The Instigator
pranmar123
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
TrueScotsman
Con (against)
Winning
1 Points

NSA spying

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
TrueScotsman
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/30/2013 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 7,948 times Debate No: 39708
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)

 

pranmar123

Pro

NSA should be allowed to spy on us. In my opinion the only people that are against NSA spying on our phone calls are the ones that have something to hide. NSA has not done anything to a person that wasn't guilty. Them spying on our calls will only help us from, future terroristic acts. NSA has prevented many cyber attacks against USA from hackers MANY THAT ARE FROM AROUND THE WORLD! Hmm the other countries are mad at USA because we were spying on them and their phone calls? Its only to help us and to see if they are doing acts against the USA so they can be aware of them. I AM pretty sure they are spying on the USA equally.
TrueScotsman

Con

Hello,

Happy Halloween, hope you are able to go out and have a good time tonight!

Regarding the contention that the NSA should be allowed to spy on us, I will attempt herein to demonstrate that this is in direct contradiction to the Constitution of the United States and afront to the liberty of the United States Citizens.

The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution:

The Text:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."[1]

In fact it can be argued that the Fifth Amendment is also applicable in this regard where it states:

"nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;"[1]

The liberty of a United States Citizen is protected by Constitutional Law to be enforced by the governing powers, and overseen by United States Congress and interpreted by the United States Supreme Court. Therefore, the unlawful search/survelliance of United States citizens by the United States government is a criminal action contrary to established liberty we enjoy per the Constitution.

The Protect America Act of 2007:

This amendment to the Foriegn Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978[2], to "
provide additional procedures for authorizing certain acquisitions of foreign intelligence information and for other purposes."[3]

These additional procedures includes the following.[3]

1. The Bill required notification of warrantless surveillance to the FISA court within 72 hours of the any authorization.

2. The bill allowed domestic wiretapping to take place of American's communicating with foreigners who are targets of U.S. terrorism investigations, so long as it is "reasonably believed" that the person communicating to the American is indeed a foreigner.

3. Data monitoring of Americans communicating with foreigners was allowed but with not as strong of regulations concerning the character of the foriegner, but simply deemed within the general interest of U.S. National Security.

4. The Attorney General would have to report to congress semi-annually to report on cooperation and non-cooperation with the directives issued within this law.

Therefore, regarding the limitations of this act, it is illegal and thus should have been reported by the Attorney to the United States Congress as a non-cooperation for the NSA practicing in warrantless surveillance of American people who were not communicating with foriegn agents.

It should be noted that within the Patriot Act of 2001[4], the authortiy to intercept wire, oral, and electronic communications relating to computer fraud and abuse offenses was also included. This however, still does not apply to the actions of the NSA, and itself is questionable along with the FISA in regards to it's Constituionality.

Now in response to some of the points you made.

Rebuttal #1

You said:

"In my opinion the only people that are against NSA spying on our phone calls are the ones that have something to hide."

Except in order to obtain the information they would "need" they have to do mass surveillance[5] through the program PRISM of the NSA. This would include the uintentional mining of data regarding the records of ALL USA citizens, thus violating the Fourth Amendment. Your opinion, it appears does not align with the facts.

Rebuttal #2

You said:

"NSA has not done anything to a person that wasn't guilty."

Actually, per the information I linked above they have esentially spied on every single American, even if it was unintentional. This point of yours is also not substatiated by any facts or sources other than being in the context of your "opinion."

Rebuttal #3

You said:

"Them spying on our calls will only help us from, future terroristic acts."

The rights outlined within the Constitution do not only promote the values of life, but also liberty and because these laws infringe upon the civil liberty of ALL American people it should not be the method by which we combat terrorism. The ends do not justify the means, when they're blatantly illegal.

Rebuttal #4

You said:

"NSA has prevented many cyber attacks against USA from hackers MANY THAT ARE FROM AROUND THE WORLD!"

Foreign surveillance is one thing, and so is having warrantless surveillance of American citizens collaborting with those suspected of terrorist activity. However, data mining and having surveillance of all American people is NOT justifiable. The Constitution isn't just a suggestion, it is the LAW and in order to withdraw the rights of any person within America it must be via due process according to the Law, not because of some sort of utilitarian ethical justification. Also, please note that my opponent does not provide any documentation or proof of the NSA having direct success because of these illegal measures.

Rebuttal #5

You said:

"Hmm the other countries are mad at USA because we were spying on them and their phone calls? Its only to help us and to see if they are doing acts against the USA so they can be aware of them."

I find it intersting that you believe their frustration isn't justified. 35 world leaders were directly monitored[6] the document cited by the guardian news article contains an encouragement for senior white house officials to share their rolodexes of phone numbers of other foriegn leader's contact information to assist the NSA in spying on them. We also hacked in China's mobile phone networks in order to read their text messages.[7] Instead of looking for enemies, it seems all we did was make them with our rampant clandestine activity.

Final Rebuttal and Conclusion:

You said:

"I AM pretty sure they are spying on the USA equally."

This is the last of a long string of unsupported assertions within your argument, providing no evidence whatsoever beyond your opinion that other countries are spying on America just as much and that further justifes our spying on them. Tell me this, what other country has an organization with the size and funding of the NSA to pull of this mass surveillance operation of the world?

Since my opponent has failed to provide any evidence outside of his opinion to support his arguments, they should be dismissed outright on the basis of the Laws regarding surveillance proceedures and most importantly the Constitution of the United States in it's Fourth and Fifth Amendments which protect the U.S. citizens from these kinds of abuses of power.

In wars there are causualties, and in the war on terror this has been a reality, but those solidiers laid down their lives to protect the freedom we here enjoy. We should not dishonor their sacrifice, by undermining the rights of the American people.

Kind Regards,
TrueScotsman

[1] http://www.archives.gov...;[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...;
[3] http://www.gpo.gov...
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[5] http://www.theguardian.com...
[6] http://www.theguardian.com...
[7] http://www.forbes.com...
Debate Round No. 1
pranmar123

Pro

This is what the Director of NSA posted: Army Gen. Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency, defended his agency, saying what his staff does "is bring back more U.S. soldiers, airmen and Marines" alive from dangerous postings. This is a perfect reason on why we have to spy on international countries. The NSA sees what the FBI nor the CIA can see and he quotes they help connect the dots.
I am going to clarify what the actual scope and nature of NSA surveillance is, and then I'll explain why -good or bad- it's necessary. As a disclaimer, I don't personally know quite where I stand on NSA surveillance. But for the purposes of this debate it is my responsibility to argue on the NSA's behalf -whether it should have the legal capacity to monitor data to the extent that it currently does. Because to determine whether the NSA should have the legal capacity to monitor data as it currently does, we must first know the scope of the NSA's reach, I'll begin there.

The NSA and the Scope of its Reach

The National Security Agency is an agency within the US Department of Defense which collects and analyzes foreign communication and data transfers and protects and monitors the US Government's electronic infrastructure. (1) The NSA is legally limited to gathering only foreign communications and must avoid domestic surveillance where possible. Edward Snowden, a whistleblower who was employed as an NSA contractor, fled to Hong Kong after disclosing the details of NSA surveillance programs to The Guardian and The Washington Post.

PRISM is alleged to enable the NSA to obtain "direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other US internet giants," which enables data collection "directly from the servers of major US [internet] service providers" pursuant to section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. (2) However, the NSA is legally barred from "unilaterally obtaining information from the servers of [domestic] electronic communication service providers" or monitoring the substance of US citizens' communications without a warrant. (3,4) Moreover, Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Apple have all released statements confirming that they only release user information pursuant to that required by law according to due process. (5) (6)

James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, criticized reports in The Guardian and The Washington Post for their "numerous inaccuracies." Information collected by programs pursuant to FISA Sec. 702 are "designed to facilitate the acquisition of foreign intelligence information concerning non-U.S. persons located outside the United States. It cannot be used to intentionally target any U.S. citizen, any other U.S. person, or anyone located within the United States."(3) Moreover, NSA surveillance programs are the subject of extensive congressional and FISA court oversight, as Clapper confirmed (3). Extensive checks approved by FISA courts are in place "to ensure that only non-U.S. persons outside the U.S. are targeted, and that minimize the acquisition, retention and dissemination of incidentally acquired information about U.S. persons." Clapper described the information collected under this program as "among the most important and valuable foreign intelligence information we collect, and is used to protect our nation from a wide variety of threats." (3)

So, despite the fears that Americans privacy is being surveyed, that liberty and due process are being sacrificed in the name of security and that American's protection from unlawful search and seizure is being ignored there is simply no verifiable evidence whatsoever to suggest that any of the above are the case. Perhaps in time future evidence may surface, but at present there is no reason to think that Americans' rights to privacy or protection from unreasonable search and seizure are being undermined by NSA surveillance programs.

Why the NSA Should Have the Legal Capacity to Monitor Data as it Currently Does

According to NSA Gen. Keith Alexander, NSA surveillance efforts have "contributed to the 'understanding and, in many cases, disruptions' of 50 terrorist plots, obviously implying that the unauthorized disclosures will hinder the future understandings and disruptions." (6) While "there are reasons to be concerned about intelligence-agency overreach, excessive secrecy, and lack of transparency... there are also reasons to remain calm." (7)

Hendrick Hertzberg argues: "The threat that [NSA surveillance measures] pose to civil liberties... is abstract, conjectural, unspecified. In the roughly seven years the programs have been in place in roughly their present form, no citizen"s freedom of speech, expression, or association has been abridged by them in any identifiable way... They have not put the lives of tens of millions of Americans under "surveillance" as that word is commonly understood." (7)

While critics of the NSA and its activities have traded on American's fear of observation, they have consistently failed to demonstrate that any individual citizen has been harmed, their rights unconstitutionally violated or suffered as a result of NSA operations. (8) As such, while it is perfectly reasonable to be suspicious of any such program, "intelligence agencies are not designed to interact with the citizenry, nor do they have or want prosecutorial power" meaning that the NSA "would probably break down bureaucratically if it attempted to shift gears from foreign observation to domestic surveillance in any threatening way," because "snooping on Americans isn"t what the NSA has been built to do." (9)

As Reuel Marc Gerecht, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a former case officer in the CIA"s clandestine service contended "We may be on the cusp of a new wondrous counterterrorist tool; or we may be seeing American officials, once again, looking for a technical solution to a problem that actually requires intensive human labor, some of it morally challenging and bloody. Given the volatile state of Islamic militancy, the imminent nuclearization of the Islamic Republic, whose ruling elite has terrorism in its DNA, and the likely coming defeat of the United States in Afghanistan, which will probably supercharge jihadism, a big attack inside the United States in the coming years wouldn"t be surprising. We should want to assess PRISM"s capacities thoroughly and critically. It may be a great technology"or it may be an overpriced dream whose promise was just too appealing. What we shouldn"t do is throw it away over unwarranted fears of snooping." (9)

In consequence, Americans expectation of privacy cannot (at least yet) be described as the opportunity cost of NSA efforts to protect US national security. There is no excessive overreach as those who trade on fear of the unknown would lead you to believe, and there are very good reasons to maintain NSA infrastructure as it exists now. Perhaps greater oversight is indeed something worth taking into consideration, but that is a separate issue because as it stands, no American citizen within US borders can be monitored by the NSA (or any other government agency) without that agency first obtaining a warrant to do so and respecting that individual's due process rights.

(1) http://www.washingtonpost.com......
(2) http://www.guardian.co.uk......
(3) http://www.dni.gov......
(4)http://www.dni.gov......
(5) http://techcrunch.com......
(6) http://blogs.reuters.com......
(7) http://www.newyorker.com......
(8) http://www.ca6.uscourts.gov......
(9) http://www.weeklystandard.com......
TrueScotsman

Con

Hello again,

I appreciate your well argued and sourced response to my post, I have a feeling the next two rounds will be even more exciting.

I however have found one major issue with your argument (much of it I agree with). It is the fact that your primary contention that the "NSA should be allowed to spy on us."

You also argued that, "Them spying on our calls will only help us from, future terroistic acts."

Yet now you are arguing the following.

1. "It cannot be used to intentionally target any U.S. citizen, any other U.S. person, or anyone located within the United States."

2. "So, despite the fears that Americans privacy is being surveyed, that liberty and due process are being sacrificed in the name of security and that American's protection from unlawful search and seizure is being ignored there is simply no verifiable evidence whatsoever to suggest that any of the above are the case."

Essentially what your argument has turned to is, that the NSA is not spying on the USA. When clearly outlined in your opening statement you made the assertion that they SHOULD be allowed to "spy on us... spy on our calls..."

This in no way refutes my arguments based on the Constitution of the United States that the NSA having authority to spy on American citizens is wholly illegal and unjustifiable. This shifting of the original contention to attempting to clarify that the NSA only spies on foreigners was addressed in my post extensively, but ultimately is not the contention you must argue nor the one I must disprove.

We are discussing the legality and morality of the NSA spying on US, the United States citizens. Something you went a long way to say they don't do, and still have not presented any positive arguments for why they should accept those that have already been refuted in my opening statements.

I therefore contend that my arguments against the motion of the NSA being allowed to spy on American citizens still stands, and remains unaddressed.

I will allow my opponent to now address the core issue of this debate, and will leave him with this quote from one of our most brilliant and beloved founding fathers.

"Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.” - Benjamin Franklin

Kindest Regards,
TrueScotsman
Debate Round No. 2
pranmar123

Pro

pranmar123 forfeited this round.
TrueScotsman

Con

Extension of my previous argument, as my opponent still has not addressed his changed contention, which is from the first post that the NSA should be spying on US Citizens.

Kind Regards,
TrueScotsman
Debate Round No. 3
pranmar123

Pro

pranmar123 forfeited this round.
TrueScotsman

Con

Extension of all arguments, my opponent has failed to address the fact that he has changed his argument and dropped his initial contention.

Kind Regards,
TrueScotsman
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Jacob60rt 3 years ago
Jacob60rt
To those who say what are you hiding I am no hiding anything I only wan my rights not to be tread upon.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by iruini09 3 years ago
iruini09
pranmar123TrueScotsmanTied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: i felt like it