me just suggest that i think their products pose some risks for privacy and, certainly, in our public networks and in our government networks i would not, i would not do that with, certainly, with huawei. >> host: and congressman walden is the top republican on the energy and commerce committee. former chairman of the enc committee, and we look forward to having him on "the
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communicators" for a longer segment later. >> guest: i look forward to that too. thank you. >> host: thank you, sir. >> congress is back this week following a district work period break. the senate meets at 3 p.m. eastern today to work on a judicial nomination for the federal appeals court covering the western u.s. tomorrow senate lawmakers are expected to debate and vote on the green new deal resolution. see live senate coverage here on c-span2. and tomorrow the house will vote on overriding president trump's veto of the resolution terminating his border emergency declaration. on thursday they'll vote on a nonbinding resolution rejecting the president's ban on transgender americans serving in the military. live house coverage on c-span, and you can also find congressional coverage live online at and listen with the free c-span radio app. joint chiefs of staff chair general joseph dunford is going to capitol hill tomorrow with acting defense secretary patrick shanahan.
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they'll be testifying about next year's budget for the pentagon. they'll be answering questions from the house armed services committee. see live coverage tuesday morning starting at 10 eastern on c-span3. >> and now vice president mike pence today speaking at the american israel public affairs committee's annual conference this morning in washington d.c. ♪ ♪ [applause] >> well, hello, aipac! [cheers and applause] thank you for that warm welcome. what an amazing turnout. and how about a round of applause for the great aipac team that put this extraordinary 2019 policy conference together, aipac president and my goo


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