Photo: Liu Jie/Xinhua via Getty

Adam Candeub, current acting deputy of the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration, is being elevated to the role of Acting Assistant Secretary, according to an internal email shared with Axios.

Why it matters: His elevation to a top position at NTIA is sure to be controversial. Mother Jones reported in May that Candeub has ties to white nationalists. Candeub is also a vocal critic of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the law that makes it so online platforms are largely not responsible for what others post.

Context: The NTIA has historically been a fairly staid telecom agency tasked with a portfolio of internet-related issues as well as the management of federally held airwaves.

  • It's become more politically charged under the Trump administration, however. For instance, it was the agency responsible for asking the Federal Communications Commission to write rules to weaken Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, per President Trump's executive order on the matter.

Background: Until April 2020, Candeub was a law professor at Michigan State University. He previously worked at the FCC.

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Oct 12, 2020 - Technology

White House pushes Pentagon to jumpstart a national 5G network

Verizon upgrades a cell tower near Orem, Utah for 5G service. Photo: George Fret/AFP via Getty Images

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows is leaning on the Pentagon to move ahead with a plan to stand up a 5G wireless network, sources tell Axios, and the idea, despite opposition from key government and private-sector players, could well outlive the Trump administration.

Why it matters: The Department of Defense could lease out capacity to wireless carriers and other companies in need of the ubiquitous, high-speed connectivity that 5G technology promises. That prospect makes this the Trump administration's most serious push toward a federally backed national 5G network since it first floated the idea in 2018.

California to independently review FDA-approved coronavirus vaccines

California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California will "independently review" all coronavirus vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration before allowing their distribution, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced at a news conference Monday.

Why it matters: The move that comes days after NAID director Anthony Fauci said he had "strong confidence" in FDA-approved vaccines could cast further public doubt that the federal government could release a vaccine based on political motives, rather than safety and efficacy.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Politics: Trump says if Biden's elected, "he'll listen to the scientists"Trump calls Fauci a "disaster" on campaign call.
  2. Health: Coronavirus hospitalizations are on the rise — 8 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week.
  3. States: Wisconsin judge reimposes capacity limit on indoor venues.
  4. Media: Trump attacks CNN as "dumb b*stards" for continuing to cover pandemic.
  5. Business: Consumer confidence surveys show Americans are getting nervousHow China's economy bounced back from coronavirus.
  6. Sports: We've entered the era of limited fan attendance.
  7. Education: Why education technology can’t save remote learning.