The Instigator
Wylted
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
THEBOMB
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

100 Debate challenge 18: This house would censor the internet

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/26/2014 Category: Technology
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,363 times Debate No: 63959
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (0)

 

Wylted

Con

Pro starts in round 1 and passes in the final round. No semantics or trolling.
THEBOMB

Pro

I accept this debate (first one in a little bit). I will use this first round to accomplish two things: 1) framing the debate and providing much needed definitions, 2) establishing an overall framework for my argument.

Framing the Debate

1) The topic implies the following resolution: "Be it resolved that the internet ought to be censored."

2) The burden of proof is shared. My burden is to show that the internet can be censored; my opponent must show that the internet cannot be censored. This requires two competing frameworks. We are debating over two possible states of affairs or worlds. I present my ideal world, my opponent presents theirs.

3) Internet: "a vast computer network linking smaller computer networks worldwide (usually preceded by the). The Internet includes commercial, educational, governmental, and other networks, all of which use the same set of communications protocols." (http://dictionary.reference.com...) I believe this to be the standard definition.

4) Censor: "the suppression of speech, public communication or other information" (http://en.wikipedia.org...). I believe this is also the standard definition.

5) Censorship need not be absolute. If part of the internet should be censored, then Pro's burden is fulfilled.

My overall framework:

P1: There is information which ought to not be seen by the general public;
P2: This information can be placed on the internet;
P3: The only way to prevent people from seeing this information is to censor it preventing the information from ever reaching the public;
C. The internet ought to be censored.

My argument is logically valid; the truth of the premises imply the truth of the conclusion (I would prefer to not get into a debate over logical validity.) For my argument to be sound, I must show that P1 through P3 are correct. For P1 to be correct, I must establish at least 1 class of information which ought not be seen by the general public. For P2 to be correct, I must show that the information can be and is actively placed on the internet. The truth of P3 is a priori correct; the only way to prevent someone from seeing something is to prevent them from seeing it.

P1 (what shouldn't be seen):

Class A: Documents detailing government strategy and contingency plans during times of war;
Class B: Private civilian information (credit card numbers, social security numbers, bank account numbers, etc.);
Class C: Copyrighted material (published by non-protected actors);
Class D: Child pornography;
Class E: Certain news during time of war;
Class F: Pornography (toward children);
Class G: Engineering details of certain buildings

P2:

Class A: these documents are stored on servers
Class B: already online
Class C: It is possible to put online
Class D: Is already online
Class E: News is publishable online
Class F: Pornography is online
Class G: engineering schematics are publishable online

P3: A priori correct.

Onto the next round.
Debate Round No. 1
Wylted

Con

Framework

"2) The burden of proof is shared. My burden is to show that the internet can be censored; my opponent must show that the internet cannot be censored. This requires two competing frameworks. We are debating over two possible states of affairs or worlds. I present my ideal world, my opponent presents theirs."

I believe that my opponent is using can and cannot where he should use should and should not. Pro was instructed to start arguments in round 1 and forfeit their final round. No big deal, we all make mistakes. I don't want an extra round than my opponent, seeing as how they are still obligated to pass on the final round.

With that being said, I hand the floor to my opponent for what will ultimately be a 2 round debate.
THEBOMB

Pro

Opponents instructions: "Pro starts in round 1 and passes in the final round."

I did start in round 1 (evidence: Round 1, Pro). Since I have already formed an argument (under the heading "my overall framework"); my opponent's criticism has no relevance. My observations about the nature of the debate are completely relevant to the debate (by definition). Additionally, that which is not precluded by the rules is allowed.

For reference, here is my argument:

P1: There is information which ought to not be seen by the general public;
P2: This information can be placed on the internet;
P3: The only way to prevent people from seeing this information is to censor it preventing the information from ever reaching the public;
C. The internet ought to be censored.

Defense of each premise:

P1:

Class A: the government has an overwhelming interest in ensuring that it's documents detailing contingency plans and strategy during times of war is kept secret in order to protect the lives of it's populous (both civilian and military.) Thus, the class of information should not be seen by the public.
Class B: it would be negative for society if there was public access to everybody's personal bank account numbers, credit card numbers, social security numbers, etc. Thus, the government has an interest in ensuring that only the individual can have access to these documents/numbers. So, there is an interest in ensuring the general public does not have access to/cannot see these numbers.
Class C: intellectual property (IP) is protected under federal law to ensure the owner can earn monetary reward. It therefore should not be published by actors other than the person with the IP right and so the published result by a non-actor should not be able to be seen (by definition, diminishes the owners monetary reward.)
Class D: Child pornography is illegal. The government has an interest in keeping it illegal. The government has an interest in enforcing it's laws. The government has an interest in ensuring that the general public cannot see child pornography.
Class E: I will concede this class.
Class F: Pornography is negative toward young children; the government has an interest in ensuring that young children are protected; the government has an interest in ensuring that young children cannot see pornography.
Class G: allowing public access to engineering schematics of certain buildings has lead to harm; this harm is negative for society; the government has an interest in ensuring that people cannot see the engineering schematics of buildings.

P2:

I sincerely hope that my opponent will not argue these classes of information cannot be placed online (unless they want to dispute the existence of Debate.org and Youtube.) If they decide to go down that route, I will defend the premise.

P3:

A priori correct, extend.

C:

Conclusion follows from the premises.

Burden of Proof: it is fulfilled for me. I have justified each justifiable premise.
Debate Round No. 2
Wylted

Con

I didn't think round 1 was an argument, I'm sorry. For the purposes of this debate wil treat round 1 and 2 as if they qualify as arguments.

My opponents logic isn't logically valid or sound and I'll get into that as much as possible.

Another thing my opponent is doing is confusing what it means to censor stuff and to practice good security. If I publicly release my credit card information that is my right and it shouldn't be infringed on. However me keeping that information secret isn't me censoring it. It's just me practicing good security.

The government and other people as well as organization, taking legal action to prevent the leakage of sensitive infomation doesn't fall into the realm of censorship. Neither would protecting copyrights.

"Act of changing or suppressing speech or writing that is considered subversive of the common good."


Most of the arguments supporting P1 is jut no relevant to the debate. Children don't need the government to censor the internet, that is really a parental issue.

We can't retrict the media's right to cover war. If there is classifed information the media shouldn't be reporting you can restrict their movement or access to said information. Most of the arguments my opponent is fowarding have to do with security not with censorsip.

P3 is also unsupported by my opponent. Why is cesorship the only way to secure such information? It isn't restricting who has access to the information and keeping it classified is the soluton. Its also ineffective to censor the internet. Child porn is illegal, but people gain access to it every day. So is beastiality in most places, yet you can gain access to it quite easily (I just did). Attempts to censor the internet is ineffective so any atempt to do so is a waste of resources.

Worse than a waste of resources it actually creates a black market for resricted material. This black market creates criminal elements that didn't exist before. It also creates an underground economy which goes completely untaxed. This creates a biger tax burden for law abiding citizens.

Conclusion- Don't restrict freedom. Don't create black market for ensored materials. Don't ceate a 21st century version of pohibition. Vote con.
THEBOMB

Pro

1. My opponent's definition is not much different than mine. It is worded differently and adds the quantifier "common good." This does not change my argument at all.

2. You are correct: people ought to practice good security. But, many people are deceived and, thus, provide their credit card information to criminal actors. This deception changes the legal and moral implications. Once the details are published for sale by these criminal actors, the government can censor them and ensure nobody can illicitly profit from the private information.

3. Restricting the media's ability to publish information that they possess through the legal process is, by definition, changing or suppressing speech or writing to promote the common good by the government. So, restricting the media's ability to publish information relating to government wartime strategy is censoring the media. It is also promoting the public good because once in war, efforts should be taken to maximize effectiveness. The same goes for copyrights and patents.

4. Correct. You cannot perfectly censor the internet. That does not mean the government should not try in certain areas.

5. Classification of documents necessitates the censorship of the contents of those documents from publication. If they are classified, they are non-publishable. In addition, certain documents, such as building plans and schematics, could not be protected through classification as they are not government documents (only government documents can be classified.) Yet, the government still has an interest in ensuring that the buildings are not exploited for weaknesses or used for other means because of the harm that would do to the buildings inhabitants.

6. My opponent's theory would still lead to a black market. If we have restricted materials, we have a black market for those restricted materials. Classifying materials restricts those materials.

7. Schematics of buildings should be unpublishable because of the harm which could come should weaknesses be exploited by those who mean to do others harm.

8. My opponent has yet to fulfill their burden of proof. They have not presented a case for why we should not censor the internet and seeing how it is the last round of arguments they do not have the ability to do so.
Debate Round No. 3
Wylted

Con

The word censor has a long history. It's not a synonym for "restrict information". When a government keeps information classified then illegally obtaining that information and then being refrained from or punished for publishing that information doesn't count as censorship.

Censorship intends to control the morality of the public or to make subversive material very hard to get ahold of. My opponent is intentionally distorting the definition of censorship which should be considered a conduct violation and he should lose all conduct points. I should get source points since his sources aren't even relevant to the resolution. In my opinion I should get spelling and grammar due to my opponent's horrible grammar but I understand if voters only award me 6 points as opposed to 7.

I have made my case for the side relevant to the resolution and those points weren't brought up by my opponent and count as dropped arguments.

Thank you for voting Con and remember my opponent has to pass on the final round or forfeit all 7 points.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by UchihaMadara 2 years ago
UchihaMadara
Now that I think about it, bluesteel's case wouldn't really apply here.... oh wellz. Still plenty more challenge coming ^_^
Posted by Wylted 2 years ago
Wylted
Uchi, Don't get me started. I may have to reword this now, but I'm certainly the most prepared person on the site to address that argument should it come up.
Posted by UchihaMadara 2 years ago
UchihaMadara
does criminalizing child porn count as internet censorship?
No votes have been placed for this debate.