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The Contender
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Should the USFG Substantially Curtail its Domestic Use of Drone Surveillance?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 2/27/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 351 times Debate No: 87210
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (0)




LAYOUT: Round 1- Present Cases; Round 2- Constructive; Rounds 3&4- Rebuttals
The Negative has to win ONE STOCK ISSUE to WIN the debate. The Stock Issues are:
SIGNIFICANCE-Why the problem matters
HARMS-What wrong is being done to American citizens and people
INHERENCY-What is wrong with the current state of being
TOPICALITY-How the affirmative meets the resolution
SOLVENCY-How and If the affirmative plan solves.
The affirmative has to UPHOLD ALL 5 STOCK ISSUES to WIN.


I accept this debate with the understanding that the burden of proof is neccesarily on the affirmative team (who advocates a change in the status quo) and that he or she is to present a specific plan text under the resolution, wich is legitimately subject to counterplanning, kritiking, and topicality arguments. Thank you for choosing me as your opponent and thanks to all the judges for reading. I now await opening arguments from Pro.
Debate Round No. 1


I WILL GIVE SOURCES FOR ANY OF THIS EVIDENCE UPON REQUEST: The domestic use of drones will continue unabated. As mandated by Congress, there will be 30,000 drones crisscrossing the skies of America by 2020. These machines will be able to record all activities, using video feeds, heat sensors, and radar. No department flies more drones than the Pentagon, which has about 10,000. Defense Department documents show that the military is making plans to base drones at 144 sites in the U.S. Pentagon officials have said they soon expect to fly more drones in civilian airspace in the U.S. than in military only zones.
The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights; Article 12, States :
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.
Drone technology presents a unique threat to privacy in the fact that they are substantially smaller than traditional aircraft, making them practically invisible at altitudes where a traditional aircraft could be spotted from the ground. Also, drones operate almost SILENTLY. The very capabilities that make micro-drones effective: intrusiveness and silence, make possible new forms of privacy invasion.
The USFG will adopt the Preserving Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act, which among other things, requires a search warrant that will be issued by the department of justice courts based upon probable cause of criminal activity for domestic use of drone surveillance. And second, we will slow the amount of drone surveillance that is used. Funding, if needed, will come from a financial transaction tax. And enforcement will be by all necessary means.
By adopting the plan, we will gain the following advantages:
Advantage I. Inalienable Right to Privacy Preserved.
Drones make it possible to procure large amounts of info ordinarily unobtainable during a physical search. Perhaps more significantly, drones make it possible to obtain personal info that intrudes upon privacy in inventive and increasingly invasive ways. Activities performed within the confines of the home could be observed with great detail. Senator Rand Paul's proposed bill, the Preserving Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act of 2013, would require a warrant for most situations in which drones are used "to gather evidence or other information pertaining to criminal conduct or conduct in violation of a statute or regulation." Exceptions to the blanket warrant requirement would include border patrol missions, prevention of terrorist attacks, and circumstances in which police have reasonable suspicion that an imminent danger to life is at hand and are thus required to take immediate action.
Advantage II. Increased Air Safety
More than 400 U.S. drone crashes have occurred since 2011. Twice causing loss of lives, when they crashed into a Southwest Airlines jet taking off from LaGuardia Airport in New York, and an Air Force C-130 Hercules transport plane in midair. Many catastrophes have been narrowly averted, often by a few feet, or a few seconds, or pure luck...
Also, Maldrone, a drone hacking device that is built specifically to infiltrate drones, and Skyjack, which uses your drone to take over the drones around it. And finally, the airline industry is key to the economy. In 2012, economic activity attributed to civil aviation-related goods and services totaled $1.5 trillion, generating 11.8 million jobs with $459.4 billion in earnings Aviation contributed 5.4 percent to gross domestic product. In 2012, aviation related value-added economic activities totaled $847.1 billioin, or 5.4 percent of U.S. GDP.


Thanks for hainvg me pro, let's start. Pro needs to give sources now otherwise the voters should disregard his claims and take source points. Also, in this round we have to abide by the origional 2015-16 debate resolution - Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially curtail its domestic surveillance

Topicality - curtail

A. Definition from merriam Webster— Curtail: to reduce or limit(something)

B. Violation— Pro's plan is essentially a curtailment of future U.S. drone surveillance, or in other words, he wants to prevent future surveillance from ever occuring. One can only reduce or limit something which currently exists, meaning Pro doesn't curtail and is non-topical.
C. Standards and limits of the Res— Allowing curtailment of future activity is against the framer's intent and explodes topic area leading to an unfair negative research burden.
D. Voting Issue — If we allow people to debate entirely different resolutions we destroy the purpose of having a pointed resolution at all.

A kritik of Human Rights

Rights trivialize our collective humanity and make real, individual ethics impossible: Barker 2002, Lecturer in Communications, and a doctoral candidate in the Department of Philosophy at Cardiff University. Alain Badiou: A Critical introduction, p. 135- 136

"Badiou rejects outright the doctrine of universal or natural human rights. in order to return ethics to its proper ground, philosophy must once again be made to seize the event of the militant act. It is from Kant that we inherit the founding principles of ethics as human rights. And yet what we overlook in accepting Kant’s categorical imperative, according to which human beings act with some ideal notion of human conduct in mind, is the extent to which this doctrine makes man a victim. At every level of public life the rules binding individuals into various pseudo-social contracts of mutual rights and responsibilities threaten to trivialize our collective humanity, Law, along with the booming legal industry, which, supports it, rather than right, more than ever dictates the path of ethics as 'ethical policy', a policy which, at the limit, is nothing more than the capacity of a constitutional government to keep its subjects in order. Against this paltry vision of man as a 'mortal animal' who requires constant supervision by the laws of the State, Badiou heralds 'the rights of the Immortal for themselves."[1]

Ethical principles remove us from the urgency of particular needs. We focus on identifying situations that match the rules, rather than imagining a positive vision of the future. This reduces us all to a subhuman mass.

The alternative is to break with such rules and give ourselves over to the particular event—what Badiou calls fidelity to the event. Badiou, 98

"if our only agenda is an ethical engagement against an Evil we recognize a priori, how are we to envisage any transformation of the way things are? In reality, the price paid by ethics is conservatism. The ethical conception of man prohibits every broad, positive vision of possibilities. To forbid him to imagine the Good, to think what might be in terms that break radically with what is, is quite simply to forbid him humanity as such. to be faithful to this situation means: to treat it right to the limit of the possible. Or, if you prefer: to draw from this situation, to the greatest possible extent, the affirmative humanity that it contains. Or again: to try to be the immortal of this situation."[2]

Our alternative can only succeed by maintaining its distance from the state. Politics must be conceived of as the search for a universal that is uncompromised by political calculations. Badiou, 05

"The political convokes the power of the State. the political always coincides with repression. The true characteristic of the political event and of the procedure of truth which it activates is that a political event assigns a measure to the excess power of the State, fixes the power of the State. As a consequence, the political event interrupts the subjective errancy of the power of the State. The egalitarian maxim is effectively incompatible with the errancy of state excess. it is absolutely necessary that the state of the situation be put at a distance by a rigid calculation of its power. egalitarian logic cannot be broached except when the State is put at a distance,"[3]


the executive branch willl circumvent the policy via national security letters: Sanchez 15

"NSLs allow the FBI to obtain telecommunications and financial records without even needing to seek judicial approval. the government used them so promiscuously that the FBI didn’t even bother using 215 for more than a year after the passage of the Patriot Act. FBI is happy to substitute NSLs for 215 orders when even the highly FISC manages a rare display of backbone. In at least one case, when the secret court refused an application the Bureau turned around and obtained the same data using National Security Letters."[4]

The UPA Act, guarantees circumvention by allowed the violation of rights – the plan doesn’t repeal it: WU, 15, Associate Dean and Professor, Thurgood Marshall School of Law

"even with restrictions government surveillance [may] circumvent explicit [c]onstitutional guarantees expressed in the First, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments.” it [is] easier for the government to circumvent constitutional guarantees because [of] the UPA."[5]

Pro's plan will get circumvented, the government will find other aircraft - No reason to vote pro: Stanley 2015

"there are several very powerful mass-surveillance technologies that utilize low-circling manned aircraft, including “Dirtboxes” and persistent wide-area surveillance in which an entire 25-square mile area can be monitored, and vehicles tracked, for extended periods of time by a single camera. Those certainly qualify as mass surveillance devices. Rather than warrants, they may just be obtaining “pen register” orders. agencies can’t use the planes “solely for the purpose of monitoring activities protected by the First Amendment" but when agencies want to do surveillance they always claim to have other reasons so the monitoring is not “solely” for such monitoring. we know their surveillance capabilities are growing by leaps and bounds."[6]

Inherency - 9 states already have put limits on warrantless drones, 10 more states are in the proccess of drafting and enacting legislation: Martinell 15

"At least 10 states are currently considering legislation that would restrict the use of drones as warrantless surveillance tools, establishing important privacy protections at the state level and thwarting the federal surveillance state. States placing limits on drones include California, Wyoming, Colorado, North Dakota, Kentucky, Virginia, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and Connecticut, and sources close to the OffNow Project say they expect to see that number grow in the coming weeks.They could soon states join states that have already placed limits on the use of drones, including Wisconsin, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Texas, Florida, Illinois, Indiana and Tennessee. Each of these bills place restrictions on the use of drones, most commonly requiring law enforcement to obtain a warrant before using them to gather data. While they are all similar, legislation varies in the level of restriction imposed, protections against abuse, and additional bans."[7]

Anarchy Instead

Plantext- The United States Federal Government and all relevant territories should cede authority to the individual people of America.

Anarchism is the only solution to the corruption and oppression displayed by the ruling class of American hierarchy: Stanton, 2003

"Anarchy would be a positive development for the USA and the world. it would erode the oppressive tools of control for the wealthy and those who exercise political and military power. Plato had it right for he knew that the endgame of all governing and profit/war-making classes has always been to entertain each other on the domestic and foreign stage. He also knew that those who rule need the masses as they serve as both pawns and audience for the powerful. Imagine a system which eroded the power of the institutions through which these people ruthlessly rule. Ruling classes fear anarchy. Americans are more inclined in 2003 to believe rap stars than US politicians or business and military leaders. They also know that lies and damn lies are endemic to their society and that there are few consequences"[8]

Anarchy will end inequality, injustice, homelessness, nonpossession, and provide wealth for all: Tucker 06'

"the end of hierarchy would see the well-being of all" and it is "high time for the worker to assert his [or her] right to the common inheritance, and to enter into possession of it. liberty requires the abolition of capitalist private property rights in favour of "use rights."[9]

Citations in google docs
Debate Round No. 2


First off, I'd like to start by saying that for time constraints (tennis practice), I couldn't provide sources, and that's why I said that the Negative could get them upon request. He can ask for them in Round 3 and I can provide them in Round 4. And I would have to agree with the Neg. that we shall abide by the original resolution. I was just trying to provide a base.

Alright, lets move on to Topicality...

First, lets start with my counter-definition to the Negative definition:
A. Curtail - to reduce or limit something, or to stop something before it is finished, from Cambridge Dictionaries, 2016
B. I meet the definition above because, as the Neg. and the definition state: I am cutting something off before it is finished. I am preventing future pervasive surveillance and pervasive surveillance right now (see Harms, Inherency, and Significance) by cutting off mass drone surveillance and reducing it down by slowing surveillance and requiring warrants from DOJ courts.
C. Standards - I uphold all standards because the only standard that the Neg. attacked was Framer's Intent, which basically states that the creators of the resolution didn't mean for it to be this way. Well, in response, I say that we should keep in mind that Standards of Education would contradict this, since we're trying to find all the boundaries of a debate, and we can't listen to the Framers when taking into account a Standard they created.
D. Topicality is a Voting Issue for reasons of Education

My opponent provided a Kritik on Human Rights, with his supporting philosopher being Immanuel Kant. Well, Kant supported and carried Kantism with the idea spawning from Machiavelli, which states: "the end justifies the means". The end, with drone surveillance, ultimately is nuclear war and death, seeing that a nation will revolt over tyranny and violations, seen in the Declaration of Independence, and revolts can lead to civil war, and other countries will get involved and it will lead to nuclear war. So, if the end really is justified by the means, we all die essentially.

To attack the NSL circumvention argument:
My opponent only provided evidence regarding the FBI, which is ONE small blip in referral to the federal government. There are other DOJ divisions, Department of Homeland Security, etc. so even if these 215 orders allow immediate action through the FBI, there are several other components to the federal government.

Attacking the direct circumvention arguments:
The Neg. stated that other aircraft will be used, and drone usage will already be cut off, but a drone is defined as:"A remote-controlled pilotless aircraft" by Google Definitions, and all of the aircrafts that could be used would fit that definition. In addition, "pen register" orders are given out by FISA, and I specifically stated in my plan that we will be acquiring warrants through Department of Justice Courts. NOT FISA.

My opponent states that 9 states have already adopted this legislation, with 10 more in the process of adopting it. Basically, what my opponent is saying, is that it's good and protecting us from abuse and other harms. These are 19 states. We want all 50 to adopt it with the PFUSA enacted by the federal government, so even if it's already being drafted and enacted, it hasn't been done FULLY across the nation.

There is a reason that people use Anarchy to refer to a state in which people go crazy and there's fire and death everywhere, and that is a spawn of Thomas Hobbes's state of nature. He claims in his book The Leviathan that a state of nature without any form of government would lead to the fear and danger of civil conflict, and that the bare minimum government would be an unaccountable sovereign.

For all these reasons and reasons that I have supported my case, I strongly and respectfully ask for an Affirmative or Pro vote in this debate. Thank you.


TheJuniorVarsityNovice forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


jaguardebater forfeited this round.


I apologize for my forfeit however I had a car accident which landed me in the intensive care unit with a concussion and three brain contusions. I'm recovered for the most part so I figure I'll finish out this debate.

First, I'm extending my arguements that Pro has the complete burden of proof because he is of course the proposition, who advocates a change in the status quo.

Now here are two very simple reasons I win by default. I understand that I may not argue any points being that this is the final round, however, I can extend out dropped, and therefore conceeded arguments. The first of which is my arguement about the existence of the UPA ACT which is used by the government to garuntee the violation and circumvention of our rights, specifically our right to privacy. This makes his plan entirely useless and means I win INHERENCY, per the rules this means I win because I won at least one "stock issue"

Last but not least was my kritik. My opponent argued that it was wrong becuase the evidence agreed with Kant who would agree with his plan. But that's not even close to what it said. It in fact kritiked Kant, because he is the creator of a concept of moral imperatives, the quintessential example of ethics. So because this goes 100% conceeded, extend out my impacts to accepting human rights: (A)justifies colonialism (B)makes people into subhumans and victims that need to be saved AND (C) Ethics require that good can only exist so long as evil does, without evil there is no good according to ethics. These are perversions which we have to get away from, that means acceting my alternative: badiou's ethics of truths.

so this deabte is really easy to evaluate:

- PRO dropped my UPA Act argument in his one rebuttal, meaning it's conceeded, meaning I win the stock issue INHERENCY, meaning I win per the rules

-PRO didn't refute the kritik, maybe he skimmed or something but it was entirely wrong and not even close to on topic. That means its conceeded and my alternative must be accepted to outweigh the impacts of accepting his ethic of human rights.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by TheJuniorVarsityNovice 7 months ago
I just was writing my argument and forgot to check the timer. just missed it about two minuets ago. If you want, here it is.
Posted by TheJuniorVarsityNovice 8 months ago
I'm a senior policy debater, soon to be college policy debater for Kansas University, so I'll accept if you want. Just assign me as your opponent and we can get started.
Posted by DavidMancke 8 months ago
Can the affirmative supply comment defining "curtail..? This could be either reduced usage, or restricted uses but the same quantity of use within new restrictions. It will be pretty important to evaluating if the affirmative is resolutional.
No votes have been placed for this debate.