Apr 1, 2017

ISPs offer reassurances after privacy votes

Alan Diaz / AP

Major internet providers spent Friday reassuring customers nervous after Congress voted to overturn privacy protections that would have required them to get permission to share user data with advertisers. The rules had yet to take effect.

  • Verizon's Karen Zacharia: "Let's set the record straight. Verizon does not sell the personal web browsing history of our customers. We don't do it and that's the bottom line."
  • Comcast Gerard Lewis: "In view of all the misinformation and inaccurate statements that have been made in the last week, we want to make sure that our customers understand how strong our privacy protections really are."
  • AT&T's Bob Quinn: "The Congressional action had zero effect on the privacy protections afforded to consumers." And: "Hopefully, this week's action by Congress gets us back on the path to a more rational and consumer-friendly framework. I am also hopeful that facts actually work their way back into the debate."

Why it matters: The companies are aware of how much attention the vote has attracted, thanks in part to rallying cries from the liberal grassroots who are sure to have a vocal response to the efforts to roll back net neutrality rules.

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Sign of the times: A pro-Warren super PAC

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren at a rally in Nevada. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

A group of women progressives who back Sen. Elizabeth Warren has formed Persist PAC, a super PAC airing pro-Warren ads starting Wednesday in an effort to boost her performance ahead of Saturday's crucial Nevada caucuses, a spokesman told Axios.

Why it matters: Warren has spoken adamantly against the influence of unlimited spending and dark money in politics. But these supporters have concluded that before Warren can reform the system, she must win under the rules that exist — and that whether she likes it or not, their uncoordinated help may be needed to keep her viable through this weekend's contest and into South Carolina and Super Tuesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Pentagon policy chief resigns amid reported discord with Trump

John Rood. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

John Rood, the Pentagon's top policy official, will resign from his post on Feb. 28, CNN first reported and President Trump confirmed.

The state of play: CNN said Rood "was perceived as not embracing some of the changes in policy the White House and senior Pentagon officials wanted," such as peace talks in Afghanistan with the Taliban and a decision to cut back on military exercises with South Korea as the president courted North Korea's Kim Jong-un.

Coronavirus cases rise, as warnings of global pandemic grow

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

We may be "at the brink" of a global pandemic, warns a top U.S. public health official, as cases continue to spread despite containment efforts. Meanwhile, the global economy is being affected, including the tech manufacturing industry.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,000 people and infected over 75,000 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 136 new deaths since Tuesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health