Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

While the Biden administration has been slow to appoint the key decision makers at agencies overseeing technology issues, a handful of people are on the inside track to lead them.

Between the lines: By and large, these likely appointees do not have direct ties to Big Tech companies and have advocated for tougher measures against the industry. Many also previously served in the Obama administration and fall in the progressive camp. 

What to watch: Here are the names you'll hear a lot as Biden builds out his tech policy apparatus at the Justice Department, Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission.

Karl Racine: Sources tell Axios that Racine, the D.C. attorney general, is actively being vetted by the White House for an administration gig, potentially at the FTC.

  • Racine has joined the multi-state antitrust lawsuits against Facebook and Google, and separately sued Facebook in 2018 over the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal.
  • A spokesperson for his office told Axios he is flattered to be mentioned among individuals eyed for administration posts.

Alvaro Bedoya: Bedoya is being considered for a Democratic FTC commissioner slot. He's the founding director of the Center for Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law School and an expert on data collection and surveillance.

  • He previously was chief counsel for the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on privacy, technology and the law, working on privacy and security legislation.

Jon Sallet: Sallet is a candidate to lead the antitrust division at the DOJ, where he previously was the deputy assistant attorney general for litigation. He also served as the general counsel of the FCC during the Obama administration.

  • Sallet advised the Colorado Attorney General in the multi-state antitrust lawsuit against Google.

Jonathan Kanter: A longtime antitrust lawyer known for promoting aggressive enforcement, Kanter is in the running to head up the DOJ's antitrust division. He previously worked for the FTC's Bureau of Competition, challenging mergers and often testifying on the Hill or offering expertise to the FTC.

  • Kanter is well-liked and known among the crowd in D.C. who hope to shift the tech competition conversation away from the prevailing legal consensus that antitrust cases must show financial harm to consumers.

Gigi Sohn: Sohn previously advised former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and has strong ties to public interest groups as a co-founder and former CEO of Public Knowledge.

  • She's now a distinguished fellow at the Georgetown Law Institute for Technology Law & Policy and a Benton Institute Senior Fellow & Public Advocate.

Edward "Smitty" Smith: The former adviser to Wheeler served in the Biden transition as part of the FCC review team.

  • Smith has been in private practice at DLA Piper (the former law firm of Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff). He also served as senior director for the National Urban League's digital equity proposal, known as the Latimer plan.

Anna Gomez: The Wiley Rein attorney and former Commerce Department official was part of the Biden transition's Commerce review team.

  • Gomez is seen as a contender for a commissioner position with the FCC.

The big picture: Biden's tech direction began coming into focus last week with two well known critics of Big Tech making headlines:

  • Law professor Tim Wu joined the White House as an economic adviser.
  • Antitrust expert Lina Khan is being vetted for a possible appointment as an FTC commissioner.

Of note: Jessica Rosenworcel and Rebecca Kelly Slaughter, the acting heads of the FCC and FTC respectively, are also both seen as strong contenders for permanent heads of their agencies.

Go deeper: The people trying to get in Biden's head on holding tech accountable

Go deeper

The Exvangelicals

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Even as evangelicals maintain their position as the most popular religion in the U.S., a movement of self-described "exvangelicals" is breaking away, using social media to engage tens of thousands of former faithful.

The big picture: Donald Trump's presidency, as well as movements around LGBTQ rights, #MeToo and Black Lives Matter, drew more Americans into evangelical churches while also pushing some existing members away.

Updated 5 hours ago - Science

Huge wildfire reaches edge of Sequoia National Park

A plume of smoke and flames rise into the air as the fire burns towards Moro Rock during the KNP Complex fire in the Sequoia National Park near Three Rivers, California, on Saturday. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Firefighters in Sequoia National Park were working into the night after two wildfires merged to reach the Giant Forest Saturday.

Why it matters: This forest contains over 2,000 giant sequoias, including the General Sherman Tree — the world's largest tree by volume. Park officials wrapped the redwoods in foil last week as the Paradise and Colony Fires, now known as the KNP Complex Fire, neared. Protection efforts appeared to be working overnight.

6 hours ago - World

Hong Kong holds first "patriots only" elections

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam during a news conference last Monday. Photo: Lui Siu Wai/Xinhua via Getty Images

Hong Kong's elections to choose the city's Election Committee members opened to a select group of voters on Sunday, under a new "patriots only" system imposed by China's government.

Why it matters: All candidates running to be members of the electoral college have been "vetted" by Beijing, per Reuters. They will go on to choose the Asian financial hub's next leader, approved by China's government, and some of its legislature.