The Instigator
Con (against)
3 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
0 Points

Resolved: we must remove the usa patriot act

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/22/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 442 times Debate No: 63737
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)




I am con so it is natural I go 2nd so pro will start this out

Just some Clarification things

1. only accept debate if you really will debate

2. Have fun :D

3. come at least somewhat prepared if possible
good luck


I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


Yes the patriot act has certain things that should be repelled or changed such as privacy. In fact some things in the patriot act that scare the living crap out of me. But there is one beneficial part of it that shouldn"t be eliminated and that is the protection this act provides for American citizens.
1.Stops terrorism
"Protects power grids from being hacked by terrorist, power grids allow electricity and energy for people"s homes-Washington post
"According to a 29-page report to Congress released by Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft, Justice Department terrorism investigations have resulted in charges against 310 people and have yielded 179 convictions or guilty pleas. The report says the Patriot Act was central to those cases.-Washington post
"Information-sharing facilated by the Patriot Act was critical to the successful dismantling of terror cells in Portland, Ore., and Virginia. The information-sharing provisions contained in the act assisted the prosecution in San Diego of those involved with an al-Qaida drugs-for-weapons plot involving "Stinger" anti-aircraft missiles.
Source=NY times
"The act also aided in the prosecution of Enaam Arnaout, who had a relationship with Osama bin Laden and used his charity organization to obtain funds illicitly from unsuspecting Americans for terrorist groups-NY times
2.Enhances security
"Patriot act allows businesses and other private organizations to share threats which in turn enhances security
"Causes businesses to report fraud and protects borders as a whole
3.Saved lives
"The patriot act has even helped crime domestically by saving lives
"The report provides as examples lengthy accounts of non-terrorism cases in which the Patriot Act played a central role, including investigations of a couple who allegedly defrauded widows and orphans, and of an Indiana man accused of filming the sexual abuse of his 13-year-old daughter. Sensenbrenner highlighted the case of the Wisconsin woman, 88, who was kidnapped in. She was rescued after officials used the Patriot Act to obtain information from Internet service providers.-Washington post

Conclusion: Yes solution would be to keep most of patriot act and remove areas where we can where they violate privacy to much. Since it saves lives and stops terrorism benefits outweigh privacy cost anyway.


I'm glad you're already in agreement with the fact that it has an overwhelmingly large flaw as being anti-privacy. I'll start by stating how much more important it is that all people have this right than the few hundred 'saves' the Washington Post recorded.

1) A light deterrent to terrorism with a Trojan built in. It was released at the most opportune time to snake some extra government power past a scared public in the Bush era. Even the fact that you think 179 convictions to be significant is a sign of how scared we were.

2) It inherently decreases security by giving it up and putting it all in the hands of an organization who can't balance their own bank account or make any sound judgment in the best interests of its people. There should be no trust that they will act in your best interests. They are most assuredly more interested in company data than the person whos identity was compromised.

3) Again, one incident. The terrorist attacks we feel are aimed at us are just backlash from that same governments actions. They brought it about, played clean-up with this act and slipped in a government win in the process.

There are more people being affected by the act negatively than positively.
Debate Round No. 2


I will attack my opponents points first then back up case some

his intro/clarification thing

He says privacy should be valued over just 100 lives...
what he has to relize is that even if something is small and saves a little lives it still saves lives and should be valued. What if one of those 100 lives was him or me or any of you reading this debate or a child of someone who may be a parent reading this debate then we would value this death problem even more.
main arguments against privacy thing
1. government should value tranquility
I would be scared if a government valued privacy over saving lives anyday.. the government must ensure tranquility of people and besides if you have nothing to hide nothing to fear.
2.heavy oversight
Also heavy oversight to ensure info. isn't shared.
3. Publics view of the patriot act
Most people don't even know what the patriot act is so privacy isn't an issue with them anyway they are more worried about the NSA which has more access so people aren't effected by this and I am sure they are fine with it since the patriot act unlike the NSA is actually working
4. Some parts of patriot act could be removed
Some parts of the patriot act could be removed to ensure less privacy is violated a certain amount of privacy or things must be accessed to stop terrorist activity and I have shown successful results above so its worth it and again possible ways to lower privacy violated

Now moving on to my opponents first point:
Honestly I am a bit confused by wording of this point so my opponent can you please explain it to me on next round or whenever so I can address or talk about it?

my opponents 2nd point:
I disagree I agree yes budget problems can be an issue but solution is to donate more money to ensure patriot act continues to make progress in counter terrorism operations. The patriot act has stopped transport of terrorist equipment in places especially on the border, has protected power grids and electricity in general from hackers, and saves lives, it also causes businesses and other private organizations to share threats which in turn enhances security. So yeah solution would be to help them with budget to ensure these trends continue.

his 3rd point: I think he is saying these instances are fake or played out
Honestly that's not true and if their budget really is small they couldn't afford to waste money on fake terrorist attacks/instances (now if this isn't what you said then please clear it up for me next round or on your next speech.)


To reiterate my first point, the 'Trojan' would be that a section defining that selective search and seizure of information could be performed by the government as long as they say it was in the name of anti-terrorism security. This opens up a huge backdoor for abuse of power. Stringing the seized data to a conviction is enough to make it seem legit.

To that point, we define info sec breech damage by how many were exposed to a breach. The government breached billions of users data to score 1 arrest? Think of the collateral damage there. If only 1person lost $20 in a Target credit card breach ... we don't call it only $20 in damage. Everyone numbers who were exposed get lumped in there. Their data had value ... even if the average person can't fathom a dollar value for it.

Proprietary company info gets exposed when the feds get involved ... that has value. The marketing damage that ensues from a gov't audit when there's a breach ... has value.

I feel bad putting a dollar amount on a life here, but companies like that lost more money, more capital, more resources than that person saved ever would have brought to the table.

I don't mourn him in this convoy though as I feel I've stuck up for him and placed his best interests most highly in my first point, which was how his privacy and anonymity be paramount. If anything is a deterrent to terrorism or any other targeted attack, I would think ones anonymity be the most effective.

Info sec is one of those constantly progressive ' bigger stick' things. The more the government consolidates data and makes cross company access easier and more accessible ... the more easily an adversary can exploit it, leading to the need for a 'bigger stick'. A slope towards more power relinquished by the people.
Debate Round No. 3


My opponent brings up how a lot of money could be lost using patriot act measures but even if that's true which is hard to tell its worth it to save a life. Yes maybe that one person couldn't bring that much money to the table but consider this. That person can't be brought back but money can be made again and again and as the dollars value is actually decreasing anyway.

I have shown the following key benefits of patriot act
1. Protects power grids
2. Stops counter terrorism operations including transport of dangerous weapons
3. Patriot act allows businesses and other private organizations to share threats which in turn enhances security
4. Causes businesses to report fraud and protects borders as a whole
5. "According to a 29-page report to Congress released by Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft, Justice Department terrorism investigations have resulted in charges against 310 people and have yielded 179 convictions or guilty pleas. The report says the Patriot Act was central to those cases.-Washington post

From what I can see this debate is mostly money vs life based. So if you value money over 1 person go pro but if you value all these benefits coming off the patriot act then go con


I think you're wrong about you being the life based vote. A life without freedom is not one worth living, The government is essentially devaluing life through the use of acts like the patriot act. They devalued that victims life far before I ever stated it. If anything, revoking this act brings more value to our lives.

Also I rebuke your leaning toward a death being some sort of indefinite value that cant be matched by other damages. They are all linked in my eye. We are talking decimals vs. whole numbers ... not life vs. money. A death = 1. Being out funds for necessities may damage my life by .01. We are talking a couple hundred deaths vs billions of .01's. They add up. Your disregard for smaller damages in light of a save from death is admiral in fantasy, but not practical.

It is not a good measure of the damage to everyone else. This is getting people to support causes with less yield often take convincing and empathy. It takes you asking the people to make an make an unreasonable assumption (that they could fall victim terrorism or how would they feel if someone they loved died) when in reality they never have to face this threat. Their chances of being the one falling victim to one of those caught terrorists is so incredibly low that it takes a scare tactic on the side of your government security to get people to support such an improbability.

Im in no way a terrorist supporter, but i can identify with them that the only way to fight a superpower from a stance of low power and have such the high impact that they do is through the use of scare tactics. Cause the community to change itself internally than actually attack it. The patriot act does exactly this. Changes our very principles and foundation, they thing they hate and envy so much. The downfall of the their enemy being the ultimate goal. The downfall of their structure, core ideologies, and beliefs being intermediate goals.

If we succumb to acts like this ... they are winning. Plain and simple.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by FreedomBeforeEquality 1 year ago

I suppose I should stop thinking in facts then, that way I wont seem like i came to the table with all the right answers already?

I really don't even have to say the words "I believe" before stating that giving up your security to the government is affording us less security. Its in the bloody statement.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Imperfiect 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: All of Pro's arguments were base don Pro's previous opinion. None base on reasoning done after analysis. Con had undefeated contentions all the way through to last round. show me one example of Pro not basing things on 'i think' or 'in my opinion'