FBI Director Christopher Wray. Photo: Tom Williams / CQ Roll Call

FBI Director Christopher Wray says law enforcement's difficulty in accessing data from a criminal suspect's devices is an “urgent public safety issue,” Reuters reports. In the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, law enforcement failed to access approximately 7,800 devices’ data despite having legal authority to do so.

Why it matters: This pits law enforcement against privacy and security advocates in a debate that has come up time and time again, including in the aftermath of violent attacks like the Texas church shooting. The Justice Department and Apple have battled over this issue before.

Big picture, per Reuters:

  • Technology companies and security experts claim that simply providing a method to open a criminal suspect’s phone would leave users more vulnerable to hackers.
  • Wray admits the solution to the competing interests isn’t obvious, but says “I just do not buy the claim that it is impossible.”

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Republicans and Dems react to Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation

President Trump stands with Judge Amy Coney Barrett after she took the constitutional oath to serve as a Supreme Court justice during a White House ceremony Monday night .Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

President Trump said Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Senate confirmation to the Supreme Court and her subsequent taking of the constitutional oath Monday was a "momentous day," as she she vowed to serve "without any fear or favour."

  • But as Republicans applauded the third conservative justice in four years, many Democrats including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) warned of consequences to the rush to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ahead of the Nov. 3 election, with progressives leading calls to expand the court.
Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Science

CRISPR pioneer: "Science is on the ballot" in 2020

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

In her three decades in science, Jennifer Doudna said she has seen a gradual erosion of trust in the profession, but the recent Nobel Prize winner told "Axios on HBO" that the institution itself has been under assault from the current administration.

  • "I think science is on the ballot," Doudna said in the interview.

Why it matters: That has manifested itself in everything from how the federal government approaches climate change to the pandemic.