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Blogtrepreneur via Flickr CC

A court has delayed the reauthorization of the National Security Agency's practice of collecting Americans' emails that get caught in surveillance of foreigners, according to the NYT.

The old argument is that the because foreigners under surveillance for links to terrorism or espionage knew the email addresses or phone numbers of certain Americans, those Americans were viewed as suspicious.

What warranted the change: Internet companies that assisted in the monitoring sometimes packaged suspect communications and shared them as a unit, even if not all were relevant to the surveillance. Even though a court issued a rule in 2011 that would limit NSA employees' access to those bundles, employees were accessing the bundled communications in unauthorized ways and the NSA brought this bungle to the court's attention. The court has reportedly delayed the reauthorization of the program.

Privacy advocates will rejoice: They've long argued dragging Americans into this surveillance is more likely based on what is said in conversations than who has sent or received communications.

Go deeper

Congress plots COVID pandemic-era office upgrades

oving crates outside Rep. Elise Stefanik's old office Tuesday. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The House plans to renovate members' suites even though staff are worried about an influx of contractors and D.C. is tightening restrictions on large gatherings, some staffers told Axios.

Why it matters: The Capitol has been closed to public tours since March. Work over the holiday season comes as U.S. coronavirus cases spike, Americans beg for more pandemic assistance and food lines grow.

Trump pressures Barr to release so-called Durham report

Bill Barr. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump and his allies are piling extreme pressure on Attorney General Bill Barr to release a report that Trump believes could hurt perceived Obama-era enemies — and view Barr's designation of John Durham as special counsel as a stall tactic, sources familiar with the conversations tell Axios.

Why it matters: Speculation over Barr's fate grew on Tuesday, with just 49 days remaining in Trump's presidency, after Barr gave an interview to the Associated Press in which he said the Justice Department has not uncovered evidence of widespread fraud that could change the election's outcome.

CDC to cut guidance on quarantine period for coronavirus exposure

A health care worker oversees cars as people arrive to get tested for coronavirus at a testing site in Arlington, Virginia, on Tuesday. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The CDC will soon shorten its guidance for quarantine periods following exposure to COVID-19, AP reported Tuesday and Axios can confirm.

Why it matters: Quarantine helps prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which can occur before a person knows they're sick or if they're infected without feeling any symptoms. The current recommended period to stay home if exposed to the virus is 14 days. The CDC plans to amend this to 10 days or seven with a negative test, an official told Axios.

  • The CDC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.