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 51-60 of 79

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 ...

Commentary: President Obama Doesn't Welcome Debate, He Actively Thwarts It

June 7, 2013 Look at what White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest kept tellingreporters about the NSA's seizure of Verizon customer records. "The president welcomes a discussion of the tradeoffs between security and civil liberties," he said as he finished reading a prepared statement. In the question-and-answer session with the press that ...

Analysis: Your Tax Dollars at Work: The DEA Renovates Its Propaganda Museum

May 30, 2013 Starting Saturday, the Drug Enforcement Agency is temporarily closing the two main exhibit galleries in its Washington, D.C., museum -- yes, it runs an actual museum -- for a "major renovation and update." Its website details what we can expect: "new interactive content, an expanded history timeline, iPad stations with ...

Analysis: Is It Too Hard to Fire Misbehaving Feds?

May 23, 2013 Under the headline, "Yes, heads should roll at the IRS," Ezra Klein points out that, at the very least, "A number of IRS employees developed criteria that was politically biased both in appearance and in effect. They were reined in once by their superiors, and then they changed the criteria ...