AUTHOR ARCHIVES

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 21-30 of 100

Daniel Ellsberg: Snowden Kept His Oath Better Than Anyone in the NSA

July 25, 2014 Daniel Ellsberg, the celebrated leaker of the Pentagon Papers, said in a conversation last weekend with National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden that every human sometimes bites their tongue when they witness something that they know to be wrong—and blood often flows as a result. Due in part to lies ...

How to Find Yourself on the Terror Watch List

July 24, 2014 At long last, Americans know more about how people end up on a terrorist watchlist—though still not much. Early on in a just-leaked 166-page U.S. government guide to officially declaring someone a terrorist or suspected terrorist, a passage acknowledges that "watchlisting is not an exact science." The whole enterprise has ...

New Surveillance Whistleblower: The NSA Violates the Constitution

July 21, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow John Napier Tye is speaking out to warn Americans about illegal spying. The former State Department official, who served in the Obama administration from 2011 to 2014, declared Friday that ongoing NSA surveillance abuses are taking place under the auspices of Executive Order 12333, which came into being in 1981, ...

Gen. Abizaid-Led Panel Sounds Alarm on U.S. Drones

July 9, 2014 Last month, experts drawn from the highest reaches of establishment national-security circles quietly released a report that savages Team Obama's lethal drone program. Repeated attempts are made to give those in power the benefit of every doubt. "We believe that US government decision-makers make targeting decisions in good faith and ...

The Latest Snowden Leak Is Devastating to NSA Defenders

July 8, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Consider the latest leak sourced to Edward Snowden from the perspective of his detractors. The National Security Agency's defenders would have us believe that Snowden is a thief and a criminal at best, and perhaps a traitorous Russian spy. In their telling, the NSA carries out its mission lawfully, honorably, ...

Former NSA Chief Clashes With ACLU Head in Debate

July 3, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow ASPEN, Colo.—Is the NSA keeping us safe? That was the question that MSNBC used to frame a debate Monday at the Aspen Ideas Festival, which The Atlantic co-hosts with The Aspen Institute. The debate featured Keith Alexander, former head of the National Security Agency; former Congresswoman Jane Harman; and former ...

Hillary Clinton's Formidable Strengths—and Greatest Weakness

July 1, 2014 In wide-ranging remarks Monday afternoon at the Aspen Ideas Festival, which The Atlantic co-hosts, Hillary Rodham Clinton showed an impressive grasp of issues as varied as health care, Supreme Court jurisprudence, and international diplomacy. One long anecdote concerned high-stakes negotiation with the Chinese government over a dissident who wanted to ...

Obama's Drone Killing Memo: Too Little, Too Late

June 24, 2014 On Monday, a federal appeals court released a memo on the extrajudicial killing of U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki. The public should have seen this memo long ago. The Obama administration suppressed it even after publicly invoking its logic; killing its subject in a drone strike; citing it to justify the ...

Commentary: The Government Isn't Very Good at Deciding What to Keep Secret

May 23, 2014 The U.S. government routinely tries to hide its unlawful behavior. It hides evidence of its incompetence too. That's a matter of historical record, not an opinion. Exposing government misbehavior sometimes requires publishing classified documents—take the Pentagon Papers or the Bush Administration's secret wiretaps. Writing in the New York Times Book ...

Edward Snowden's Other Motive for Leaking: Better Encryption

May 13, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A few pages into Glenn Greenwald's newly released book, No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State, there is a fascinating passage that transforms my understanding of why the contractor leaked NSA secrets. The familiar rationale still applies. Edward Snowden wanted to inform Americans about ...