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Sen. Mark Warner. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee said Wednesday he thinks there's a mounting body of evidence that some major tech products can become addictive.

“I think there’s more and more evidence that there are addictive properties.”
— Sen. Mark Warner (Va.)

The bigger picture: Warner's concerns about tech have largely been focused with the potential for foreign election interference to take place online — not the public health effects of tech. But all of the conversations about the massive influence of online platforms are becoming linked.

The gritty details:

  • In a speech at a conference focused on health and technology, Warner cited the high rates at which people check their smartphones, which researchers have found can top more than 100 times a day for some users.
  • Warner also said the same tactics used by Russian operatives in their political disinformation campaigns can be used by fraudsters potentially targeting young people online.
  • He told reporters, however, that it wasn't clear that government should regulate Silicon Valley unilaterally. "I'd much rather do this in a collaborative effort with the companies but with the notion that if they don’t acknowledge this, I think public unease is going to dramatically undermine consumer’s trust," he said.
  • "This is a place where other nations are ahead of us. I think China has even kind of ... [initiatives to] try to diminish young people's addiction to some of their devices," he said.

Go deeper

Hope King, author of Closer
Updated 38 mins ago - Economy & Business

Peloton pumps its brakes

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Peloton’s popularity is falling as swiftly as it shot up.

Why it matters: Not all pandemic habits stick around. Peloton's trajectory over the past two years exemplifies how challenging it's been for companies to gauge shifts in consumer demand — particularly in sectors heavily altered by the pandemic.

Mitch McConnell's remarks on Black voters raise ire

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell during a Capitol Hill news conference earlier this year. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has been widely criticized for comments he made this week about Black American voters.

Driving the news: When asked by a reporter Wednesday about concerns among voters of color, McConnell said "the concern is misplaced, because if you look at the statistics, Black American voters are voting in just as high a percentage as Americans."

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Trump’s friends worry legal pick for N.Y. case lacks experience

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Close associates and advisers to Donald Trump tell Axios they're concerned by his decision to use a relatively inexperienced New Jersey attorney, Alina Habba, in his high-stakes legal fight against New York Attorney General Letitia James.

Why it matters: A former president typically has access to the country's most prestigious experts, including lawyers. Trump has turned to the former general counsel for a parking garage company, who works from a small law office near his Bedminster, N.J., country club.