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Resolved: Governmental implementation of surveillance cameras in public places are beneficial.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/7/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 405 times Debate No: 73057
Debate Rounds (4)
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*Please accept this debate only if you will debate seriously*

Resolved: Governmental implementation of surveillance cameras in public places are beneficial.

BoP will be shared
No trolling
No vulgarity
No forfeiture
Claims should be backed up with sources

Round 1:
Pro - Rules & Regulations
Con - Acceptance only

Round 2:
Pro - Opening arguments
Con - Opening arguments and rebuttals

Round 3:
Pro - Arguments and Rebuttals
Con - Arguments and Rebuttals

Round 4:
Pro - Closing statements (no new arguments)
Con - Closing statements (no new arguments)

I look forward to a good debate. Best of luck to whomever accepts. :)


Accepted but I would first like to know what your definition of surveillance is and your definition of public spaces.
Debate Round No. 1



Former Governor of Connecticut Jodi Wells was once quoted in saying, “At the end of the day, the goals are simple: safety and security.” Security and safety are essentials to living a happy, contented life. When individuals feel insecure, problems ensue. A just government should do all they can to ensure a secure and safe life for their citizens. It is because I believe that the goals politician Jodi Wells mentioned are achievable, I affirm the resolution which asks: “Should governments install surveillance cameras in public places?” To begin, I would like to point out a few terms mentioned in the resolution.

Governments: The term implies that the ones in power of the country/state/city/etc. are installing these surveillance devices. As the government in the resolution is not specified as federal, it should not be restricted to such.

Surveillance Cameras: Merriam-Webster dictionary defines "surveillance" as the act of carefully watching someone or something, especially in order to prevent or detect crime. Cameras are obviously going to be a tool used to achieve surveillance. Thus, these cameras' primary purpose will be used as a form of security.

Public places: I will once again use Merriam-Webster dictionary to define this term; exposed to general view. As an area where it is obviously going to be exposed to general view, privacy should not be an issue. With this in mind, let us move on to the remainder of the case.

Benefits of Surveillance Outweigh Supposed Harms:

Security is inevitably achieved for public places.

As brought up by politician Jodi Wells, the goals of the government and for people in general includes security. It is a big problem, and we should be concerned about it. Recently, the city of Baltimore installed over 600 surveillance cameras all around the city. The reasoning behind this is simple. In a study taken by NeighborhoodScout, they found that Baltimore was one of the top 20 (18 to be exact) most dangerous cities in the United States. [1] Danger comes in all forms, but one is generally of more prominence--crime. Surveillance cameras, being their primary purpose, would assist in dealing with crime. With crime running rampant, people cannot feel secure in simply going to a public place.

When individuals are in fear, they definitely aren’t secure in the power or ability of their government. These cameras can also prove what actually happened, rather than unreliable “eyewitness” accounts. The majority of the time, these accounts aren’t the whole truth. As law professor Eugene Volokh of UCLA School of Law explains, “People are notoriously bad at observing and remembering exactly what happened.” [2] Either one of two things is the result of such fallible memory: 1) they can’t remember exactly what happened, so they tell the closest to accurate tale they can, or 2) they have the liberty to blatantly lie to law enforcement. Neither result is beneficial to achieving justice in whatever matter is at hand. With surveillance cameras strategically positioned in public areas, they can accurately display the chain of events. People will be secure in knowing that judgment that is due will be given, and any harm caused will be adequately dealt with.

Surveillance cameras also have benefits in school settings. They allow students to be physically, mentally, and emotionally safe. School shootings are becoming distressing problems, and many people are worried about the safety of their students. Security cameras can allow teachers and school guards (which many schools now have) to monitor any intruder that may approach the campus. If a suspect becomes aggressive, the school can monitor the actions of the attacker to prevent students from being in harms way. If the students can be mentally and emotionally safe, they will be better able to concentrate on their assignments and increase productivity.

Privacy is Not a Valid Argument:

The resolution explicitly states that it is referring to public places. If an individual is in a public place, it is reasonable to expect exposure to everyone. By going to a public place, every individual temporarily gives up their right to complete privacy. People (in most scenarios) are already allowed to film in public without requiring explicit consent from other individuals. Surveillance cameras only validate that right on a government level. A common argument against this relates to how the government seems “stalkerish” and how they However, the resolution clearly states that it is referring to a public place. Eugene Volokh once again explains, “These cameras are in public places, where people’s faces and cars are visible to everyone.” People are already going places where ANYONE can see them. That’s more people than would see government surveillance films. Furthermore, the information will only be accessed when needed, not out of leisure or stalking purposes. These surveillance programs simply allow the footage to exist in case a problem needs to be addressed.

Even if people think privacy is harmed, the simple fact is that it is not. The security cameras are in public places, and there is always private areas which are not monitored.

Problems Remain Unsolved Without Surveillance:

Court decisions can only go off of the evidence they have, and from there, their only option would be to trust witness accounts. In practically every case, each witness account contradicts with another in some way, shape, or form. Solvencies for these types of discrepancies are easily discovered by systems of surveillance by the government. Police tickets for running red lights, stop signs, and other traffic related difficulties would be cleared up simply by using surveillance programs. Not only would these unsolved problems be solved, but it would discourage individuals from committing crimes when they feel they have a regulated sense of accountability and punishment for illegal or adverse behavior.

There simply is so many benefits and no real arguments as to why we should not have public places under surveillance that the resolution should be affirmed by any just government seeking to protect its citizens.

Once again, I would like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate and would wish him/her the best of luck!




Ariesx forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


My opponent has forfeited. Extend arguments.


Ariesx forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


My opponent has forfeited. Extend all arguments.


Ariesx forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
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