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

The National Security Agency's powers ought to be decreased and further regulated.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/3/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 679 times Debate No: 43366
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)




On this resolution I will be arguing in agreement with the topic that the NSA's powers ought to be decreased and further regulated.

The rounds will go as follows:
2-Opening Statements
4-Rebuild and Closing Statements


Looking forward to a great debate! Seeing as the debate topic is a positive assertion, I hope to see pro define "decreased" as well as "further regulated" in opening statements. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1


Ben Franklin once said: "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

For the debate I offer the following definitions (All Merriam-Webster):

decreased- (past tense of decrease) to lessen in intensity/ degree

further regulated- regulated (past tense of regulate) is defined as the control by means of regulation; "further" then means a continuation on current regulation and add an additional regulation.

Point 1: The powers that are given to the NSA are not properly expressed-

Within recent years, spotlight on the powers of the NSA has now fully and national been the scene of much criticism. As this is today a growing age of information the true ideas of privacy have yet to have truly been outlined by the United States congressional system. With the growth of fear of terrorism in the United States, new acts such as the "Patriot Act" have immediately given exclusive and ever increasing power to the NSA. With this growth of power however, the true extent of this power remains completely undefined.

In The Guardian article titled "Members of Congress denied access to basic information about NSA" it points out not, citizens, but in fact members of congress were denied access to information involving the process of gaining of information by the NSA. For example, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D) was asked by MSNBC reporter "How much are you learning about what the government that you are charged with overseeing and holding accountable is doing from the newspaper and how much of this do you know?" to which his reply was: "The revelations about the magnitude, the scope and scale of these surveillance's, the Meta data and the invasive actions surveillance of social media Web sites were indeed revelations to me." Going further it found that members of congress, on both sides of the political spectrum, were completely denied access to any information on even their most basic intelligence gaining. Republican Rep. Morgan Griffith stated: "If I can't get basic information about these programs, then I'm not able to do my job...[my job includes] making decisions about whether these programs should be funded, but also an oath to safeguard the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, which includes the Fourth Amendment.
The president is also subject this point as well. Most recently, President Barack Obama was unaware of the surveillance on Chancellor Angela Merkel. (

If members of congress and the president do not known on this until the same time the exact issue was then made public then the program itself is lacking in a basic ability of people to understand the non-secretive basis of how information is gained. This then proves that these powers need to be "further regulated" in order to allow this basic information known.
Point 2: These powers are growing not stagnating nor shrinking-

The powers of the NSA today have now increasingly grown, not shrunk. According to the New York Times Article titled: "N.S.A. Report Outlined Goals for More Power" the NSA did issue a February 2012 paper in which they states they would "aggressively pursue legal authorities and a policy framework mapped more fully to the information age". Likewise they went on to state that they have the authority to gain information on "anyone, anytime, anywhere". Finally, the NSA stated that "The interpretation and guidelines for applying our authorities, and in some cases the authorities themselves, have not kept pace with the complexity of the technology" which alone proves the necessity of legislation to further decrease this power before this interpretation becomes even broader.

What many believe is the NSA's simple mission is counter terrorism, but this barely makes up a small portion of the NSA's true goals. The Electronic Frontier Foundation found that this authority has been expanding to include "foreign intelligence information". This broad term has gone on to refer the gathering of foreign intelligence that deal with the U.S., then making the statement of "deal with the U.S." even more broad in interpretation. Today, the largest interception of information by the NSA occurs in nations such as: Iran, Pakistan, India, China, Egypt, and the United States. This lack of definition goes farther to prove that these powers are growing in"Wartime Executive Power and the NSA’s Surveillance Authority II" By Robert Levy, he points out that: "Notwithstanding any other law, the President, through the Attorney General, may authorize electronic surveillance without a court order under this title to acquire foreign intelligence information for a period not to exceed fifteen calendar days following a declaration of war by the Congress."
But to further show the growth of this surveillance, this map shows the nations where it is most prevalent. Those nations are then darkened below:
File:Boundless Informant data collection.svg

In Conclusion:
1)The powers given are not properly expressed and therefore should be further regulated.
2)These powers are growing unacceptably high and therefore should be decreased.

For all these reasons I urge you to vote in affirmation of the resolution.

Benjamin Franklin. (n.d.). Retrieved January 3, 2014, from Web site:



spankythang503 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Unfortunately, my opponent (the negation/con) has not given any points or a case at all in this debate for the affirmative to refute. Therefore my opponent has no case to build upon.
I would still like to encourage my opponent to post a refutation in this round of my case to at least keep this debate going, and then I would like to still end with a rebuild and summary statements in the fourth round.

But, because my opponent has no case or points while the affirmative/pro has given points to this resolution, I urge you to vote in affirmation/pro of this debate. I am also looking forward to the negation/con's refutations within this round.

Vote Pro.


spankythang503 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


My opponent has now failed to sadly provide any argument or counter argument. I am disappointed that this debate was not able to take place and any argument posted in this last round would be unfair because I would not be able to refute. However, I am still encouraging the con to say anything for this last debate round.

Thank you for hearing my own side of the debate. Vote Pro.


spankythang503 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by whiteflame 3 years ago
If I wasn't already involved in two other debates, I would accept this in a heartbeat. Good luck with whomever accepts, it's an interesting topic.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Hierocles 3 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Good resolution. Pro deserves the win.