The Instigator
bsh1
Con (against)
Winning
14 Points
The Contender
HenryGBR
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points

Liberals' DDO Tournament: NSA Surveillance

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
bsh1
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/5/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 889 times Debate No: 41747
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (4)

 

bsh1

Con

This debate is a Semi-Final round in the Liberals' DDO Tournament between myself and Henry (who is replacing Magic after he was forced to drop out due to extenuating circumstances.)

Topic:

The NSA should not have engaged in surveillance of EU leaders and their staffs.

Structure:

R1: Acceptance
R2: Cases (no rebuttals)
R3: Rebuttals
R4: Rebuttals
R5: Rebuttals/Crystallization (no new arguments or responses)

Thanks:

I thank Henry for agreeing to fill in--without his acquiesence, this round would not have been possible; I would also like to thank the judges and all my fellow competitors for making this a great tournament. May the best debater prevail.
HenryGBR

Pro

I look forward to enjoyable debate on the topic of NSA spying on European leaders; yes, may the best debator win!
Debate Round No. 1
bsh1

Con

Thanks to Henry and to the Judges! I apologize for my late posting--I had a history paper due over the weekend. I will present my case at this time.

FRAMEWORK

I will offer some definitions to clarify the round.

Should - expresses desirability. For example: "You should take out the trash" states that it is desirable to take the trash out.
Surveillance - is defined by Merriam Webster as "close observation"
Leaders - for the purposes of this debate I suggest we confine this term to nationally elected officials operating specifically in executive capacities: in other words, heads of government and of state. It can also refer to leaders of the EU itself.

It also seems prudent to, at this time, say a word about how this round should be evaluated.

Prof. Gary Woller contends: “Appeals to a priori moral principles…often fail to acknowledge that public policies inevitably entail trade-offs among competing values. Thus since policymakers cannot justify inherent value conflicts to the public in any philosophical sense…the policymakers' duty to the public interest requires them to demonstrate that…their policies are somehow to the overall advantage of society.” This implies a discussion of pragmatism. Woller 2 observes that: “deontologically based ethical systems have severe practical limitations as a basis for public policy…a priori moral principles…do not themselves suggest appropriate public policies, and…create a regimen of regulatory unreasonableness while failing to adequately address the problem.” Therefore, the desirability of a government or a government agency's action is best viewed through the leans of what is most pragmatic. Thus, if the NSA was acting pragmatically, it was acting desirably, and the resolution should be negated.

Therefore, it is my Thesis that domestic surveillance has net benefit when compared to its potential harms.

CON's CASE

Contention One: Surveillance is useful in combating terror.

It is fairly clear that the U.S. has an interest in obtaining knowledge that may pertain to its national security. By surveilling leaders in Europe, the U.S. can acquire information that those leaders are unlikely to volunteer on their own. If Germany learned the whereabouts of a terrorist who also happened to be a German national, Merkel may want to keep that information from the U.S. and to have her own security force pursue the invesitgation. Unfortuantely, in this hypothetical, it is not just Germany that has a stake in the matter, especially if this terrorist is willing to commit international crimes. Therefore, the U.S. is justified in covertly attaining this data in order to make its own assessments regarding the sitatution.

This applies not only to terrorist investigations, but to trade deals and more. In all of these things the U.S. has a vested interest--it is pragmatic for the U.S. to learn as much as it can to further it's national goals and objectives. After all, the core duty of the state is to its citizens, and this duty cannot be carried out when blindfolded.

Contention Two: The extent of the surveillance is minimal.

The U.K.’s Daily Mail reports, “the Internet carries 1,826 Petabytes of information per day. In its foreign intelligence mission, NSA touches about 1.6% of that…However, of the 1.6% of the data, only 0.025% is actually selected for review. The net effect is that NSA analysts look at 0.00004% of the world's traffic in conducting their mission—that’s less than one part in a million. Put another way, if a standard basketball court represented the global communications environment, NSA's total collection would be represented by an area smaller than a dime on that basketball court.” As Security expert Sir David Osmund notes, what the U.S. and other states need “is the possibility of accessing the communications of the terrorists…But those communications are all mixed up with everyone else's communications…So you have to have a powerful capability to find the small amount that you are looking for. But it doesn't mean that the state is reading everyone's emails, nor would that conceivably be feasible.”

Furthermore, there is oversight of the NSA designed to prevent egregious oversteps of authority. The Las Vegas Sun newspaper states, the NSA “is subject to oversight by both Congress and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. If the effort were being operated without due regard for privacy, the other branches of government could push back. For the most part, they apparently have approved of what's gone on.” U.S. Deputy Attorney-General James Cole testified that domestic surveillance is not “a program that has been hidden away or off the books. In fact, all three branches of government play a significant role in the oversight…the judiciary, through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court plays a role…The executive branch conducts extensive internal reviews to ensure compliance. And Congress passes the laws, oversees our implementation of those laws, and determines whether or not the current laws should be reauthorized and in what form.”

Thus, I urge you to please VOTE CON!
HenryGBR

Pro

The United States as an imperial power has decided to spy on its allies. Intelligence Contractor Edward Snowden released highly sensitive information regarding the NSA surveillance of over 50million French phone calls, and 60million Spanish phone calls. The US has also been spying on the world's leaders, including Germany's Angela Merkel, Italian leaders, and other EU leaders including officials of the European Union.

The US spied on Angela Merkel from 2001 up until 2013 when the incriminating documents were released by Snowden. During this time, the EU and the US have been working to establish a trade deal similar to that between Mexico and the EU. This would mean A LOT to both the European and US economies. Now, during these deals, a lot of negotiation takes place - it's almost like a card game. But America decided she didn't want to play fair. She screwed up her face, whispered something into the ear of her pet dog, NSA, who - in turn - trotted over to Europe. The NSA fed back to the US extreme amounts of important information. This information gave America an upper hand. And America was happy knowing she was always one step ahead of Europa, thanks to her pet dog.
Is it right that America treats her friends like this? Is it right that she cheats whilst enjoying a friendly game of cards which is beneficial to both America and her friend Europa? Is this how America treats her allies?

Why spy on Merkel, anyway? Does the US feel that Merkel could be planning the next 9/11? Or maybe Germany is planning to invade North America with her European friends?
The idea is ludicrous.


Not only did the US spy on EU leaders' private conversations (which is illegal under EU law), but it also monitored 60million Spanish phone calls over just three days! 20million phone calls per day! Now what on earth did the NSA wish to achieve through this? She wasn't helping Spain, as the Spanish Government knew nothing of the monitoring. The US did it simply because it could. The United States wished to flex its muscle - in private, of course - and spy on millions of Europeans and their leaders. How America could bring herself to do this to her own ally is shameful. Why she did it remains a complete and utter mystery.

To make matters even worse, America decided to get some of her friends in on it too. She wanted to bully the beautiful, innocent Europa. So she popped along to Britannia's house! She knocked on the door and asked Britannia if GCHQ could come to play. Britannia assented, and off America and GCHQ ran! But what the pair did next was utterly horrific. In their haste, America egged-on GCHQ to be nasty to Europa. The pair picked on her, even though GCHQ was supposedly Europa's friend.
From WITHIN the European Union, the Government Communications Headquarters spied on the rest of Europe and its leaders: the ultimate betrayal.


Together, the US and GCHQ have invaded the privacy of millions of EU citizens, their leaders, and others all in the name of the War on Terror. This has to stop, what the NSA is doing is wrong. And there is blatantly no justification for any action which clearly goes against your ally.
Debate Round No. 2
bsh1

Con

Thanks to Henry. Again, sorry for the lateness of my reply.

Pro begins by citing statisitcs about how many foreign phone calls the NSA intercepted--but the vast majority of those phone calls were calls made by average citizens, not EU leaders. Remember, the topic is specific to EU leaders.

I do not deny that the NSA spied on Merkel, the question is: should it have done so? Pro's only arguments about wht the NSA was wrong to do what it did was that the NSA violeted EU law, and that its activities gave the U.S. and unfair advantage. However, this is an incorrec way to frame the debate. The U.S. government's primary and overriding duty is to do what is best for its citizens. Every nation, through its social contract, has that duty towards its people. Insofar as the U.S. obligation to its citizens could best be obtained by spying, the NSA was justified in what it did. The U.S. is supposed to put itself in the most advantageous position possible. As for EU law, it does not apply to states not in the EU.

Again, the points about Spanish phone calls don't apply to EU leaders. Finally, this resolution is NSA-specific, so GCHQ is extratopical.

In sum, Pro makes a heavy pathos-laden appeal, but fails to anlayze the resolution from the perspective of WHY the NSA exists--as a means to maximize the government's ability to fulfill its social contract.

Thank you! VOTE CON!
HenryGBR

Pro

Con states that it is the government's duty to do what is 'best' for its citizens. Well, since the 80s, US influence has become increasingly unpopular in Europe and the rest of the world.
A poll conducted by the BBC World Service found that only 48% of Britons described US influence as 'positive'. 45% of French citizens. 44% Canadians. 40% Spaniards. And just 39% of Germans looked fondly upon the US.
The US is not popular.
Imperialist actions such as monitoring EU leaders' phones are unacceptable and lead to anti-Americanism which (and I can say this from my experiences of waking up to Britain every day) is very prominent in European society. By spying on us, America, you are only making matters worse for your citizens. There are calls from France and other EU members to halt trade talks with the US until these matters are resolved; this may slow the creation of thousands of US jobs by years simply because Little Miss America couldn't play fairly.

Con likes to talk about the extent of internet monitoring that the US undergoes which was actually a surprisingly large amount. But Con is also correct: this debate is about EU leaders, not the internet. As such, I shall disregard this point.

You say, Con, that '[EU law] does not apply to states not in the EU.' But as long as the crime being committed is being committed on European soil, then it is in violation of European law. Just as if I - as a British and EU citizen - were to travel to the US and commit a crime in the US, the fact that I'm not a US citizen makes no difference. If a Texan was come to London and walk about with his rifle, even though he's a Texan, he'd be arrested for having a dangerous weapon. These crimes and gross invasions of privacy took place on EU soil. And the US should suffer the consequences just as any other would.

Doing the right thing for one's people is not to betray the allies of those people. Doing the right thing for one's people is not to break laws in other countries in the name of those people. Doing the right thing for one's people is not blatantly cheating in a card game of economics and politics.
Debate Round No. 3
bsh1

Con

Thanks to Henry and everyone!

Overview: Pro has dropped my case. Extend it.

This celarly rebuts Pro's concerns about the scope of the NSA's activities as well as his arguments about such surveillance not being beneficial.

Rebuttal 1: Pro has not shown causality. Yes, U.S. approval ratings may be low, but is it the NSA's actions that are the cause? With no link to examin the study, it is hard to ascertain its validity and its findingins. Moreover, if 48% of Britons viewed the U.S. postively, how many viewed us neutrally? That does not imply that most Britons see us negatively.

Rebuttal 2: Moreover, this polling contradicts Pro's: http://www.realclearworld.com...

Rebuttal 3: When violations of the law occur in a specific location, maybe. But in the realm of cyberspace, the line of what is the EU and what is the U.S. is much more subjective and blurred. Ultimately, the NSA is primarily responsible to the U.S. and its laws, and so can justify some violations of other nations rules in pursuit of that objective. It ties back to the pragmatic self-interest rationale I described in my case.

Rebuttal 4: Pro tries to deny that the NSA's surveillance was helpful, when in his last speech he stated, "This information gave America an upper hand. And America was happy knowing she was always one step ahead of Europa, thanks to" the NSA." His own points contradict.

Thanks, again. Please VOTE CON.
HenryGBR

Pro

I'm afraid that I have had trouble trying to understand Con's points. When Con says: 'Overview: Pro has dropped my case. Extend it.' I haven't a clue what he means. So I shall try to rebut what points I can.

You can very easily tell from public reactions and from reactions of the press that the US has made itself even more unpopular in Europe. In the UK, we recently had the 'phone-hacking scandal' where the largest British newspaper was found to have been spying on many British citizens through hacking their phones and voice messages. This resulted in one of the largest inquests in British history, several arrests and the closure of one of the world's most prominent newspapers.
The fact that now, rather than a newspaper, a foreign entity has decided to do the same and not only to our people but to our leaders on a MASSIVE scale not only shocks the European public, it disgusts them. How would Americans feel if the Russians or the Chinese decided to spy on them, eh? They'd have a fit! Americans would take to the street in protest and God knows how the US government would react. Attitudes towards America are at an all-time low.

Your polling point: your poll was posted on an obscure blog by an obscure reporter and has wild claims to US popularity. However, my poll was conducted by BBC World Service which is arguably the most respected news organisation on the planet. Ask yourself: which is more likely to be accurate?

Now onto international legislation. It is true that in 'cyberspace' it's hard to identify jurisdiction. However, it's really rather plain and simple that a telephone conversation between German Angela Merkel and her many German staff in Germany is likely to fall under the jurisdiction of GERMANY. It really isn't that difficult.

Pro says: "the NSA is primarily responsible to the U.S. and its laws, and so can justify some violations of other nations rules [sic]".
No. The NSA is American, yes. But as we've said before, organisations, governments, and citizens are subject to local law when visiting another country. The NSA does not have free roam over the world to do whatever it wants, to spy on whomever it wants. The NSA was subject to German and EU law whilst spying on Angela Merkel and the way they did it - which I have to say was a very crude manner - broke several local laws. As such, the NSA should be shut down and those responsible taken to court as should happen in any PROPER, functioning, well-built society. And I hope the US can still prove it is such a society because we Europeans have lost all faith in it.

Con says: 'Rebuttal 4: Pro tries to deny that the NSA's surveillance was helpful, when in his last speech he stated, "This information gave America an upper hand. And America was happy knowing she was always one step ahead of Europa, thanks to" the NSA." His own points contradict.'
I said that NSA surveillance gave America an 'upper hand'. I never, ever said NSA surveillance was not useful to the United States Government, especially whilst these vital trade deals where underway. Con's point against me does not stand.
Debate Round No. 4
bsh1

Con

Thanks to Henry for what has been a very elucidating and intense discussion! I will use this round to do a concluding line-by-line analysis of the round, finishing with a summary and some voting issues. I will avoid new arguments, as per the rules.

CON's CASE

At no point in this debate has Pro rebutted Con's case. I extended it last round, and can extend it again since it went wholly unaddressed for a second time. This means my whole case was DROPPED, and any attempt to rebut it would constitute a new argument by Pro.

Therefore, Pro cannot touch this offense, and it clearly ways in my favor. Let me take a moment to impact these extensions:

1. Framework: governments andpolicymakers must operate on a cost-benefit calculus, and therefore, this round should be evaluated from a pragmatic standpoint.
2. Surveillance helps to combat terror by intercepting knowledge other nations have regarding terrorists and criminals
3. Surveillance is minimally invasive
4. The NSA is subject to effective checks and balances

All of this swings the round in my favor. Since Pro never rebutted it ealier, he cannot now because he'd be making new arguments.

PRO's CASE

My overview was just extending my Case, as I did/reiterated above.

Before I get into Pro's core arguments, let me point out the main themes he is relying on. Pro is relying heavily on this idea that the NSA's actions have made the U.S. unpopular in Europe, that EU law applies to the NSA's surveillance, and that what the NSA did was wrong (makes a pathos appeal.) These are the key elements of his offense. If these pieces can be mitigated or nullified, then I will have the most offense in this debate, meriting a Con ballot.

Rebuttal 1: Popularity

Pro says that public reactions are evidence that the NSA has made the U.S. unpopular. He fails to cite any sources and fails to describe how much the NSA is impacting the U.S.'s image. If the NSA is only making a .5 or 1% impact, then its benefits for the U.S. (stopping terror, better trade negotiating positions, etc.) might outweigh that small negative side-effect. Pro simply cannot show causality or the extent of any supposed causality.

Pro then attacks my poll's credibility, saying that it is an "obscure blog." However, if you click the links provided by that blog, it will take you to Pew Research Center, a massive, well-respected organization led by such prominent figures as Madeleine Albright (former U.S. Secretary of State)and Andrew Kohut of the Wall St. Journal. [1] The poll results that the blog was reporting were, therefore, from an EXTREMELY credible souurce. If you click on the blog's links, you will find that in 2013, the UK's population had a 58% approval rating of the U.S. [2, 3] Spain's approval rating of the U.S. is at 62%--which is an increase from 2012. [3} In Italy, 76% approve of the U.S.--an increase from last year as well. [3]

Pro clearly failed to explore the source I cited and its links, which showed, as I stated in previous speeches contradicted Pro's claims.

So, let us compare. We have a well-respected polling institution whose numbers were cited by that blog, and we have Pro's BBC report. Unfortunately, since Pro has failed to link me that source, I will have no chance to explore its findings, validity, conclusions, etc. Pro has also never answered the question I posed earlier about how many people the BBC study polled viewed the U.S. "neutrally." Therefore, even if you accept Pro's study, that does not mean there is a net negative view of the U.S. Ultimately, prefer my study as it reputable and properly cited.

Rebuttal 2: EU Laws

Pro claims that a German-German phone call is under German and EU law. But phone monitering is not all the NSA does. "Surveillance" can include much more than collecting metadata--it can also include digital/cyber surveillance. I made the argument before that such surveillance didn't fit clearly into any jurisdiction.In case ofthis second type ofsurveillance, Pro agreed, it was "hard to identify jurisdiction." That provides the NSA enough wiggle room to conduct many of its activities.

However, I would argue that the NSA is primarily beholden to the U.S. government, not the EU. I made this point throughout the debate, and if you buy it, then you buy that the NSA can override local interests in pursuit of its prime goal. This leads me to my next point...

Rebuttal 3: The NSA

Under the social contract, the U.S. has the PRIMARY goal of doing well by its own citizenry. Pro has never once challenged this idea; Pro has only challenged that the NSA can override local laws. However, if we accept the DROPPED premise that the U.S.'s main objective is to do well by its people, then it can violate local laws to do so. We can also support the social contract argument by returning to myDROPPEDWoller card offered in my framework. It refers specifically to "policymakers" and "citizens." Policymakers must justify actions to citizens, not to foreign governments.

Ultimately, it is a question of which is more important: local laws, or looking out for your people. For the U.S., it's primary duty is the latter, and so breach of the former is justified when it is done to achieve the latter. Therefore, all that needs to be shown is that the NSA's actions benefit the U.S. citizens. If that can be done, then the U.S. is justified in violating local laws to help meet it's most important goal.

There are three easy ways to show that the NSA benefits the U.S. people:

1. Pro dropped the argument in my case that surveillance decreases terrorism
2. Surveillance helps improve our posture in trade negotiations
3. Pro even admitted, "I never, ever said NSA surveillance was not useful to the United States Government, especially whilst these vital trade deals where underway"

As I pointed out in R3:"The U.S. government's primary and overriding duty is to do what is best for its citizens. Every nation, through its social contract, has that duty towards its people. Insofar as the U.S. obligation to its citizens could best be obtained by spying, the NSA was justified in what it did."

CONCLUSION

I have done a line-by-line analysis of the round as best as I could without making new arguments, but by referring back to old points. What this round comes down to his offense and BOP. I have my whole case, and at least one rebuttal point against Pro--if not more--as offense. This should outweigh whatever Pro brings up.

As for BOP, I have should that the NSA should have engaged in its surveillance regimine. Should expresses desirability, and since we're evaluating desirability from a cost-benefit standpoint (as per Woller in my framework) if you believe that it was pragmatic for the U.S. to spy, then you should be voting Con.

I have show clear benefits to the NSA's actions, have mitigated Pro's alleged harms, and therefore have shown, I believe, that the NSA's actions were net beneficial.

Thus, I ask for your vote.

SOURCES

1 - http://en.wikipedia.org...
2 - http://www.realclearworld.com... (see the first link in the text for expanded polling data)
3 - http://www.pewglobal.org...

Thank you! Please VOTE CON!
HenryGBR

Pro

Final Round of Debate

I thank my opponent for an enjoyable debate.

Popularity
Let me clear up this skirmish over the popularity of the US. The poll's results can be found here http://www.worldpublicopinion.org... the poll was conducted by the BBC World Service. The BBC has 9,000 employees internationally, it is one of the best funded news networks and the most reliable, unbiased and trustowrthy. It beats an ammature (by comparison) polling blog by a long shot. The point was not focusing on negative views of the US, it was focusing on the fact that the majority of people do not have positive views of the US. Compared to EU, UK and Germany where the majority of the world do have positive views of these states.

Jurisdiction
The quote 'hard to identify jurisdiction' has been taken completely out of context. It is hard to identify jurisdiction when we are talking about intellectual property, however a phone call between two Germans in Germany falls under German and EU jurisdiction. Thus, the NSA has broken the law and should be punished as a result of that.

'Social Contract'
Con goes on about how the US Gov't must 'do best for its people'. That's all very well, but this contract you speak of is between the gov't and its people. Don't trot over here and get us involved in it. We didn't ask for your contract and by God are we going to fight it if you try and entangle us in it.
Con ASSUMES that the primary job of a government is to do best by its citizens, but this point is arguable and cannot be used as a stone premise for a logical argument.

TERROR!
Oh you Americans do get touchy about terrorists don't you! Well I can assure you, Merkel is not planning to blow up the new WTC, or the White House, or half of Los Angeles. Surveillance does decrease terrorism. Surveillance of EU officials increases the amount of terror we are willing to unleash on you. You don't spy on your allies, you don't cheat in fair negotiations. You don't do these things to the European Union. It will get you nowhere but the gutter.

'Because I can!'
The only reason the US has been spying on senior EU officials and officials of its states is because it can. Apart from the trade deal, it has no proper motive for doing so. It wishes to flex its muscle to assure itself that it is still the world's 'superpower'. To try and surpress the European Union in their quests for world dominance.


It's immoral. It's unfair. It's dirty. It's dark. It's unnecessary.
The NSA should not have engaged in surveillance of EU leaders and their staffs.
Now look at the motion.

Vote for who you want, but learn from America's mistake: make the right choice.
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Beverlee 3 years ago
Beverlee
ARGUMENTS (Continued)

Pro dropped the contention that terrorism could be investigated through spying, and successfully countered the argument that the spying was non-invasive.

However, Con was able to show a strong pragmatic need for espionage, which was conceded by Pro when he stated that America got an advantage in trade negotiations.

This covers all of the main premises of the debate, and so I score arguments for Con.
Posted by Beverlee 3 years ago
Beverlee
ARGUMENTS:

"Contention One: Surveillance is useful in combating terror."
This was probably the least convincing premise for me, because the spying in question was obviously classic espionage, and not law enforcement. However, Pro never attempted to challenge this. -Dropped.

"Contention Two: The extent of the surveillance is minimal."
This seems absurd when we are describing things like "petabytes" of data collected. But Con argues that the overwhelming volume of data created a sort of logjam that overwhelmed the system. I found this argument to be fairly vulnerable, since the NSA was able to target Angela Merkel so well. Pro does a good job pointing this vulnerability out, and strongly argues that Merkel was targeted for espionage and not counter-terrorism, but never makes the connection to Contention One.

Con also argues that the US has a pragmatic requirement to conduct espionage missions, and must simply suffer the consequences of being found out. This was a strong argument.

Pros' response is to say that getting caught spying is harmful to American interests, and uses convincing polling data to support this. Con also presents polling data that supports the opposing premise. I found this counter unconvincing, and that America does have strong reasons to conduct espionage missions.
Posted by Beverlee 3 years ago
Beverlee
SCORING:

CONDUCT: Tie. I'm sorry, but there just wasn't enough to score.

SPELLING AND GRAMMAR: Pro, who made fewer noticeable mistakes. Con concentrated several nearly back-to-back errors in R3.

SOURCES: I gave sources to Con. Both sides largely ignored sourcing. Con's were formatted correctly, and did help support his arguments.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by ClassicRobert 3 years ago
ClassicRobert
bsh1HenryGBRTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con almost blatantly dropped all of Pro's points. His second round case seemed to be largely a critique of America's "bully" mentality, and a few facts thrown in there about the amount of stuff that the NSA looks at. Though this was interesting, none of that was followed with any argument as to why that was a bad thing, and why it was not pragmatic. Con effectively showed that this sort of intelligence intervention was desirable for the U.S. Though I, of course, read the rest of the debate, it was pretty much decided in that first round of argument. If either debater has questions about my vote, feel free to PM me.
Vote Placed by YYW 3 years ago
YYW
bsh1HenryGBRTied
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Reasons for voting decision: CON's framework of pragmatism didn't need to reject deontology, it rather needed only to ground pragmatism. That surveillance is useful was more compelling than PRO's point that it was only minimal. The point about oversight is not without issue either. PRO's casting the US as an imperial power was just absurd, in that it advanced his case neither materially or substantively. PRO made some bold comparisons and begged the question while trying to assert the notion that verifying one's allies are allies is betrayal -which was fairly amusing. Because CON actually made an argument which negated the resolution, even if his second point was precarious at best, arguments to CON. PRO is admonished to avail himself to improve his case structure. CON is admonished not to preemptively rebut (as he did with his framework, for reasons I'd be happy to clarify via PM or comment section).
Vote Placed by Beverlee 3 years ago
Beverlee
bsh1HenryGBRTied
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Total points awarded:51 
Reasons for voting decision: See Comments.
Vote Placed by imabench 3 years ago
imabench
bsh1HenryGBRTied
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Reasons for voting decision: This was an interesting debate to judge but it seems that both sides were debating different resolutions. Con appeared to be justifying why the US should spy on its allies in the EU, while Pro appeared to be justifying that the US is excessively spying on allies in the EU and that it should scale back its espionage attempts.... Since both sides seemed to be arguing over different resolutions, it was hard to vote for a winner, but to me con did justify why the US has an incentive to spy on allied nations in the EU that pro didnt properly address... Had the resolution been about whether or not NSA surveillance should be scaled back, then pro would have been the clear winner of the debate, but that wasnt the resolution, so I give argument points to con.