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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 121-130 of 152

Commentary: On Spying, Obama Just Isn't That Into the Democratic Coalition

July 25, 2013 "People who understand how representative government works," Matt Yglesias recently argued, "are going to remain fundamentally comfortable with our basic partisan commitments and there's nothing even a little bit hypocritical about it." Is he correct? I don't believe that partisan commitments are hypocritical or that Yglesias is a hypocrite. Lots...

Today's Vote on NSA Spying Is Vital, Whether It Succeeds or Not

July 24, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Do you know what your Congressional representative thinks about NSA spying? You're about to find out. The House of Representatives is expected to vote as soon as today on an amendment that would block the NSA's ability to collect records about every phone call made in the U.S. -- a...

Analysis: The Case Against Universal National Service

June 27, 2013 The push for "national service," or compelling young people to spend a year or two doing deeds on behalf of America, is beginning anew. Entrepreneur Arianna Huffington filed a dispatch yesterday from Aspen, Colorado, where she'll be participating in an effort "to make universal national service a new American rite...

What the NSA Does With the Data It Isn't Allowed to Keep

June 21, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In the latest scoop on NSA surveillance at The Guardian, Glenn Greenwald and James Ball post two different documents leaked to them by Edward Snowden. One concerns "minimization procedures." Kevin Drum explains what the phrase means: The NSA isn't allowed to spy on Americans, but the nature of modern communication...

Why the FBI Shouldn't Be Trusted to Investigate the Death of Ibragim Todashev

June 20, 2013 Almost a month ago, the FBI shot and killed a 27-year-old man, Ibragim Todashev, during an interview at his Orlando, Florida apartment. In the aftermath of the shooting, various law enforcement officials gave wildlyconflicting accounts of what happened in the moments before his death: some said he was unarmed; others...

Three Former NSA Employees Praise Edward Snowden, Corroborate Key Claims

June 18, 2013 USA Today has published an extraordinary interview with three former NSA employees who praise Edward Snowden's leaks, corroborate some of his claims, and warn about unlawful government acts. Thomas Drake, William Binney, and J. Kirk Wiebe each protested the NSA in their own rights. "For years, the three whistle-blowers had...

Analysis: Why Are People So Distrustful of Big Government?

June 18, 2013 NSA surveillance poses a particularly thorny challenge to conservative War on Terror hawks, who are being forced to confront the tension in two things that they believe: 1) The Obama administration shouldn't ever be trusted. 2) We're at war, and the Obama Administration must be trusted with extraordinary powers to...

Daniel Ellsberg on the High Costs of Executive-Branch Secrecy

June 14, 2013 When Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers, his primary goal was changing U.S. policy in Vietnam. But he also had a "very important secondary objective" -- he hoped that Americans who read the documents would lose their tolerance for granting the executive branch the ability to act in secret. They'd...

Analysis: Some Leaks Are More Illegal Than Others

June 13, 2013 As critics of Edward Snowden, the NSA leaker, vilify him for breaking the law and his promise to never reveal classified information, the press critic Jack Shafer adds vital and astonishingly unremarked upon context: the Obama Administration leaks highly classified information all the time. So did the Bush Administration. Does...

Secrecy Undermines the Ability of Congress to Function as the Framers Intended

June 7, 2013 In an item at Wonkblog, Ezra Klein reflects on the legislature's role in the surveillance programs revealed over the last 48 hours. "We don't know how much Congress has been told about these programs, though it seems they have known at least some details for quite a long time," he...