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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 103

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 ...

Journalists Should Stop Exalting Loyalty Among Elites

October 10, 2014 At the White House, the cabinet is perennially stocked with all ingredients for memoirs that criticize the president. Take thousands of pounds of choice secretaries; stir in liberal dollops of internal disagreement; let simmer over the heat of life-and-death decisions; add three teaspoons of ego, a dash of hindsight, and ...

The Homeland Security Department Is Not Prepared for a Pandemic

September 26, 2014 As the Department of Homeland Security endeavors to prevent another 9/11, a terrorist attack that killed nearly 3,000 Americans, it is worth remembering that there are far deadlier threats out there. I speak not of ISIS or Ebola, but the influenza virus. The flu pandemic that began in 1918 killed ...

How Snowden Complicates the Prevention of Future Leaks

August 22, 2014 Before Edward Snowden joined Daniel Ellsberg and Chelsea Manning in the annals of American whistleblowers, he was a young man who witnessed the attacks of September 11, 2001, and enthusiastically volunteered to join the national-security state. Back then, he believed in the wisdom of the War in Iraq, saw the ...

Bush and Obama Spurred Ed Snowden to Spill U.S. Secrets

August 22, 2014 Before Edward Snowden joined Daniel Ellsberg and Chelsea Manning in the annals of American whistleblowers, he was a young man who witnessed the attacks of September 11, 2001, and enthusiastically volunteered to join the national-security state. Back then, he believed in the wisdom of the War in Iraq, saw the ...

Here Are the 7 Pages That Gave President Obama Cover to Kill Americans

August 18, 2014 Before David Barron was confirmed this year to a lifetime seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, his critics objected that the cover he gave President Obama to carry out extrajudicial killings of American citizens ought to disqualify him from the bench. "I rise today ...

7 Pages That Gave President Obama Cover to Kill Americans

August 18, 2014 Before David Barron was confirmed this year to a lifetime seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, his critics objected that the cover he gave President Obama to carry out extrajudicial killings of American citizens ought to disqualify him from the bench. "I rise today ...

Life With Legal Weed in Boulder, Colorado

August 13, 2014 The most eclectic gathering spot in Boulder, Colorado, is the Pearl Street Mall, a pedestrian thoroughfare at the heart of downtown. Alongside its relatively pricey stores and restaurants, there is an outdoor concert venue, a children's play area, and the seat of county government. Activists stand on Pearl Street seeking ...

Teacher Uses Rush Limbaugh Book to Teach Civil War to 3rd Graders

August 6, 2014 A woman named Ivy, an elementary school teacher from Summerville, South Carolina, is using material from a Rush Limbaugh book as part of the history curriculum for her third graders. Her husband alerted her to the children's title, "Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims: Time Travel Adventures With Brave Americans." ...

Why Is the CIA Torture Report Still Secret?

August 5, 2014 If a Senate or CIA employee decides to leak an unredacted copy of the 6,000-page report on the brutal torture of numerous human beings under President George W. Bush, there will be dismay among many national-security officials, D.C. think-tank employees, and establishment pundits. They'll be unable to understand what radicalized ...