tv The Communicators Rep. Bob Latta R-OH CSPAN July 26, 2019 10:31pm-11:02pm EDT
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republican on the subcommittee of communications and technology. the most significant subcommittee when it comes to technology and telecommunications in congress. he is our guest this week on "the communicators." congressman latta, what has your subcommittee been up to? >> good news for the american citizens, we passed the robo call legislation. that is significant. when you think of the almost 50 billion rollcalls made every year into this country, it is going to hopefully provide relief to the american citizens. it is important, because in front of the top issues that people contact me about, it is also the top issue that the fcc year,e ftc receive every it is about robo calls. people say "i thought i signed up for this do not call list, what happened?"
you signed up, but the calls are coming from overseas. there has been great work that has occurred on this. not only in congress, but with the fcc and the carriers. earlier this year, in the meetings i had with the fcc, they have call identification. as far as stir shaking technology, when that call originates, when you look at your phone, you will know that is who the call is coming from. it will not be spoofed. spoofing is when somebody thinks -- you think you're answering a call from your daughter, friend, doctor, but it is just to make you pick the call up. at the same time, you will say that is exactly what the call is. it --gislation makes congressman doyle from pennsylvania, chairman of the
subcommittee, it is also in the legislation an opt out provision for people. not opt in. what they find is people don't want to opt into these things. we are going to take care of it for you. you are out already. if you want to start back in and receive the calls -- at the same time, we want to make sure we did the legislation, there are calls you want to get. your doctor reminding you of the appointment, pharmacy saying your prescription is ready, kids at home, it was the happiest day in our household when the state called and said no school today because of snow. there are certain things that do get through to people. i think that is really significant. the other significant thing is you always hear about everyone in congress fighting, no one is working together, this is truly legislation that is bipartisan and works its way through the committee in a good process with the fcc to come out with a very
good bill we are sending over to the senate. >> to dissect some of the issues your committee is working on, ashton gold is with us. she's with "the information." >> good to see you. robocall bill yesterday, now it goes to senate. do you see issues getting those bills reconciled and getting to the president's desk? i spoke with my senate colleagues and said we would have this bill out. this is one of the issues that the american people want us to solve. it is important. i think you are going to see both houses get together on this hopefully quickly to get it done and to the president's desk. it shows that first of all, congress can work, and we can
really solve issues for people out there across america. when you talk about robocalls, it is important, because they are annoying, the ftc and irs scan in my district. they have skimmed $37 billion out of your hard-earned savings in the last year alone. when they look at the phone calls, and i have heard heartbreaking stories where a grandparent will say their grandson called and said they had been arrested and to send $5,000 to the "court" and he would be out. more, thenant $5,000 you lost $10,000. there's a lot of issues. not just the annoyance, but there's a lot of harm. this is legislation that needs to get to the president's desk. >> this is something people can
agree on. on a bipartisan basis, there is agreement that limits to be strong consumer protection data privacy law. that is the place where there has not been quite as much agreement. i'm sure you were paying attention yesterday to the ftc facebook settlement. i was in that press conference with chairman simon, commissioner philip, commissioner wolfman. the main idea i was hearing was this was the best they can do without a consumer privacy law. they would have done more with a consumer privacy law to work with to say "facebook, maybe you can't correct that data, but they did where they could with the resources they had. settlemente s is order, do you think it will provide medivation to get the privacy bill done -- motivation to get the privacy bill done? is it different is between republicans and democrats, what is it at this point?
>> we had to get the bill passed. we started in committee and last congress working on this. chairman subcommittee of digital commerce consumer protection. if my memory serves me right, we had about 10 different meetings and hearings on these issues alone. we had mr. zuckerberg before us. when that occurred with facebook, we also -- when we had equifax, 147 million americans were breached. it is really important. what's also that will be happening is we have to have a uniform standard for people to understand what is going on. at the end of this year, california is going to kick in with their legislation. we are up against that december 31 date right off the bat, which is important. 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 saying they will do it. how do all of these companies and folks out there comply with not just a standard, but maybe 50 standards? it is important we get it done. it is important we have folks out there that understand what their rights are, the difference between transparency, and we mr. to make sure -- zuckerberg was about 5.5 hours. when he started his testimony, i can remember he said the idea of forming the company in the dorm room, they were optimistic and idealistic. we had the statements before, but not realistic. this all has to be considered.
we are talking about a massive amount of information that is out there. when a lot of people scroll down 20 or 30 page, it says do you accept or decline, they will accept it. i only know one person that i really know that reads all of that. he has been in computer security at a university. >> i covered this stuff and i don't even fully read it. >> one are the nonnegotiable for you personally when you're looking at the privacy security bill? >> right now, we have to have something in writing. the committee is working on something right now. we are looking for the text. we have to see what they come up with. in the last year, there was a consortium with the chamber of commerce trying to get people on the same page. it is never going to happen, you
will never get 100%, but you have to have a good piece of legislation that everyone can sit-down and work with it. some people want to do what they r. in europe, the gdp we have the first amendment in this country, and things are different. our issues are different when we think about this. we really need to have some sit-down's with folks to tell us where they are. language that for might be coming from democrats on the committee. >> the republicans plan on offering their own language? a situation like this, it is better to get bipartisanship. questions of one or the other committee members may be coming up with another piece of legislation. one thing that is certain that we have to get something -- and one of the great things about
being on the committee, we can work together. when you look at the number of bills and how broad our jurisdiction is, more deals in the past have come out of our committee and signed into law than any of the committee. , great worncongress --m oregon who was chairman great worn from oregon who was the chairman, 94 of our bills were bipartisan. last week, passing out over 25 pieces of legislation, we worked together on these bills to get them to the house floor. >> the december 31 timeline you spoke about, someone i talked to on a frequent basis said there has been a lot in the beginning of the year and congress was going to get this done, now it seems they are running out of steam. they are not positive it will get done before california is implement it. do you agree?
>> there are a lot of voices saying it will get done. here we are almost at the end of july. when we come back after this august work period, we will only have about 40 hard-working days, unless days are added to the calendar. there will have to be some work done as we keep progressing to make sure we get to that point. date that we know something will happen with california kicking in. >> this was referenced earlier, but the ftc fine of $5 billion on facebook, is that enough, in your opinion? is it too much? there is also talk about the tech companies being too big. do have jurisdiction over the federal trade commission, as well as the fcc.
the subcommittee i chaired in the last congress that i am still on, we had jurisdiction over the ftc. when you look at the $5 billion fine, the largest that has ever been issued by the ftc, and the different areas, do you have what you need to do what you need to get done? not only did we hear from the ftc to tell us there was something for the congressman to act on that may have not been had in the law to be done. with the fine they put out, because there has been a consent decree that was out since 2011. also, you had the monitoring that has to be done on the privacy side of the company. i really want to sit down with
them now and find out if it worked the way it was supposed to. but when you talk about a $5 billion fine, that is pretty substantial. >> what about the size of the social media companies? >> again, we are dealing with companies out there that people like to be on. if you think about the different things, you have certain words that have become almost a noun to people, even a verb. did you google something, or how they facebooked. it has become such a large group of platforms. the american people have gone through this with businesses, governments getting out messages. again, we have to really look at the overall before we have to
break things up. is it working, is it working within the parameters we had in the long run? that's what we will have to do. that's what the committee work is all about. i like to do committee work. you have the hearing and meetings before hand. bill with autonomous vehicles. the committee staff had 300 meetings leading up to that bill. that's what this is about. it's about getting the facts out that we need to know if we need to do something in the future. >> the federal trade commission, they came out yesterday after everything was settled about the privacy settlement, that they were opening an antitrust investigation into facebook. facebook told investors this yesterday on their earnings call. been on the consumer
protection subcommittee, you have jurisdiction over the fcc. do you think that is right for the fcc to be spending time on? do you personally see any issues within facebook's businesses? we want the fcc to do their job, that is important. as they progress, we want to make sure they do what they are supposed to do. that's the great thing about committees, we have oversight. board,on't think that a commission, agency, or department is doing what they're supposed to do, that is the oversight we have. if they believe that is the havee they will start, we the ability to have the oversight to see if it is the right oversight. when it comes to questions asked to antitrust, that's what they
need to be doing. also, the question on different companies. we had the facebook, the equifax hearings last year, that is our job. that is where the oversight comes from. when we have certain hearings, where the laws on the books are they doout there, did what they were supposed to do? that's where we look to the ftc, fcc, or any other departments and agencies to do their job and make sure they are on the enforcement side if someone has gone and done an antitrust violation. at this stage, they need to do their work first. if antitrust, and the idea that tech companies are too big, it has become very political.
it has created some strange bedfellows on a bipartisan basis. do you think it is dangerous that antitrust has become a political hot topic? >> when you look at the companies themselves, they have become a platform. they are where people go to to get information. pages, andt a yellow people have become so reliant. one of the great things about being on the committee of energy and commerce with a broad jurisdiction, especially this subcommittee, telecommunications. in our committee hearings, we are looking over the horizon five to 10 years. what we're seeing and hearing is that the companies, where they want to be in x number of years and how they will get their, we want to make sure we're passing the right legislation and get
the right regulations to make sure they can get out there. when we did the legislation last of these -- i asked everybody to testify -- who testified are 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 is really spurring growth. it is almost like it multiplies itself as it goes. we want to make sure we have the right laws out there. we want the u.s. to be a place where entrepreneurs can come and be here and say "this is our idea" and build it up and it works. you look around the world where you see so much of the tech coming from, it is here. we have an environment here that encourages this.
we want to make sure we keep that. we want to make sure the laws we books, the regulators are doing their jobs saying this is what they have done. we were having some of the hearings, especially with equifax. we spoke with the ftc afterwards. we had a discussion back and forth if something is not working, let us know. >> you talked about looking ahead. let's look ahead to 2020 and election security. is that something the committee has looked at? because weportant, want to make sure americans know that their elections are secure. when you think about this, the -- i talked with other leaders from around the world, other legislators, we have seen the meddling that has occurred by the russians in other election cycles.
the greatest thing they can do is say to people, or have people in the back asking if it is fair, if it works as it is supposed to. even if it did, you would have them bringing something out thinking it is an individual doing this, but you are out there doing one thing, at the same time, when they might be attacking somebody, you may think reform. you end up with the platforms out there, people saying it is horrible what is going on, but they never knew who was causing it. ohio, with our secretary of state, they want to make sure -- and he talks about it frequently, and our former secretary of state did 2 -- that our elections are secure. we go back to -- some suggest we go back to paper ballots. we know from past experience
across the country that paper ballots didn't mean it was fair always. all of a sudden you have boxes that were stuffed, or you find a box somewhere that you need to count. it is important that we do have that security in this country on our elections. that's what always set us apart in this country, people can say we had fair elections, but we had people representing us who we voted for. issue,des the robocall, do your constituents talk about any of the issues we have discussed so far? >> it's interesting. it depends on what's happening nationally, people are hearing about it, there's other things we hear a lot about. one of the issues is like rural broadband. it is so important. in our metropolitan areas, you has the% of the country broadband they need, but the other 5% is out there.
if you don't have it, you can't do multiple things. if you are in school, so much of your homework now is through the internet. you have to have internet to do 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 get orders from around the world. we want to make sure local hospitals can have telemedicine. -- commissioner car from the fcc was in my district several months ago, the same week commissioner wright came out for another meeting, commissioner carr was on telemedicine helping with stroke. if you don't have the broadband out there in the spectrum that we need, you have a problem. it also runs down to farmers.
i did a precision agriculture bill in the last farm bill. we want farmers to be able to utilize all of the technology to get everything out that they possibly can, because they have to cut costs and get up profits. we want to do everything we possibly can. a lot of the times, it is more localized. what i hear more about his broadband and how we will get it out to our local regions of the country. >> on the broadband issue, we have been hearing this for many years that we need to expand rural broadband. it is something republicans and democrats agree on. what is the main holdup of getting that done? is it there is not enough spectrum, private companies don't want to invest in rural areas? what is the main area? >> it is multiple.
one of the cochairs of the broadband -- this is not a republican and democrat independent issue, it affects us all. i think that when you look at the issues, one of the things we found not too long ago was the mapping. when we saw the maps coming out from the fcc, if you are doing ,our job right on the districts since they have been keeping track over this last seven years, i have done multiple meetings. when i was out, when i'm driving in the car where i am going to lose connection. we looked at these maps and said they are not correct. for theneed to have -- fcc to do their job, they have to have correct maps. we appropriated more money to them to make sure they can get on the mapping. we have legislation that we are
working on to make sure local governments know that the maps are not correct. you have to know exactly where you have -- what you have and what you don't have. one of the issues we run into is this, the words unserved and underserved. what is so important is we have to get into the unserved areas. if we have -- somebody might have 2 bars looking at the phone, but we have none. we need to help those folks out there that have zero. it is what we really need to concentrate our efforts on, getting these unserved areas. i think the fcc sees that too. there are policies to get to the unserved. then you can help the underserved areas. it is important that we do this. we end up in a situation that cities --ave larg
large cities with all of the advantage, then the rural areas, a large segment of our population living and want to live, but they don't have anything. this is an issue we have talked about multiple times in committee hearings, an issue we talked with the fcc about. the mapsointed out were not correct, they look at it and said they will work to make sure there are accurate maps. you can do anything until you know what the problem is and where it is to begin with. >> we have time for one more question. >> i wanted to ask you, some of your democratic colleagues in the draft bill you are talking about, i read that the proposed a new federal agency that would govern data privacy rather than the ftc. what do you think about that? >> most people across the country say we have enough
government. i say what we need to do is make sure the departments and agencies we have are doing their jobs they are supposed to do. we have that expertise right now. i believe we need to make sure they are the ones out there getting it done. i'd say to try to add on another layer -- let's start where we are and move them forward. that is our oversight responsibility in committee. >> finally, a political question. the president recently held a social media summit at the white house. are conservatives being censored on social media, in your view? >> i said before marsha blackburn went to the senate, we all remember what happened to her on social media. i think it is really important that the algorithms being used by the companies out there are
fair. that is where the oversight is that we are talking about. we are talking about purity we want to make sure that everybody has the opportunity to be on our social media sites, and all of a sudden they are saying we don't like this one word or term, and it is affecting conservatives more than the other side, so we have to make sure it is fair speech. that people have the opportunity to express their opinions. congressman bob latta has our our guest, and actually reporter. think you for being with us. all communicators, including ass one, are available podcasts.
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