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Public Statements

Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. WALDEN. I thank the gentleman, and I would just like to draw your attention to several points.

First of all, we had a very open process with hearings in the Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee, and this issue didn't come up. We had a markup in the subcommittee, and there were no amendments offered of this nature. We had a markup in the full committee, and there were no amendments offered. We had an opportunity for all Members to offer amendments on the floor, where they could be thoughtfully debated, and this amendment was not put in this context. Now it suddenly appears before us at the last minute of this day. So it would have been helpful to have been able to have had this discussion because many of us share the concern that the gentleman is talking about.

I think it's awful that employers think they can demand our passwords and can go snooping around. There is no disagreement with that. Here is the flaw: Your amendment doesn't protect them. It doesn't do that. Actually, what this amendment does is say that all of the reforms that we are trying to put in place at the Federal Communications Commission, in order to have them have an open and transparent process where they are required to publish their rules in advance so that you can see what they're proposing, would basically be shoved aside. They could do whatever they wanted on privacy if they wanted to, and you wouldn't know it until they published their text afterward. There is no protection here. There is nothing there to enforce.

What this motion to recommit does here at the last minute--and if we could have had time to work this out ahead of time, we might have figured out something we could have both agreed on.


Mr. WALDEN. No, I won't.

What we have here is a problem that you exempt from the process. You don't protect the consumer. There are many of us who, after this debate concludes and we move on, would be happy to work with you on legislation because I think this is a real issue that we all share, and that is protecting privacy. This doesn't do that. In fact, you could open the door where they could allow employers and licensees to go after your stuff, and you wouldn't know it until they published the rule.

So I urge a ``no'' vote on this motion to recommit, and I yield back the balance of my time.


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