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Conor Friedersdorf

Conor Friedersdorf is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he focuses on politics and national affairs. He lives in Venice, California, and is the founding editor of The Best of Journalism, a newsletter devoted to exceptional nonfiction.
Results 1-10 of 112

The CIA's Most Important Overseer Is Abetting Its Torture Coverup

January 22, 2015 Senator Richard Burr is acting like a man who doesn't understand the role or duties that he now has. With the Republican Party assuming control of Congress, the North Carolinian is chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, the body charged with overseeing the CIA. His responsibilities are momentous. All senators ...

How America's National Security Hawks Empowered Iran

January 14, 2015 The Associated Press reported on Monday that Iraqis now consider Iran a more important ally against Sunni extremists from the Islamic State than the United States, and that as a result, "Tehran's influence in Iraq, already high since U.S. forces left at the end of 2011, has grown to an ...

Michael Hayden to NBC: No One Ever Warned Us Against Overreacting to 9/11

December 10, 2014 After the Senate released its torture report, Michael Hayden, who formerly led both the CIA and the NSA, granted an interview to NBC News. Under questioning by Brian Williams, he provided no persuasive rebuttal to the report's findings. But he did offer a defense of America's intelligence community that doubles ...

Now the GOP Must Choose: Mass Surveillance or Privacy?

November 7, 2014 The Patriot Act substantially expires in May 2015. When the new Congress takes up its reauthorization, mere months after convening, members will be forced to decide what to do about Section 215 of the law, the provision cited by the NSA to justify logging most every telephone call made by ...

3 Ways Obama Expanded War Powers Well Beyond George W. Bush

November 7, 2014 Barack Obama has "dramatically expanded" the notion of when presidents can use force without permission. He has left "an extraordinary legacy of war powers." History will assign far more importance to these precedents than we do. They make it significantly easier for future presidents to wage war unilaterally. Those may ...

Ballot-Measure Results: An Election 2014 Highlight Reel

November 5, 2014 This isn't every attempt at direct democracy that passed or failed Tuesday, just everything that seemed like it might be of interest to a national audience. Alabama: The Heart of Dixie never had much reason to fear that sharia law would rise up, but now it has passed a measure ...

Did a SEAL Team Six Member Violate the Espionage Act?

November 3, 2014 A Navy SEAL who took part in the raid that killed Osama bin Laden is being aggressively investigated by the Obama administration, 60 Minutes reportedSunday. "I'm a senior-enlisted guy that did 13 straight deployments," Mark Owen said during an on-air interview. "Nothing else, nothing. I've sacrificed everything in my life ...

Congress Still Has No Idea How Much the NSA Spies on Americans

October 30, 2014 The biggest lie Americans are told about the NSA is that it is subject to "strict oversight." Listening to President Obama, Senator Dianne Feinstein, or most any high-ranking official in the national-security bureaucracy, one gets the impression that the Senate and House intelligence committees are keeping careful tabs on the ...

Where Is the Investigation Into Financial Corruption at the NSA?

October 23, 2014 Earlier this year, when Keith Alexander resigned as head of the National Security Agency, he began trying to cash in on expertise he'd gained while in government, pitching himself as a security consultant who could protect Wall Street banks and other large corporations from cyber-attacks by hackers or foreign governments. ...

Three Reasons Apple’s New Encryption Technology is a Good Idea (Even if the FBI Hates It)

October 17, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The head of the FBI is upset. In James B. Comey's ideal world, FBI agents would be able to access everything on a person's smartphone as long as a judge had issued a lawful warrant. But technology companies are now selling devices that encrypt the user's data. There is no ...