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The Contender
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the unites states federal government should substantially curtail its domestic surveillance

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/2/2015 Category: Education
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 7,991 times Debate No: 70945
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
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For the government to substantially curtail its domestic surveillance, there are many flaws to this plan. The United States government should not restrict domestic surveillance because of the well known fact of new terrorist attacks. Terrorist attacks can happen any day, any time, and anywhere. There are only 3 ways to stop terrorist attacks which are interrogation, penatration, and signals intelligence. 2 of the ways are invalid due to the fact that there are consequences to them. The Interrogation is not valid due to Obama, Penatration is very difficult to do becaude the leak exposing a double agent. Then there is only one solution to this problem and it is the signals intelligence- monitoring the enemy's phone calls and Internet communications.


I would first raise issue with the vagueness of my opponent's opening arguments.

1) For the government to substantially curtail its domestic surveillance, there are many flaws to this plan.
This is not a properly structured sentence. What plan are you referring to exactly?

2) The well known fact of new terrorists attacks
Unless it has happened already, an event is not a fact. Merely a possibility, however likely it might be.

3) There are only three ways to stop terrorist attacks which are interrogation, penatration, and signals intelligence
According to whom?
Google defines terrorism as:
The use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.

So defined, one could argue that open diplomacy is a fourth way of preventing terrorism by assuaging people's need to resort to violence. (This, obviously, by providing them with legal, non-violent ways of achieving the same goals)

4) Two of the ways are invalid due to the fact that there are consequences to them
Calling something a fact doesn't make it so. What are the consequences of interrogation? (Obama?)
Interrogation is not valid due to Obama?
What does this even mean? I certainly hope you are not implying that because Obama exists people are not allowed to ask each other questions. If you are referring to torture as a means to interrogation, then not only have you misspoken but you have also failed to account for nonviolent means of interrogation.

What are the consequences of Penetration? (I assume here you are referring to covert infiltration)

"becaude the leak exposing a double agent"? Do you mean because a possible leak could expose an undercover agent?
Why do these consequences invalidate the approach? One could argue that infiltrating an organization, though there is always the risk of exposure and death to the agent, is a perfectly legitimate way of acquiring information and preventing terrorism and though it is true and lamentable that the agent might end up sacrificing his/her own life, it is a soldier's sworn duty to do exactly that for the safety of others. Moreover it is reasonable to understand that the results of successful infiltration far outweigh the voluntary sacrifice of one person's life, however tragic it may be. "That others may live" is a slogan used within the US military forces.

5) there is only one solution to this problem and it is the signals intelligence
This statement is made false not only by your failure to recognize the validity of both your other proposed solutions (infiltration and interrogation) but also by neglecting the possibility of diplomacy as an alternative.

Diplomacy, because it is by its very nature a way for people to resolve conflict peacefully, provides an alternative route to political change, removing thusly the need for violent acts. As such, it is particularly useful as a deterrent of terrorist campaigns. This serves as a practical example of positive reinforcement which is an alternative to punitive systems and which is considered in many instances more effective than punishment as it does not just attack improper conduct (such as terrorism would be) but also promotes proper conducts (such as legal ways to voice concerns).

Furthermore, domestic surveillance has its own dangerous consequences. It is not simply a matter of personal privacy (though there certainly is that) . The issue concerns the stability of the US government.

Simply put, in order for our current societal model to function, citizens must act within the parameters of law. These are dictated by government. As such, to draw out compliance within its citizenship, a government must either portray an image of trustworthiness or one of oppressive control. Therefore it is reasonable to assume that citizens must either believe that the government acts in their best interest or the government must install a punitive system that is intimidating enough for the citizens to feel compelled to obey. The US government has, thankfully, opted for an image of trustworthiness. Domestic surveillance, as with any and all acts of espionage, is secretive and deceptive and as such, works directly against the image of trustworthiness. Therefore it threatens citizen compliance, creating an ambience of distrust which is conducive to criminal behavior which, ironically, includes terrorism.

When a government does not serve the interests of the people (or the people distrust its interest of serving them) they protest. When protests and other legal means of defending their rights fail (such as when the public outcry for privacy goes largely ignored by the NSA), they revolt. Such has been the case many times throughout history. A most obvious example is the US war against Great Britain which led to its birth as a sovereign nation.

Domestic surveillance is dangerous for this very reason. It not only deprives citizens of rights they believe they are entitled to, but it also paints the actions of the government in a light of deception which weakens its image as caretaker of its citizens. A weakened image leaves governments open to coups which we should be wise to remind ourselves that, though it is hard to picture the US government being overthrown by its citizens, those citizens have already done it once during their Independence War and attempted it once more during the Civil War.

Now, understand that I m not implying that civil war is the only possible outcome of people becoming disenfranchised with their government. The government might also resort to exerting its military force upon its own citizens. The US has, in fact, used military force against its own citizens several times through history.

Internment of Japanese Americans World War II

Ponce massacre by the Insular Police (A quasi military police group created and controlled by the US)...

... which led to the Utuado Bombing 1950

This type of punitive structure threatens US way of life as tensions over privacy concerns inch its citizenship towards civil unrest.
Debate Round No. 1


hannahng forfeited this round.


My case stands.
Debate Round No. 2


hannahng forfeited this round.


My case double stands.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Blade-of-Truth 1 year ago
Dang, I wanted to accept but I was hoping for the Con position, lol. Best of luck!
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