Telecom laws need 'substantial overhaul,' Blackburn says


Blackburn pointed to the FCC’s “so-called net neutrality regulations” and its Lifeline, or what has been called the “Obamaphone welfare,” program. The agency needs “better transparency and a better process” so that it steps in “only when true harms and market failures are accurately quantified,” she said.

On cybersecurity, Blackburn touted her bill, the Strengthening and Enhancing Cybersecurity by Using Research, Education, Information and Technology (Secure It) Act, which was introduced in April. 

The Secure It Act provides a “non-regulatory solution” because it provides incentives and resources for the government, the business community and citizens to work together, she said.

Blackburn said her bill is unlike regulation that typically gets written in D.C., which is prescriptive and costly. That kind of regulation “will never be effective in the technology arena.”

Blackburn also addressed the work she is doing on consumer privacy through the House Bipartisan Privacy Working Group. Blackburn and Rep. Peter WelchPeter Francis WelchThe Hill's Morning Report - Ins and outs: Powell renominated at Fed, Parnell drops Senate bid Welch to seek Senate seat in Vermont The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Biden hails infrastructure law, talks with China's Xi MORE (D-Vt.) lead the group, which met with Google, Wal-Mart and data broker firm Bluekai last month.

She called on companies that deal with consumer data to take responsibility for informing consumers and giving them control over their data. “I want to see them take the responsibility for consumer education” and “make sure that those privacy agreements are easily understood,” she said.

The group is supposed to hold a total of 10 weekly meetings. It was scheduled to have its second meeting — this time with privacy advocates — earlier this month, but the meetings have been put on hold until the shutdown is over.