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 144

Ben Carson Wants to Intensify the War on Drugs

October 23, 2015 If elected president, Ben Carson won’t just continue to wage the perennially failing War on Drugs, like all of his predecessors in both parties since Richard Nixon—he would intensify the failed policy, because ... well, better to quote him directly. Here is the hard-to-follow reasoning he offered in an interview...

Mobile X-Ray Vans Are the NYPD's Spy Vehicles

October 19, 2015 In New York City, the police now maintain an unknown number of military-grade vans outfitted with X-ray radiation, enabling cops to look through the walls of buildings or the sides of trucks. The technology was used in Afghanistan before being loosed on U.S. streets. Each X-ray van costs an estimated...

More Than 610 People Killed Over 6 Years by California Police

October 5, 2015 The ACLU of Southern California has been working to understand how many people have been killed by law enforcement in America’s most populous state. What they found is alarming. Over a six-year period that ended in 2014, California’s Department of Justice recorded 610 instances of law enforcement committing homicide “in...

Is There Enough Evidence For a Criminal Investigation Into Hillary Clinton's Email?

July 24, 2015 Federal overseers are urging an inquiry into whether Hillary Clinton illegally mishandled classified documents during her four-year tenure as secretary of state, according to an article published late Thursday in The New York Times. At issue is her decision to conduct official business via private email. “Two inspectors general have...

Do Encrypted Phones Threaten National Security?

July 16, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In Washington, D.C., where a growing chorus is demonizing end-to-end encryption that permits people to have conversations that the government can never see, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse has aired a particularly extreme anti-privacy position: The Rhode Island Democrat suggested last week that selling well-encrypted smartphones to Americans should be treated like...

Should Google Ever Lie to Us?

July 7, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow What is Google’s responsibility to its searchers? In a Thursday panel at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Ashkan Soltani, the Federal Trade Commission’s chief technologist, offered a hypothetical that captured why that question is so difficult to answer. Before getting to that hypothetical, let’s assume that Google commits––whether formally or informally––to...

Why the Government Should Destroy -- Not Store -- Employees' Sensitive Information

June 15, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Imagine a piece of information that would be useful to store digitally if it could be kept secure, but that would do more harm than good if it ever fell into the wrong hands. With Friday’s news that “hackers have breached a database containing a wealth of sensitive information from...

When Security Screening Crosses the Line

April 15, 2015 How intrusive is airport security these days? For ten or eleven male passengers, normal TSA screening protocol was so indistinguishable from a predatory stranger arbitrarily groping their genitals that none of them even complained when that happened. An anonymous airport worker exposed the story on November 18, 2014, telling TSA...

Utah May Bring Back the Firing Squad to Kill Death-Row Inmates

March 11, 2015 In Utah, where nine inmates are on death row, their would-be executioners face an obstacle. To kill them by lethal injection, they need a cocktail of drugs. But a European campaign to stop one of those drugs from reaching U.S. executioners has worked well enough to create a shortage. And...

Can California Textbooks Criticize Slave Traders?

February 23, 2015 In California, the state laws that govern education require very specific kinds of diversity. For example, the curriculum must include "a study of the role and contributions of both men and women, Native Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, European Americans, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans,...

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