Recess Wrap-Up & Subpoenas

The House and Senate are wrapping up a two week recess. As they prepare to return to Washington next week, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Nadler (D-NY) has subpoenaed the Department of Justice to release the unredacted Mueller report. He also subpoenaed former White House Counsel Don McGahn this week to testify publicly on May 27 and provide documents related to the report.


On Monday, the White House announced that the government will not reissue exemptions to sanctions for several countries that import oil from Iran when the waivers expire on May 2, an “action intended to bring Iran’s oil exports to zero and deny the regime its principal source of revenue.”

President Meets with Twitter CEO

The President met with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Tuesday in the Oval Office to discuss alleged anti-conservative bias on the social media platform. Coinciding with National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, they also discussed the role tech companies play in illegal online opioid sales amid calls from some lawmakers to further amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to roll back liability protections for online platforms when it comes to those types of sales.

FAA Issues Air Carrier Certificate to Wing Aviation

On Tuesday, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao announced that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an air carrier certificate to Wing Aviation, the first such certificate awarded for drone delivery operations. The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 directs the FAA to update its rules to authorize drone deliveries, but in the meantime, drone operators seeking to deliver goods for compensation or hire must go through the same certification process as manned charter aircraft operators, including obtaining exemption authority from some operational requirements and obtaining an airworthiness certificate for the unmanned aircraft. The Secretary also announced this week that the FAA’s commercial space office will be reorganized as the agency prepares to implement a new proposed rule to overhaul the launch and reentry licensing process (find more information on the proposed rule here).

Other Happenings in Tech & Privacy

Gail Slater, a senior adviser to the President on technology, telecommunications, and cybersecurity policy, will leave the White House to join Fox Corporation in Washington, the company announced on Wednesday.

In California, the Assembly Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee held a hearing on Tuesday on a number of bills to amend the California Privacy and Consumer Protection Act (CCPA). A bill offered by Assemblymember Wicks that carried several provisions championed by privacy advocates was pulled from the agenda.

Read more in McGuireWoods Consulting’s Emerging Technologies Washington Update.