Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Intelligence and law enforcement officials just finished making the case to a Senate committee that a key surveillance law should be reauthorized — and made permanent — before it expires at the end of the year.

Why it matters: This battle includes Silicon Valley companies that have pushed for reforms to the law — which allows the government to seek its users' data. Watch for the fight to get more prominent as the expiration date on the law approaches.

The gritty details: The law in question here is Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which is used to authorize surveillance of electronic communications of foreign nationals located abroad. But privacy advocates say that the law sweeps up the communications of Americans, and have pushed for reforms with support from the tech industry.

Testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said that they wanted a "permanent reauthorization" of the law.

Worth noting: Democrat Ron Wyden, a huge critic of the surveillance appartus, castigated Coats for backing off a pledge at his confirmation hearing to pursue data on how many Americans are caught up in the dragnet created by Section 702. "There were extensive efforts on the parts of NSA to try to get you an appropriate answer," said Coats. "We were not able to do that."

Go deeper: The hearing, while technically about surveillance, was also a venue for lawmakers to question the officials about alleged interference on the part of the White House in an investigation into the ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. Axios' Alayna Treene has more on their refusal to answer those questions in public here.

Go deeper

Updated 30 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Politics: Trump calls Fauci a "disaster" on campaign call.
  2. Health: Coronavirus hospitalizations are on the rise — 8 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week.
  3. States: California to independently review FDA-approved coronavirus vaccines
  4. Wisconsin judge reimposes capacity limit on indoor venues.
  5. Media: Trump attacks CNN as "dumb b*stards" for continuing to cover pandemic.
  6. Business: Consumer confidence surveys show Americans are getting nervousHow China's economy bounced back from coronavirus.
  7. Sports: We've entered the era of limited fan attendance.
  8. Education: Why education technology can’t save remote learning.
Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
56 mins ago - Economy & Business

The 2020 holiday season may just kill Main Street

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Online retail and e-commerce have been chipping away at brick-and-mortar businesses over the years but the combination of the coronavirus pandemic and the 2020 holiday season may prove to be a knockout blow.

State of play: Anxious consumers say financial concerns and health worries will push them to spend less money this year and to do more of their limited spending online.

California to independently review FDA-approved coronavirus vaccines

California Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California will "independently review" all coronavirus vaccines approved by the Food and Drug Administration before allowing their distribution, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced at a news conference Monday.

Why it matters: The move that comes days after NAID director Anthony Fauci said he had "strong confidence" in FDA-approved vaccines could cast further public doubt that the federal government could release a vaccine based on political motives, rather than safety and efficacy.