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 61-70 of 103

Stop Shrouding the U.S. Drone Program in Secrecy

August 22, 2013 On January 20, 2017, a new president takes office. She is knowledgeable about foreign affairs, has experience making tough decisions under pressure, and has a more finely tuned moral compass than the average commander-in-chief. But most striking is a unique ability she possesses: the power to secretly kill any individual ...

Analysis: The Wrong Way to Figure Out If the NSA Is Abusing Its Power

August 20, 2013 Commentators as diverse as Ben Wittes, Kevin Drum and Jennifer Rubin have tried to understand NSA rules violations in recent days in part by attempting to compare the number of violations to the overall number of queries, as if the percentage of errors is a useful metric to use. The ...

The NSA Needs a Church Committee

August 19, 2013 The time is ripe for a new Church Committee, the surveillance oversight effort named for Senator Frank Church, who oversaw a mid-1970s investigation into decades of jaw-dropping abuses by U.S. intelligence agencies. If recent stories about the NSA don't alarm you, odds are that you've never read the Church Committee ...

Analysis: Who Should Lead a Probe Into NSA

August 16, 2013 The time is ripe for a new Church Committee, the surveillance oversight effort named for Senator Frank Church, who oversaw a mid-1970s investigation into decades of jaw-dropping abuses by U.S. intelligence agencies. If recent stories about the NSA don't alarm you, odds are that you've never read the Church Committee ...

Let's Give Every NSA Employee an Anonymous Whistleblowing Opportunity

August 15, 2013 What if every NSA employee and contractor was required, once a year, to fill out an anonymous civil liberties survey? The anonymity of respondents would be persuasively guaranteed, and a multiple choice format would prevent the disclosure of any classified information. Answering would be as easy as putting a number ...

Analysis: Obama Has Already Broken His Pledge on Surveillance Reform

August 13, 2013 President Obama pledged last week that he would take "specific steps" to reform U.S. surveillance policy. This week, he proved unable to keep his word for any longer than a weekend. What was the latest Barack-and-switch? Here's what Obama said Friday to reassure Americans about the NSA, with my emphasis: ...

Analysis: How Secrecy Has Already Corroded Our Democracy in Concrete Ways

August 8, 2013 This summer, Rep. James Sensenbrenner, an author and longtime champion of the Patriot Act, emerged as one of the most concerned voices arguing that it is being used to violate the rights of Americans. A letter he sent to Attorney General Eric Holder singles out Section 215, the law's "business ...

King George's Revenge: Is Britain Using Our Tax Money to Spy on Us?

August 2, 2013 Weeks ago, I worried that surveillance officials in allied countries might conspire with one another to spy on one another's citizens. The NSA is restricted in the spying it can do on Americans. But it can spy on the British all it wants. And there's no law that prevents the ...

The Era of iSpying: Court Upholds Warrantless Cell-Phone Tracking

July 31, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow As ever, rumors are circulating about the features Apple may include on the next iteration of the iPhone. Will it store fingerprints as a security feature used to unlock the device or aid secure transactions? That's the buzz. The idea has undoubted appeal. I'd love to press my thumb to ...

Local Anti-Drone Activism Begins: 'If They Fly in Town, We Will Shoot Them Down'

July 30, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Charles Krauthammer once predicted that the first American to shoot down a domestic drone would be a folk hero. Phillip Steele, a resident of Deer Trail, Colorado, wants to enable that hero. As the FAA loosens regulations on domestic drone use, Steele has submitted an ordinance to his town's board ...