The Instigator
prasadaman
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
mhdebate98
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

There more more benefits to NSA surveillance than harms

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/10/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,266 times Debate No: 40293
Debate Rounds (4)
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prasadaman

Pro

1.My first contention is that terrorists pose a threat to the United States.
a.Subpoint A- Terrorists use the internet to plan and raise funds for attacks.
b.The number of terrorist websites has increased, According to FJ Kaplan, Eben. "Terrorists and the Internet" Council on Foreign Relations. January 8, 2009.
i. The Internet is a powerful tool for terrorists, who use online message boards and chat rooms to share information, coordinate attacks, spread propaganda, raise funds, and recruit, experts say.
c.Weimann, Gabriel. "How Modern Terrorism Uses the Internet" The Journal of International Security Affairs. Spring 2005.
i. Terrorists, for instance, can learn from the Internet a wide variety of details about targets such as transportation facilities, nuclear power plants, public buildings, airports, and ports, and even about counterterrorism measures. Dan Verton, in his book Black Ice: The Invisible Threat of Cyberterrorism (2003), explains that "al-Qaeda cells now operate with the assistance of large databases containing details of potential targets in the U.S. They use the Internet to collect intelligence on those targets, especially critical economic nodes, and modern software enables them to study structural weaknesses in facilities as well as predict the cascading failure effect of attacking certain systems." According to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, speaking on January 15, 2003, an al Qaeda training manual recovered in Afghanistan tells its readers, "Using public sources openly and without resorting to illegal means, it is possible to gather at least 80 percent of all information required about the enemy."
d.As you can see from this piece of evidence, al Qaeda can use public means to gather up to 80% of the information that is required about the United States. We need to stop these terrorists from being able to gather information about us, or it will harm the United States.
e.Subpoint B- Terrorist attacks have been stopped using domestic surveillance.
i.According to Erwin C. Marshall of the Congressional Research Service:
ii.According to intelligence officials, the two programs have "helped prevent over 50 potential terrorist events""which appear to encompass both active terror plots targeting the United States homeland and terrorism facilitation activity not tied directly to terrorist attacks at home or abroad. Of these, over 90% somehow involved collection pursuant to Section 702. Of the 50, at least 10 cases included homeland-based threats, and a majority of those cases somehow utilized the phone records held by NSA. The Administration has provided four examples: Najibullah Zazi, Khalid Ouazzani, David Headley, and Basaaly Saeed Moalin.
iii. As you can see from this piece of evidence, using domestic surveillance has worked in the past. The NSA has used it in the past to prevent more than 50 different terror attacks. If we did not use the methods we are using today, we would have not been able to catch these terrorists, and thousands of people may have died.
f.The impact is clear, terrorism is a real threat, and NSA surveillance is effective at stopping it.
2.My second contention is that NSA surveillance is not violating any of our rights.
a.The constitution itself states in the 4tth amendement:
i.The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
ii.As you can see, the constitution specifically states that there shouldn"t be any unreasonable searches. But, as you can see from our first contention, terrorists use the internet and other methods that the NSA could monitor. This means that NSA surveillance is constitutional.
b.According to Reul Gerecht of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies:
i.Civil liberties after 12 years of the global war on terrorism are actually as strongly protected in America as they were in 1999, when Bill Clinton was treating terrorism as crime and his minions were debating the morality of assassinating Osama bin Laden. The massive American government, born of the welfare state and war, hasn"t yet gone down the slippery fascist slope. They have not produced a decline of most civil liberties. Just the opposite. American liberalism"s focus on individual privacy and choice has, so far, effectively checked the creed"s collectivism. As much as the conspiratorial left and right would like to believe that big super-secret bureaucracies like the NSA are easily capable of violating our constitutional rights, the truth is surely the other way round.
c.As you can see from this piece of evidence, the NSA spying on Americans is not harming its citizens. The author of the card states that the government has not produced a decline of many of our civil liberties. This makes NSA surveillance very beneficial.
d.The impact is clear, NSA surveillance is constitutional. America was created on the basis of having a better government. So obviously, most Americans would want to still have their rights. Through NSA surveillance, we are not losing a lot of those rights, which means that Americans will be happier with their government. This is a huge benefit in today"s world.
mhdebate98

Con

Resolved: The Benefits of Domestic Surveillance by the NSA Outweigh The Harms. My parter and I negate the resolution.

Before we begin, I would like to define a few key terms.

Domestic is defined as, "existing or occurring inside a particular country; not foreign or international." (Oxford Dictionary)

Surveillance is defined as, "The systematic observation of places, persons, or things, by visual, electronic, photographic, or other means." (Department of Defense)

I. Tactically Ineffective and Strategically Inept:
R32;R32;Historically, NSA spying has proved to be an ineffective tool to prevent terrorist attacks. Although U.S. citizens are prevented from knowing most of the details, AT&T writings affirm that NSA data gathering began as early as February 2001. (1973)
NSA director Keith Alexander has been forced to admit under questioning by the Senate Judiciary Committee that prior claims of NSA spying effectiveness were deliberately misleading and that spying had not thwarted "dozens or even several terrorist plots." Alexander admitted that only 13 of previously bragged 54 foiled terrorist plots resulted from domestic surveillance and even those "weren't all plots, and they weren't all foiled."
In fact, by August 6, 2001 the best intelligence the NSA could offer was, "Bin Laden determined to strike in US" which even the NSA director dismissed as "historical information based on old reporting." NSA spying failed to predict the attacks of 9/11. Some other prominent domestic plots NSA spying failed to prevent include:
2009 attack at Ft. Hood
2010 Times Square car bombing
2013 Boston Marathon bombing
After Osama bin Laden declared war on the U.S. in 1996, he often repeated that his strategy would not be to achieve military victory, but to provoke Americans into excessive responses to terrorism. We have spent 3.3 Trillion in reaction to 9/11, money that could be spent elsewhere.
NSA spying plays right into the hands of terrorist long-term goals by:R32;1. Projecting the U.S. as a "big brother" state which discourages allies like Germany and encourages enemies. The U.S. loses some of liberty's high ground these days when compared against surveillance states like China or Russia.R32;2. This also corrupts American values. We no longer renounce torture in the name of security. We've sacrificed Presumption of Innocence in favor of drone strikes on citizens abroad. A surveillance state tears at the foundations of our freedom of speech, freedom of association, and freedom from unreasonable search. If we prevent every attack but sacrifice our essential liberties in the process, Bin Laden wins his war post-mortem.R32;R32;II.

Unconstitutional and Illegal:

NSA spying infringes upon our first, fourth, and sixth amendment rights. The first by inhibiting speech and assembly free from government monitoring and record-keeping. The fourth amendment because it guarantees against unreasonable searches. Law has established that government wiretapping is a search restricted by the Constitution. And the sixth because it states that the accused shall be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation. The American people did not even know the extent of being spied on until we were told by Edward Snowden earlier this year. And now there is a manhunt for the man that told the American people what they should have legally been informed of in the first place.
NSA surveillance creates that singularly un-American artifact: a database of every call we make, every social network we update, and everywhere we go. We know that phone tapping has a long history of misuse. Both Hoover and Nixon used wiretaps to advance their personal political power, and a letter from the NSA Inspector General to Sen. Chuck Grassley admitted to 12 known cases of abuse involving NSA surveillance. The NSA admits that in the wake of Snowden they are re-investigating 4,000 potential compromises of sensitive data.
It is illegal because according to the FISA Amendments Act, all they need to justify the spying is for a foreign nation to be involved. Domestic surveillance is not involving anything international according to its definition of being in one country, and is therefore illegal.

For these reasons, I urge you to vote for a Con ballot.
Debate Round No. 1
prasadaman

Pro

First off, i would like to provide a standard to follow: US welfare
second, my opponent only has one argument, which is clearly flawed for several reasons.
The definition of ineffective is not providing any significant effect. But, stopping 13 terrorist attacks is a big achievement. Let's say 1000 people die in one attack (on average). In that case we are saving 13,000 lives. that is a big number, and you can't call that ineffective. Also, you have to keep in mind that you cant stop every single terrorist attack out there. We can only stop a few. My opponent also states that surveillance is unconstitutional and ilegal. The 4th amendment states that there will be no UNREASONABLE searches. Preventing acts of terror is not an unreasonable reason. b.According to Reul Gerecht of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies: Civil liberties after 12 years of the global war on terrorism are actually as strongly protected in America as they were in 1999, when Bill Clinton was treating terrorism as crime and his minions were debating the morality of assassinating Osama bin Laden. The massive American government, born of the welfare state and war, hasn"t yet gone down the slippery fascist slope. They have not produced a decline of most civil liberties. Just the opposite. American liberalism"s focus on individual privacy and choice has, so far, effectively checked the creed"s collectivism. As much as the conspiratorial left and right would like to believe that big super-secret bureaucracies like the NSA are easily capable of violating our constitutional rights, the truth is surely the other way round.
As you can see, using surveillance is not violataing many of our rights. If you stil think a few rights infringed is bad, keep in mind that we are saving lives. Sacrificing a few rights is not that big of a deal if you are saving so many lives. As i have stated before, we have saved about 13,000 lives. That is more important than a few of our rights.
Thank you, and i hope you vote for the pro side for this debate
mhdebate98

Con

mhdebate98 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
prasadaman

Pro

Hello again,
i have to say that i am quite surprised that my opponents forfeited the last round. This means that they were given the chance to say something against my case, but they didn't. This means that thy agree with all of my arguments, because in the debate world, silence is consent. I would also like to point out that they didn't say anything about what i sad to their case, which is another major point in this round.
Since my opponent forfeited the last round, there is nothing else for me to say, considering they didn't say anything.
Thank you, and i hope you take my thoughts in consideration while voting.
mhdebate98

Con

mhdebate98 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
prasadaman

Pro

prasadaman forfeited this round.
mhdebate98

Con

mhdebate98 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
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