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Gerard J. Waldron

Gerry Waldron represents communications, media, and technology clients before the Federal Communications Commission and Congress, and in commercial transactions. Gerry served as chair of the firm’s Communications and Media Practice Group from 1998 to 2008. Prior to joining Covington, Gerry served as the senior counsel on the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications. During his work for Congress, he was deeply involved in the drafting of the 1993 Spectrum Auction legislation, the 1992 Cable Act, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), CALEA, and key provisions that became part of the 1996 Telecommunications Act.

Gerry’s practice includes working closely on strategic and regulatory issues with leading IT companies, high-quality content providers in the broadcasting and sports industries, telephone and cable companies on FCC proceedings, spectrum entrepreneurs, purchasers of telecommunications services, and companies across an array of industries facing privacy, TCPA and online content, gaming, and online gambling and sports betting-related issues.

Gerry has testified on communications and Internet issues before the FCC, U.S. House of Representatives Energy & Commerce Committee, the House Judiciary Committee, the Maryland Public Utility Commission, and the Nevada Gaming Commission.

The key House committee with jurisdiction over privacy legislation is changing from top to bottom, undergoing as big a change as any committee in Congress, and is experiencing the largest turnover of Members and leadership in more than two decades.  These changes will have a profound impact on not just who is driving the privacy agenda but also how quickly the committee can act. 

The House Energy & Commerce Committee has jurisdiction over privacy legislation and the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission, and in the past has tried to tackle privacy and consumer-protection legislation in a bipartisan fashion.  In the last Congress, the drivers of the debate on privacy legislation were the Subcommittee leaders:  Congressmen Rick Boucher (D-VA) and Cliff Stearns (R-FL), along with Congressman Bobby Rush (D-IL) and full Committee Chair Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Ranking Member Joe Barton (R-TX), one of the founders of the Privacy Caucus.  But in this Congress, the players are almost completely different.  For starters, Rep. Boucher is out of Congress, Barton is out of a leadership role, Waxman is out as Chair, Upton is in, and Rep. Stearns is now chairing an Oversight Subcommittee.  Taking Boucher’s place is Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), who has not been particularly involved on privacy issues and is more likely to defer to Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA), who is the new chair of the Consumer Protection Subcommittee.  What that means is that the Members who led the long discussions with industry last year on drafting a privacy bill will no longer be in the room as the Consumer Protection Subcommittee considers privacy legislation.Continue Reading The Outlook for 2011: Privacy Legislation in the House