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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 151

How Venice Beach Became a Neighborhood for the Wealthy

July 25, 2017 Just over a week ago, The Wall Street Journal called the neighborhood where I rent, Venice Beach, California, the toughest place in the United States to build new housing, pointing to it as an extreme example of what is happening in a lot of wealthy urban enclaves. “Apartment developers have...

Parents Share How They Protect Their Kids Online

June 30, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Earlier this week, I asked parents to share their approach to protecting the privacy of their children as they begin to use devices with Internet access and social networks. The inquiry was inspired by an Aspen Ideas Festival talk where Julia Angwin and Manoush Zomorodi revealed how their reporting on...

Federalism Is Dead, Long Live Federalism

June 28, 2017 For Yale law professor Heather K. Gerken, the question of how Americans can coexist in relative peace and prosperity, despite their many differences, has a temping answer: “The tempting answer to this question is to invoke our father’s federalism, a vision of democracy in which everyone retreats to their comfortable...

Why Would Anyone Fear a Self-Driving Car?

June 27, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow To understand what the world will be like in ten years, it isn’t enough to look back at how different things were a decade ago and presume the differences will be comparable. The pace of technological change is speeding up so quickly, says Astro Teller, who leads the arm of...

Counterpoint: Trump’s Syria Strike Was Unconstitutional and Unwise

April 7, 2017 Early the morning of August 21, 2013, six densely populated neighborhoods in Syria “were jolted awake by a series of explosions, followed by an oozing blanket of suffocating gas,” the Washington Post reported at the time. “Unknown to Syrian officials, U.S. spy agencies recorded each step in the alleged chemical...

Is Russia Behind a Secession Effort in California?

March 1, 2017 Last month, I asked Los Angeles Times readers to imagine how they would react if Donald Trump tried to kick California out of the union. After all, if not for the Golden State, he would have won the popular vote, Blue America would lose its biggest source of electoral votes,...

The Future of Privacy Is Plausible Deniability

October 30, 2016 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The successful breach of John Podesta’s email account is the latest high-profile hack to expose thousands upon thousands of private missives to the public. With the Sony Pictures debacle in the recent past and no prospect of perfect digital security, more breaches seem inevitable. So why do email providers, organizations...

Trump’s Plea to Russian Hackers Foreshadows a Dangerous Stance on NSA Surveillance

July 28, 2016 PHILADELPHIA––On Wednesday, Leon Panetta, the former director of the CIA, declared on stage at the DNC that the Republican Party’s nominee is unfit for office. He was responding in part to news that Donald Trump “hoped Russian intelligence services had successfully hacked Hillary Clinton’s email, and encouraged them to publish...

Trump Shows the Flaws of NSA Surveillance

July 28, 2016 PHILADELPHIA––On Wednesday, Leon Panetta, the former director of the CIA, declared on stage at the DNC that the Republican Party’s nominee is unfit for office. He was responding in part to news that Donald Trump “hoped Russian intelligence services had successfully hacked Hillary Clinton’s email, and encouraged them to publish...

'We Are Not Frozen in a Nightmare,' Says Defiant John Kerry

June 29, 2016 Amid tumult in world affairs, with a deadly attack on an airport in Istanbul, Turkey, EU countries grappling with Britain’s impending exit, and an ongoing war against ISIS, Secretary of State John Kerry sought to reassure an Aspen audience Tuesday that “the world is not witnessing global gridlock. We are...