Your Internet Privacy
Since the Internet was created, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been in charge of online privacy and they have been successful in this mission. However, last year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) blatantly overreached its authority by creating its own set of privacy rules that applied to a small group of Internet service providers like Comcast, Verizon, Charter, and AT&T. The FCC's rules would not apply to Internet companies like Google, Facebook, Yahoo, or Twitter.

The FCC claimed the rules would provide customers with strong security protections. In reality, the FCC’s rules created confusion, an additional layer of bureaucratic red tape, and a false sense of privacy that simply didn’t exist. 

This week, I joined colleagues in the House to approve a Congressional Review Act (CRA) to nullify this rule promulgated by the FCC for a few reasons.

First, the FCC's privacy rules only extend as far as your Internet provider - just a small fraction of the Internet. This creates a false sense of security. For example, this rule does not cover Facebook and Twitter tracking or selling your data or Google and Yahoo selling your search history because they don't fall under the narrow classifications the FCC carved out. It doesn't make sense and it is not in the best interest of privacy protections to have dual entities regulating online privacy leaving pieces of the Internet eco-system subject to different rules. 

Next, the FCC rule creates an additional burden on consumers and would require a significant amount of redundant compliance efforts on all ends. 

Third, the FCC's order, along with its reclassification of broadband as a Title II service, actually takes away privacy protections that the FTC has ensured since the birth of the Internet. Former Federal Trade Commission Commissioner Wright even advised that the FCC's rules will actually do less to protect consumers and foster competition by depriving the FTC of its long-standing jurisdiction in this area. 

It's important to note that nullifying this rule won't actually change anything about the current privacy protections for online data. The same protections that have been protecting consumer data will continue to be the framework moving forward.  In addition, the Communications Act of 1934 will continue to guarantee, along with other state and federal laws, that collecting personally-identifiable information is against the law.

By preventing this duplicative and unnecessary rule from going into effect, the FCC will still be able to adopt new rules to protect consumer privacy. Future rules will hopefully support the successful FTC privacy framework instead of weakening it. This CRA will ensure that Congress and the FCC can approach strengthening consumer protections on level footing while closing loopholes.  The government should not be in the business of choosing winners and losers and this resolution will set the building blocks to truly address privacy protections in a comprehensive and fair fashion.

Now, as the FTC and FCC work to strengthen our privacy rights, Internet service providers will continue to be subject to laws which protects customer proprietary network information, as well as many other federal and state privacy rules. 

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From our Nation's Capitol CVII
Monday, March 27, 2017: They say there’s no rest for the weary and, although I was worn out from the tumultuous week in Washington, I flew to San Francisco and spoke to the American Pharmacists Association at their annual meeting on Saturday morning and then flew to San Antonio and spoke to the American Pharmacy Cooperative on Sunday morning before flying back to Washington.  I’m up early this morning for a live television interview on Fox and Friends to discuss health care.  A link to my interview can be found here.  Afterwards, I head to the Washington offices of AT&T for a meeting with media groups before heading back to the Capitol for a picture on the Capitol steps with the Williams Heights and Wacona Elementary School classes from Waycross who are visiting the Capitol this weekend.  My wife, Amy, is a proud graduate of Wacona Elementary School and my mother-in-law, Betty Coppage, is a former teacher there.  After leading the classes on a tour of the House Chamber, I head back to my office before heading out to Leesburg, VA, to tour The Compounding Center, a compounding pharmacy licensed in six states, including Georgia, and accredited for both sterile and non-sterile compounding.  After a great visit, I return to the Capitol for a meeting with representatives from the Health Information Technology sector to discuss cybersecurity issues.  Next, I have a meeting with the Lymphedema Advocacy Group followed by our weekly staff briefing before heading to our weekly Whip Team meeting in the Capitol.  After votes, I head to a meeting with Speaker Paul Ryan and about twenty other members to discuss health care and the path forward. 
Tuesday, March 28, 2017:  After a meeting of the Energy and Commerce Committee Rural Telecom Working Group, where we hear from newly appointed Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai, I head to the American Gas Association’s headquarters downtown to speak to a group of their members on regulatory and legislative developments affecting the industry.  Once back at the Capitol, I head to an Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee meeting where we have a hearing on Medical Device User Fee Agreements.  Afterwards, I have meetings with representatives from AIPAC, the Georgia Beverage Association and the President of Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Fabrice Chouraqui. 

Congressman Carter meeting with the Rural Broadband Association
Following meetings with representatives from the Rural Broadband Association and the Hinesville Housing Authority, I head back to the Capitol where we have a Whip Team meeting to review the proposed FY2018 budget proposal.  After our first series of votes in the House Chamber, I head to the Senate Visitors Center where I meet with a group of CEO’s of large health care providers from across the country.  Once back in my office, I meet with our White House Liaison, Tim Pataki, to follow up on my conversation with President Trump last week regarding prescription drug pricing and how we can address the issue.  Our second and final vote series of the day is next followed by a meeting with Augusta University President Dr. Brooks Keel.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017:  I start off this morning with a radio interview with Bill Edwards and Laura Anderson of WTKS in Savannah to discuss health care and budget issues, followed by an early morning meeting with Jay Neely and Tom Madson from Gulfstream in the Capitol.  After a meeting with representatives from Emergent Biosolutions, I head to a ‘Meet the Cabinet Series’ meeting being sponsored by GOP leadership where we hear from newly confirmed Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.  Next, I head to the House Chamber where I deliver a number of tributes, including one in honor of my former State House colleague, Burke Day, who recently passed.  Afterwards, I head back to my office where I have meetings with representatives from the Georgia Association of Elementary and Middle School Principals, American Association for Justice and Alzheimer’s Association. 

Congressman Carter meeting with the Alzheimer's Association
After returning to my office from the House Chamber where we have our first vote series of the day, I have meetings with representatives from the Association of Community Cancer Centers, United Rentals, Georgia 4-H, Truveris and Aeronautics and Astronautics.  Following this stretch of meetings, I head to the House Chamber for our second and final votes series, before heading to a meeting downtown of the Pharmacy Compounding Centers of America  (PCCA) where I address their group.

Thursday, March 30, 2017:  My first meeting of the day is a member meeting of the Energy and Commerce Committee where we discuss the health care bill and our path forward as well as other issues before the committee.  Once back in my office, I have meetings with Partners for Conservation, the Georgia Association of Primary Health Care, and a candidate for State Director for USDA, Rural Development in Georgia.  Following our first vote series in the House Chamber, I head outside to the Capitol steps where I meet visiting 5th graders from Savannah Christian for a picture and to welcome them to Washington.  After a meeting in my office with representatives from PCCA, I head to the airport for my first trip home in two weeks.

Congressman Carter with students from Savannah Christian visiting the Capitol

 Friday, March 31, 2017:  It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to attend a Band of Brothers meeting at Garden City Baptist Church at 6:30 a.m. on Friday mornings and, although I do get to watch the videos and enjoy them very much, it sure is nice to be with my friends this morning.  Afterwards, I head to Cockspur Island for a tour of the Port of Savannah with the Coast Guard Station Tybee on one of their cutters.  Station Tybee responds to hundreds of search and rescue cases per year and is responsible for the Aids to Navigation in the harbor as well as other duties.  Port Commander Amy Beach and other officers lead us on a tour of the bustling harbor and explain the many responsibilities that the Coast Guard has in order to keep the waterways safe.  After a great tour, I head to my Savannah district office to meet with constituents before heading to Colonial Chemical Solutions near the Savannah Ports for a tour of their most impressive facilities.