The Instigator
MyDinosaurHands
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Social-twitterfly
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

NSA's Data Mining (See for details) [Copy 2]

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Social-twitterfly
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/14/2014 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,300 times Debate No: 45990
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (15)
Votes (1)

 

MyDinosaurHands

Pro

Full Resolution: Let's pretend we know for sure that the NSA's Data Mining is a useful tool in protecting America from attacks, both domestic and foreign. I will argue that the NSA's Data Mining should continue, my opponent should do otherwise.

First Round will be for Acceptance.
Social-twitterfly

Con

Following my opponents instructions I will not have a first speech. I would like to say very nice topic though!
Debate Round No. 1
MyDinosaurHands

Pro

Thanks for the acceptance of my debate, and voters thanks for reading.

Safety versus Certain Privacies
I acknowledge that with the NSA doing its data mining, Americans and people abroad lose certain freedoms, privileges, or aspects to their lives, take whatever label you wish. Bottom line, people are losing some privacy. But is this a truly bad thing? I mean, what do you do on the internet? What do you do on the internet that is so unique and different, that it embarrasses you or outrages you that someone besides yourself knows you're doing it? In a country of 3 million plus people[1], is it very likely what you do on the internet is unique? Nobody sitting around in the NSA is actually going to care if you watch porn, you won't be judged when they see hundreds of thousands or millions of people doing that every day.

Now I do realize that embarrassment is not the only concern when it comes to being watched. There are also basic ideas of what you as a human being 'deserve', and most people think privacy is one of those things. But there is something that human beings clearly deserve more than privacy, and that is life. Frankly, it is selfish to say that you deserve your privacy more than people deserve their lives. It is a necessary sacrifice to make in order to care for one's fellow man, and to protect his life. What's the alternative, you get to browse the internet with your 'deserved' privacy, and citizens of America are now more exposed to the possibility of a loss of life from domestic or foreign attacks? Imagine an event like 9/11 happens, and it could've been stopped if the NSA was in place. Could you honestly tell the families of the victims of such an attack that their loved one's lives are worth your extra privacy? If that's something you could do, you need to adjust your priorities.

Thanks for reading.

Sources:
http://www.census.gov...
Social-twitterfly

Con

According to the resolution which states that NSA's data mining is a useful tool in stopping terrorism. It may be a useful tool in stopping terrorism, but how does it go about doing this? The NSA will track your phone using metadata, a system that looks for key words such a "bomb" "attack" etc. Once one of these words is picked up by the metadata system people working at the NSA go farther into research to see if you are a potential terrorist. This sounds like a full proof plan, but the NSA has absolutely no way to see who is actually using your phone. This is no small problem. A person of interest who is carrying this phone could give the phone to a family member/friend/acquaintance/a child it does not matter. The NSA gives the information on the phone to the CIA. From their the phone is bombed by a drone who does not make any effort to know who they are bombing. These drones known as Sky Reaper bomb cell phones, not terrorists. That means that if a known terrorist gives his or hers phone to an innocent friend, that friend has the possibility to be killed instead of the intended target. Their have been over 250 innocent killed civilians due to the NSA's information. Three of these people were US citizens visiting other countries. A little privacy being sacrificed is in fact to much of a price to pay for safety. The NSA's way of finding information actually hasn't prevented any terrorist attacks. We cannot say the NSA's method solves terrorist problems do not work simply because the NSA is collecting too much information they do not have the time to go through all of the information needed to stop a terrorist attack. We as citizens of the United States do not need the government to be watching us. The government acting on the things we have said be it through the phone, texting, emails, Facebook, other types of social networking is infringing on our First Amendment right. If the government can kill innocent people because of what they said without a fair trial is unfair, unconstitutional, and not American.
Debate Round No. 2
MyDinosaurHands

Pro

"A person of interest who is carrying this phone could give the phone to a family member/friend/acquaintance/a child it does not matter. The NSA gives the information on the phone to the CIA. From their the phone is bombed by a drone who does not make any effort to know who they are bombing."
This quote is the heart of my opponent's argument, and it clearly isn't pertinent to this debate, based off the terms set in my resolution. Drones bombing innocents is not an effective way of stopping attacks, and my resolution calls for an NSA that is effective in stopping attacks. Not only is the example he's using involve killing civilians instead of terrorists, it talks about the terrorists getting away, which can hardly be considered effective.

"We cannot say the NSA's method solves terrorist problems do not work simply because the NSA is collecting too much information they do not have the time to go through all of the information needed to stop a terrorist attack."
Here is another example of a statement made by my opponent that is not pertinent to this debate. He is supposed to assume that the NSA is effective, and saying they gather too much information to stop attacks runs directly counter to this.

"The government acting on the things we have said be it through the phone, texting, emails, Facebook, other types of social networking is infringing on our First Amendment right."
"..or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech.."[1] The First Amendment is about giving people the ability to speak their minds and express their religion. Observing someone when they speak their mind is not the same thing as making laws preventing them from speaking their minds.

"..unfair, unconstitutional, and not American."
Even if the NSA is doing things that are considered by some to not meet these subjective terms, it doesn't matter. As I covered in my first round, certain values cannot take precedence over saving lives. The same applies here. Just because it may not be constitutional doesn't automatically mean it's not right.

The use of founding principles or major American values in opposing the resolution is ineffective because there are Core Democratic Values that support my position. Like Life and Common Good[2]. What I'm trying to show here is that 'American values' or founding principals should not have a definitive say in this debate due to their contradictions.



Sources:
[1] http://constitution.findlaw.com...

[2] http://www.bridgmanschools.com...
Social-twitterfly

Con

My judges need to understand that the moment the government files charges for something somebody has said, that interferes with the First Amendment right. More specifically freedom of speech. Americans have the right to say what they want. The only way, and my judges need to understand this, is for the NSA to continue with Meta data "mining" they and my opponent need to prove how it is constitutional for the NSA to obtain information to use in a court case (and often, their isn't even a court case) and use it to sentence someone. My opponent stated that we need to agree that the NSA works perfectly essentially. I cannot agree to this because it gives unfair ground to my opponent, making it impossible for me to debate. My opponent says that my arguments are not topical. they are in fact. pertaining to the resolution Resolution: Let's pretend we know for sure that the NSA's Data Mining is a useful tool in protecting America from attacks, both domestic and foreign. I will argue that the NSA's Data Mining should continue, my opponent should do otherwise. I never said once in my debate that the NSA is not a useful tool in protecting the United States. What i am arguing is how the NSA is going about doing it.

"A person of interest who is carrying this phone could give the phone to a family member/friend/acquaintance/a child it does not matter. The NSA gives the information on the phone to the CIA. From their the phone is bombed by a drone who does not make any effort to know who they are bombing."
This quote is the heart of my opponent's argument, and it clearly isn't pertinent to this debate, based off the terms set in my resolution. Drones bombing innocents is not an effective way of stopping attacks, and my resolution calls for an NSA that is effective in stopping attacks. Not only is the example he's using involve killing civilians instead of terrorists, it talks about the terrorists getting away, which can hardly be considered effective.

It is an effective way of stopping a terrorist. But it is also a good way to create a lot of civilian casualties also. One reason why the NSA's data mining shouldn't continue. If innocent people are killed in the effort of stopping terrorism, it is not effective enough.

"We cannot say the NSA's method solves terrorist problems do not work simply because the NSA is collecting too much information they do not have the time to go through all of the information needed to stop a terrorist attack."
Here is another example of a statement made by my opponent that is not pertinent to this debate. He is supposed to assume that the NSA is effective, and saying they gather too much information to stop attacks runs directly counter to this.

Once again, i never said it was ineffective, but it could be more effective. The NSA's data mining does work, but not as well as it could.

The government acting on the things we have said be it through the phone, texting, emails, Facebook, other types of social networking is infringing on our First Amendment right."
"..or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech.."[1] The First Amendment is about giving people the ability to speak their minds and express their religion. Observing someone when they speak their mind is not the same thing as making laws preventing them from speaking their minds.

My opponents argument actually flows to my side. If we cannot let people speak their minds, we have no first amendment.

"..unfair, unconstitutional, and not American."
Even if the NSA is doing things that are considered by some to not meet these subjective terms, it doesn't matter. As I covered in my first round, certain values cannot take precedence over saving lives. The same applies here. Just because it may not be constitutional doesn't automatically mean it's not right.

Certain values can be valued as much as saving lives if the NSA's data mining worked better. I would just like to add, i never said in the previous sentence the NSA doesn't work, just that it could be better.

The use of founding principles or major American values in opposing the resolution is ineffective because there are Core Democratic Values that support my position. Like Life and Common Good[2]. What I'm trying to show here is that 'American values' or founding principals should not have a definitive say in this debate due to their contradictions.

We need to value the constitutions writings. We as a people cannot ignore the constitution because lives are more important. According to the constitution, Americans have the right right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Two of the three most important parts of the constitution agree with me, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. How can we have liberty without freedom of speech? How can we have happiness with the government constantly watching us?

Sources: 1. http://constitutioncenter.org...
2.https://www.aclu.org...
3.http://www.boston.com...
Debate Round No. 3
MyDinosaurHands

Pro

My opponent has continued his argument against the methods of the NSA, I'll keep my rebuttals brief and to the point, since I'm sure the voters don't want to see us talk in circles for too long.

One argument that my opponent is making is that he isn't actually saying the NSA is ineffective, it's just got a way of doing things we don't like.

"It is an effective way of stopping a terrorist. But it is also a good way to create a lot of civilian casualties also."
To counter this thought I'd like you to think of a hammer whose head is so big it'll mash your fingers when you try to hit a nail. Would you consider that a useful hammer?

"Once again, i never said it was ineffective, but it could be more effective. The NSA's data mining does work, but not as well as it could."
My opponent is lying here: "...do not work simply because the NSA is collecting too much information they do not have the time to go through all of the information needed to stop a terrorist attack." My opponent has clearly said they wouldn't be able to get through all their information in time to stop an attack, therein saying they wouldn't be effective in stopping an attack. Ergo this argument is invalid.

"If we cannot let people speak their minds, we have no first amendment."
True. But we're not talking about a law that prevents free speech. I have already given reasons why people shouldn't be bothered by their speech being observed. Frankly, my opponent has ignored my previous argument in regards to the first amendment.

"Two of the three most important parts of the constitution agree with me, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
Liberty is related to being able to express yourself and your religion. For reasons already outlined, NSA observation wouldn't stop you from doing this. Data Mining is not repression of your free speech. You can still stand up and say whatever you want. Pursuit of happiness is related to being able to rise to whatever station you want in life. It's about being able to pursue that life you want, and feel no constraints in that regard. The NSA stalking your Facebook posts is not going to prevent your freedom to work hard and make a good life for yourself. Not only are the two parts of the Constitution he brings forth not pertinent to the debate, he also can't make assumptions about what the most important parts of the Constitution are.

"We as a people cannot ignore the constitution because lives are more important."
Why not? My opponent has not explained why not, he has simply assumed we all treat the Constitution as Christians do the Bible. How do you explain to a family of a victim of an attack that could've been averted that their son/daughter died because rules on a piece of paper were more important than their lives?

Lastly, I'll leave an argument for those of you who buy my opponent's main argument. Even if you accidentally cause damage of a collateral nature, look at the big picture. Let's say they blow up a terrorist who is going to bomb a bank and three civilians. They still save more civilians than they lose, as long as the terrorist isn't the biggest idiot on the planet and goes into an empty bank. It sucks, certainly, but the alternative (such as 9/11) sucks way, way more.

Thanks for reading. Con, thanks for getting this debate over with quickly.
Social-twitterfly

Con

Before I begin I will just organize my speech so the judges can follow along better. First I will be defending my case from my opponents attacks, second I will attack my opponents case. Lets begin.

I'd like you to think of a hammer whose head is so big it'll mash your fingers when you try to hit a nail. Would you consider that a useful hammer?
Yes I would. The nail is still hammered in. The hammer did its job. Could the hammer do a better job? Yes it can.

"Once again, I never said it was ineffective, but it could be more effective. The NSA's data mining does work, but not as well as it could."
My opponent is lying here: "...do not work simply because the NSA is collecting too much information they do not have the time to go through all of the information needed to stop a terrorist attack." My opponent has clearly said they wouldn't be able to get through all their information in time to stop an attack, therein saying they wouldn't be effective in stopping an attack. Ergo this argument is invalid.
This attack tried to prove that my argument is invalid. It failed to do so because through the evidence I have shown and the arguments I have made to prove the NSA could do a better job that my opponent never attacked, the NSA is stopping terrorism, but is stepping over its boundaries to do so.

If we cannot let people speak their minds, we have no first amendment."
True. But we're not talking about a law that prevents free speech. I have already given reasons why people shouldn't be bothered by their speech being observed. Frankly, my opponent has ignored my previous argument in regards to the first amendment.
I never ignored my opponents previous remarks about freedom of speech, in fact, its quite the opposite. Peoples speech isn't just being observed, it is being used as evidence for sentencing people who are being persecuted for crimes they never committed.

"Two of the three most important parts of the constitution agree with me, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
Liberty is related to being able to express yourself and your religion. For reasons already outlined, NSA observation wouldn't stop you from doing this. Data Mining is not repression of your free speech. You can still stand up and say whatever you want. Pursuit of happiness is related to being able to rise to whatever station you want in life. It's about being able to pursue that life you want, and feel no constraints in that regard. The NSA stalking your Facebook posts is not going to prevent your freedom to work hard and make a good life for yourself. Not only are the two parts of the Constitution he brings forth not pertinent to the debate, he also can't make assumptions about what the most important parts of the Constitution are.
First I would like to say I actually presented evidence in my last speech about what the most important parts of the Constitution are. Obviously my evidence was ignored. My opponents specific attack should be ignored on the part about most important part of the Constitution. Continuing on with the beginning of my opponents attack, you cannot have liberty if you are being killed for saying something. This falls hand in hand with the NSA watching us. I for one cannot be happy if I know my government is watching me. That stops my pursuit of happiness.

"We as a people cannot ignore the constitution because lives are more important."
Why not? My opponent has not explained why not, he has simply assumed we all treat the Constitution as Christians do the Bible. How do you explain to a family of a victim of an attack that could've been averted that their son/daughter died because rules on a piece of paper were more important than their lives?
This is simple. More people will be affected in a negative way by the NSA's actions than the actual terrorists the NSA is trying to stop.

Lastly, I'll leave an argument for those of you who buy my opponent's main argument. Even if you accidentally cause damage of a collateral nature, look at the big picture. Let's say they blow up a terrorist who is going to bomb a bank and three civilians. They still save more civilians than they lose, as long as the terrorist isn't the biggest idiot on the planet and goes into an empty bank. It sucks, certainly, but the alternative (such as 9/11) sucks way, way more.
This attack couldn't be more falsified. You are eight times more likely to be killed by a POLICE OFFICER than a terrorist. The NSA giving police your private information can be more detrimental, and is more likely to get you killed than terrorists themselves.

Now to attack my opponents case

I acknowledge that with the NSA doing its data mining, Americans and people abroad lose certain freedoms, privileges, or aspects to their lives, take whatever label you wish.
My opponent left out the killing of innocent people to stop terrorists. That doesn't seem like a good way to preserve the lives of innocent civilians.

, is it very likely what you do on the internet is unique? Nobody sitting around in the NSA is actually going to care if you watch porn, you won't be judged when they see hundreds of thousands or millions of people doing that every day.
This argument does make sense. But people working at the NSA will misuse their power. People working at the NSA have been caught looking at ex girlfriends, ex boyfriends, pretty much anybody that want to look at. I do have proof for this. It will be cited.

Lastly I would like to thank my opponent for choosing such a great topic!

Sources: 1 http://www.cato.org...
2.http://www.cnn.com...
Debate Round No. 4
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Social-twitterfly 3 years ago
Social-twitterfly
As the con I accepted the resolution because it would be more difficult and i had more fun!
Posted by MysticEgg 3 years ago
MysticEgg
@dj21

*Tips top-hat*
Posted by dj21 3 years ago
dj21
Comes down to whether you would rather live free than die. I view it as a matter of personal taste, not something with a "correct" answer. To me, a loss of freedom is death in every meaningful way. But that is just me. I know plenty of others who value breath for the sake of breath. And though it is an interesting personal question, it is not something I care to formally debate.
Posted by MyDinosaurHands 3 years ago
MyDinosaurHands
LADIES AND GENTS. I apologize for the stir I have caused with my resolution. What I'm looking for in this debate is an argument of values, and depending on where it goes with my opponent it'll probably be Freedoms vs. Safety. I was just using a modern example as the backdrop. Once again, sorry.
Posted by Hierocles 3 years ago
Hierocles
I want to accept the debate, but why would we accept "Let's pretend we know for sure that the NSA's Data Mining is a useful tool in protecting America from attacks, both domestic and foreign" this from the beginning?

Craft a specific resolution that doesn't automatically cede all ground on national security.
Posted by Actionsspeak 3 years ago
Actionsspeak
However if Con accepte and ignores "Let's pretend we know for sure that the NSA's Data Mining is a useful tool in protecting America from attacks, both domestic and foreign."
Conduct should automatically go to Pro
Posted by Actionsspeak 3 years ago
Actionsspeak
Ok Pro you put "Let's pretend we know for sure that the NSA's Data Mining is a useful tool in protecting America from attacks, both domestic and foreign."
Because of this you should receive the burden of proof, an automatic loss in conduct voting, and an automatic tie in argument since Con can't argue his true argument. This is obvious since you said Con must pretend that data mining is useful, and the data mining debate is about whther or not it's useful
Useful[1]- : helping to do or achieve something

[1] www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/useful
Posted by progressivedem22 3 years ago
progressivedem22
I'd accept this debate if you would remove the assumption in the first line, for it isn't borne out by the facts and is, actually, one of the primary arguments against NSA spying: that it restricts civil liberties without providing any conceivable benefit. Essentially what you're doing is suggesting that we suspend the facts, and narrow the debate such that Con is at a significant disadvantage since you can point to a pretense as the basis for your argument
Posted by dj21 3 years ago
dj21
There are two reasons I can't take this debate: 1) as Abudai aptly pointed, there is an abundance of evidence that the system of data mining is grossly inefficient at best, and fatal for many of the wrong people at worst.

https://firstlook.org...

Secondly, "safety for the masses" is not limited to external threats. One need look to further back in history than the Soviet regime (read "The Gulag Archipelago") to see how a legal system can be set up to terrorize its own citizenry in a perfectly lawful fashion. Laws can always be removed or written to redefine what we currently take for granted as freedoms. Twenty years ago, the though of a President sending a drone to assassinate a U.S. citizen for a crime they have never been tried or convicted of would have been unthinkable. Today, it is just a fact.

I continue to be amazed that anyone who is not a government official or paid publicist for their view would hold the position that you are asserting. But apparently 1/4 of Americans believe the sun circles the earth. Just goes to show every reality is its own private Idaho.
Posted by MyDinosaurHands 3 years ago
MyDinosaurHands
@Abunai
I'm sorry you think that. I wanted this debate to center around whether certain freedoms are more important than safety for the masses. If the NSA's effectiveness was open for discussion that's what the debate would more likely center around.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by dj21 3 years ago
dj21
MyDinosaurHandsSocial-twitterflyTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: I felt Con did enough to easily win this debate. I thought the opening resolution was absurd. But Con agreed to it. Pro seemed to basically rest his case on that initial assertion, and hold that safety trumped freedom period. I thought Con's line of reasoning that the program could be "useful" at times, yet do far more harm than good in its over-reaching was perfectly valid. "Useful" simply means 'of practical benefit', and does not imply a lack of risk or error. Con presented evidence that the extensiveness of the NSA's data mining program created more new dangers for civilians than it solved. Personally, I would have liked Con to have challenged the NSA program on the grounds of the 4th Amendment and the wording of the Patriot Act itself. I think on both grounds, the NSA program can be viewed as illegal, regardless of its usefulness. Good manners and well-written arguments from both. Both could have benefited from more extensive source-citation.