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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 109

What TSA Left Out of the Cartoon It Made for Your Kids

January 7, 2014 The Transportation Security Administration has produced a cartoon to explain airport security to kids. And in many ways, the two-minute video does a pretty good job. On the other hand, the cartoon depicts a metal detector, not the scarier-seeming naked scanner that many kids actually must walk through at the ...

What If a Drone Struck an American Wedding?

December 16, 2013 On my wedding day, my wife and I hired a couple of shuttle vans to ferry guests between a San Clemente hotel and the nearby site where we held our ceremony and reception. I thought of our friends and family members packed into those vehicles when I read about the ...

The Holy See: Lethal Drones Pose Urgent Ethical Issues

November 25, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Holy See's representative at the United Nations, Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, has weighed in on the debate about targeted killing with unmanned aerial vehicles. His recent letter raises the following concerns about killing with drones: The technology may "lower the threshold of conflict, making it seem more attractive to ...

The Staggering Power of NSA Systems Administrators

August 27, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In Catch-22, there is a character whose constant desire to go AWOL results in a series of demotions. The reader is introduced to him as Ex-PFC Wintergreen, a lowly mail clerk. But it turns out that his job affords him extraordinary access to information. By manipulating its flow, he quietly ...

It's Highly Likely the NSA Hoovered Up Mitt Romney's Emails in 2002

August 22, 2013 Here's a detail from the Wall Street Journal's big story about broad NSA surveillance of email, including within the United States: For the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, officials say, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and NSA arranged with Qwest Communications International Inc. to use intercept equipment for ...

Uncanny Echoes of the NSA Debate From the 1970s

August 22, 2013 In June of 1975, the investigations into the CIA that would eventually be summarized in the Church Committee reports were already underway, spurred in large part by the shocking claims made in Seymour Hersh's journalism. But the public did not yet know the extent of CIA misdeeds. Many Americans were ...

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 ...