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

Should the government surveilance programs be destroyed?

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/21/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 490 times Debate No: 75644
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)




Round 1-Acceptance, Round 2-Cases, Round 3-Rebuttals, Round 4-Defense
I will be affirming the idea that government surveillance programs are not only unconstitutional, but destroyed because it gives the government too much power.


I accept with the understanding that burden of proof is on you. I will negate all claims and perhaps provide counter reasons as to why government surveillance should not be complely destroyed, as the resolution entails. 100% gone, no more surveillance by the government of the united states.

Being that Pro didn't define any terms, I will throw a few general definitions into this debate.

The government: The United States Federal Government, consisting of the legislative, executive and judicial branches.

Surveillance: The monitoring of the behavior, activities, or other changing information, usually of people and often in a surreptitious manner....may be applied to observation from a distance by means of electronic equipment (such as CCTV cameras), or interception of electronically transmitted information (such as Internet traffic or phone calls). It may also refer to simple, relatively no- or low-technology methods such as human intelligence agents and postal interception.

destroy: to cause something to end or no longer exist.
Debate Round No. 1


I will gladly thank my opponent for providing definitions, and know I feel like a noob. If I was not clear in the beginning, we will be talking specifically about the NSA's government surveillance programs.

What the programs do-Before we get into the debate, we must first understand what these programs do. The government using surveillance can basically track anybody's internet history, Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler activity. The NSA has built advanced algorithms in order to store everybody's internet activity into big memory spaces.

Why this will hurt us- The government can basically look at everybody's internet history, everybody's social networking activity in the name of protection. What we see is a government saying we are going to protect you by you handing over your privacy. We know their doing it, but their isn't a button that says I don't want to participate in government surveillance. We have no choice. That is an example of the government taking away our freedoms. If you do not have a choice to turn the surveillance of than that is a freedom taken away from you.

The government also now has the ability to predict what you are able to do in the future. With all of your internet activity, social networking, they can predict what you are going to do. For example, the NSA can mark you in a mood category. Lets just say that you own a amazon kindle. You like to read books about science and the world you live in. They can easily predict that you might want to become a scientist. Or you might listen to music a lot, and play video games. They might also be able to look at your GPA. If your GPA is 2.10. They can make an assumption that says you are probably not going to get anywhere in your life. Or we can use this as a surveillance tool. Let's just say the government puts tight surveillance on what everybody debates here. Lets just say you actively attack the NSA. Your information will be put, and they will put you in an algorithm which makes you more easily to access. If you don't know, these kinds of things go on in a DICTATORSHIP. In Nazi Germany, Hitler's SS would watch and learn about what people think about Nazism, and if they are trying to go to any other political ideology. They did it in the name of protection. The Nazis said they did it for protection because they were trying to stop the evil communists. You might thing the people living in Germany were really stupid for falling for propaganda like that. But, no think about it. You are living a country that is going to war with America, Britain, Russia, you would want the feeling of protection. What happened was a lot of innocent liberals, socialists, communists, feminists were killed, and you couldn't do anything about it. The same thing is here in America. As Edward Snowden put it, they have a gun pointed at you, but they say trust us we won't shoot it. I will not trust anybody who has a gun pointed at me, and I think that my opponent would not like that either.


The resolution today is ‘Should the government surveillance programs be destroyed?’ We should look at this topic from multiple perspectives and in doing so I plan to show you that this resolution is trivial at best. First though we should talk about the big picture stuff.

Firstly, the opponent has conceded burden of proof and in doing so has acquired the responsibility of producing the evidence that will shift the conclusion away from the status quo to his own position (dissolving US surveillance). I believe he should maintain the burden of proof because he has already accepted it and usually the person making the claim takes the cake, as is often noted in the latin; ‘semper necessitas probandi incumbit ei qui agit. On the other hand, being that the burden of proof is on he who declares, not on he who denies, I am basically ‘innocent’ until proven guilty, so all of my claims must be proven wrong and no evidence must be provided for my own case unless to counter the opponent’s argument(s), in other words I must simply make sound arguments.

Secondly, I must point out that the opponent wishes to dissolve all surveillance, this includes all physical surveillance like following people, or catching pedophiles with internet bating, and providing false materials for those who wish to produce bombs or other hazardous things such as drugs…ect. This is true because if you refer to the definition of surveillance I have, it includes physical, person-person surveillance, not just NSA surveillance or the like. This definitely also includes typical video camera surveillance in postal offices…ect. Being that this is the case, I think the opponent has already lost this round.

Now onto the case itself.

Attacking pro’s arguments

Pro’s arguments rest upon the belief that privacy is actually a right. The first step to proving pro’s case will be to prove that privacy is really a right.

Secondly, pro’s assertions are fallacious. He was quoted in saying: “The government using surveillance can basically track anybody's internet history, Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler activity.” This is not true. The government basically has two ways to collect data. One is through broadband providers, right now the only broadband provider we know gives information to the government is Verizon but we can probably assume they have deals with most providers. In this method they can collect any data they can collect what is known as meta-data, info about the, who how when and where, but not the what. So they have free access to meta-data however there is a second type. In the second type they have unrestricted access to everything almost. Video chats, email, messages, video conferencing…ect. However they can only use this privilege on foreigners and have to be certain they are foreign before initiating their surveillance effort. In order to go spy on someone they bring their case to the FISA court and that court rules if it is OK. The problem is that in this court, known as the FISC the ones they intend to spy on have no representation and thus it is a one sided court case. The USA freedom act takes care of this, it adds representation among other things. So in conclusion of this secition there is indeed checks but they simply need to be improved. Again the CP handles this problem and all without exposing ourselves to terrorist attack.

Round Offense

Counter Plan

I propose a counter plan, instead of disbanding all surveillance the US which is a broad range of things such as cameras at the postal office and street lights. We should simply pass the USA FREEDOM Act which fixes some of the biggest issues in the status quo. This bill still allows NSA surveillance but according to my source[1] it prevents the NSA’s bulk and mass surveillance. It makes it so that the surveillance has to be case specific or as they say, targeted surveillance. The law additionally prevents the government from justifying mass surveillance with another part of the law. The new bill would also demand the secret FISA court that oversees intelligence activities release the legal justifications it’s used to approve some secret programs. The benefit of choosing the counter-plan instead of the resolution is simply that we still allow counter terrorism efforts and thus save thousands of lives in another 9-11 but we preserve reasonable privacy rights of the general populace in America. Furthermore the counter-plan still allows for the regular and very important, run of the mill surveillance such as surveillance at speeding lights, and tracking criminals’ activities.

Argument on increase of crime.

1.) Typical surveillance measures stop crime and lead to higher arrests and convictions of criminal activity.

2.) The plan prevents this.

3.) Less criminals get caught

4.) Damages justice in the US

Argument on terrorism

1.) The plan completely stops international and domestic anti-terrorist measures.

2.) These programs have been proven to prevent several terrorist attacks every year.

3.) Thus we will see a terrorist attack in the United States when we get rid of surveillance.

In conclusion pro should lose this round becuase he has made a resolution that is too broad and encoupases things which are clearly important to the good of the community such as traffic lights and cameras in goverment buildings, as well as common tactics of rooting our terrorists and criminals by baiting them or even just stalking a criminal over a period of time. This is again because the resolution requires every spec of surveillance be abolished. Because of this I propose a more moderate counter plan which simply fixes the biggest issues like lack of representation and most importantly, mass surveillance. Again though the counter plan shouldn't even be neccesary because he should win due to the huge increase of crime resulting from removing common surveillance practices. Furthermore I must invoke the argument that we are preventing a terrorist attack or terrorist attacks, which means US lives at stake and finally I question the very premise that privacy is a right. There is no amendment which says privacy is a right and thus I beseech the voters examine that fundemental premise of the round. In light of all of my argument I would be thourougly shocked to see a vote for the pro team. I thank my opponent for his participation and I thank any and everyone for taking the time to read my work, I now pass the pen back to Pro, Thank you.


Debate Round No. 2


I think I was probably very tired when I started this debate. I was arguing NSA surveillance and I agree with the Con's plan. I pass the round and con should win,


I humbly accept the concession, thanks for an interesting exchange. Please vote Con
Debate Round No. 3


Ariesx forfeited this round.


Pro stated his resignation of the round, I have accepted and thus I deplore a vote for the con.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Ariesx 1 year ago
No government surveillance at all.
Posted by IllogicalThinker 1 year ago
So you mean no Government Surveillance at all?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by lannan13 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Concession by Pro.