1. The Russia tech hearings begin
Senators strongly pushed employees from Google, Twitter and Facebook on their ability to prevent foreign manipulation of technology platforms to undermine American democracy at the first of three hearings featuring the companies.
What you need to know: The companies committed to improving transparency obligations and putting the necessary human capital toward preventing foreign meddling from happening again. Senators from both sides of the aisle expressed skepticism that they'd be able pull that off.
"My goal is for you to think through this stuff a little bit better," said Sen. Al Franken in a tense back-and-forth with Facebook General Counsel Colin Stretch.
- "I think you do enormous good, but your power sometimes scares me," said Sen. John Kennedy.
- He questioned the assertion by Facebook's Stretch that it is able to trace the origin of 5 million advertisers. He said he's questioning "not your commitment, but your ability."
- "There's a lot that I think you could have done earlier," Sen. Patrick Leahy said during questioning.
- Responding to Twitter's general counsel's assertion that the company can "draw lines" between organic tweets and advertisements, Sen. Richard Durbin said: "When it comes to drawing those lines, it's a challenge for us and we do it for a living. I think it's going to be very hard for you too."
The bottom line: It's clear that lawmakers have real concerns about the massive influence of all three companies that goes well beyond Russian election meddling.
The hearing is ongoing, and Axios' David McCabe is in the room and keeping you updated here.
Go deeper: Former FBI agent says Russian interference started in 2014 ... People love technology, but don't trust it