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 98

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 ...

Rand Paul Calls for Public Release of Extrajudicial-Killing Memo

May 12, 2014 Senator Rand Paul wrote a Sunday op-ed in the New York Times arguing that all Americans deserve to see the Office of Legal Counsel memos used to justify the killing of an American citizen without charges, trial, or due process of law. President Obama wants to appoint a lawyer who ...

Is State Surveillance a Legitimate Defense of Our Freedoms?

May 5, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Is state surveillance a legitimate defense of our freedoms? The question was put to Michael Hayden, former director of the NSA and the CIA, during a debate Friday evening in Toronto. Alan Dershowitz joined him to argue the affirmative. Glenn Greenwald and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian argued against the resolution. ...