The Instigator
Con (against)
The Contender
Pro (for)

My parents have several cameras in the house, so they can play I spy. Is this justified?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/30/2017 Category: Technology
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 3,310 times Debate No: 102826
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
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I bought my mom a security camera for her birthday. I suggested to my parrents that they put the camera outside, infront of thr mail box. We order a lot of packages online, so a security camera by the mailbox could prove useful. My parents had different plans for the camera, they placed it in thr kitchen instead. They liked it so much, they ordered 3 more. I kept trying to tell them that they go outside the house, but once again, they had totally different plans for the cams. They ended up placing a camera in their bedroom, living room, and basement. One of the cams even has a mic, so they can speak to you and you can talk to them, while they are away. They turned the cams into a total spy game. My step dad will sometimes say, I see you sitting in my chair. They look at the cams as a toy, fun in games. My dad got excited when he caught me breaking my diet. My mom and dad spy on each other every day. My step dat then placed one of the cameras in thr bedroom next to my room. I'm guessing they did this because they wanted to place the camera as close to my room as possible, without actually putting it in my room, so they can pick up as much audio as possible.

I have bigger concerns and believe I am looking at the bigger picture. The cams are connected via wifi and can easily be hacked. The NSA, CIA, or any advertising company like Google can get a sneek peep of what is going in your house and use it for marketing, but of course if I think this way, I must have a tin foil hat on.


I know this may seem intruding, but honestly it is their house and it's beneficial to you. For example, you mentioned that they caught you breaking your diet, isn't that good since it will deter you from breaking it again? Also, if the cams can pick up audio from your room without being in your room, then they could hear regardless of there being a camera.

These cameras will deter you from doing things that your parents would not want you to do. They don't want you breaking the rules, can we blame them for trying to discipline their children?

Also, it's not that bad considering they place it in places outside of your room. You have privacy there. Just don't be too loud or they would be able to hear you. :)
Debate Round No. 1


My parents never once stopped to think if we should put cameras in the house. Most people including myself go though life only asking, "If we can", and never once stop to think, "If we should". I know its their house and I have to live by their rules as long as I live under their roof, I just don't think they are looking at the big picture.

Having cameras in the house changes what I say and talk about in the house. I can be called out for virtually anything I say, for example, "making a joke about Donald Trump". Having cameras in the house also changes the way I relieve my anger. In the past, I would vent my anger by talking to myself when everyone is gone, I know have to hold it in, especially if I don't want it caught on tape. I'm not the only one that needs privacy, my parents need privacy also. I know that my mom gets upset because he can now keep tabs on her even when he's not at home; Then my dad gets upset because my Mom sometimes covers the camera with her coat. I would think that this type of behavior would cause a lot of arguments and problems in a marriage. I try not to let it bother me or so any emotion because if my stepdad see's that it bothers me, he will only do it more.

These IOT (Internet of Things) devices are not really secure. If the Cameras ever do get hacked, then anyone can see or here what you are doing. The Russians have been known to post live footage online of hacked cams. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want the whole world watching and hearing everything in private. To make matters even worse, my parents are naive when it comes to cyber security. My parents have a habit of ether using default passwords or using short 8 digit passwords that can easily be cracked.

My parents also don't realize that anything they say or do in their house can also be used againts them. If you are accused of a crime and the cops come to your house with a search warrant, the cameras can be used againts you.


This my argument, having cameras around the house doesn't change the fact that you're going to get called out for "making jokes about Donald Trump". If your dad hears you make a joke about Donald Trump from the next room, then he's going to call you out on it. It's not as if you remove all cameras, your dad is going to stop ordering you to not do things.

As for your anger, you either need to find another way of venting which would help, and let's not pretend that there are no other ways. Or, you can do it anyways and see if your parents accommodate. This seems like a negligible argument in terms of whether having cameras is justified.

The main issue here seems to be people keeping tabs on each other. The way I see it, this is more of a family problem to be honest. Y'all should be able to know what each other is doing considering y'all are a family, without being hateful towards it. If a family member is doing something that someone doesn't like, they should work on communication and empathy, rather than blame this on having cameras.

As for your IOT not being secure, that's completely false. The probability is really small, even though it looks shocking because of the number mentioned. In the article it specifically mentions default passwords, easy answer, change it from default and make it more secure. Again, none of this is addressing the topic of having cameras, your points have to do with family communication skills and cyber security naivety. Untopical.

Finally, you mentioned if someone does a crime then the cameras can be used against them, good! Imagine if everyone had one, then we would have less criminals. Simple answer, don't be a criminal. In fact, if someone accuses you of a crime, the cameras may help you avoid a sentence. For example, someone says you were killing someone at 4pm, however the cameras clearly show you sleeping. Case closed.

Extend my argument about deterring people in the house from doing bad things in the public's eye.
Debate Round No. 2


If IOT devices are secure, then why do so many experts say they are not. It takes more then just having a long complex password to keep these devices secure. You can only do so much, but without the manufactures help, there is very little you can to to secure these devices. Manufactures are slow to release firmware updates and security patches. Most of these devices use weak encryption, or no encryption at all. Most devices don't even use two-factor authentication. Hackers have been turning these devices into botnets. Hackers have many methods of obtaining passwords, if they only had two-factor-authentication. The easiest way to attack these devices is by doing a man in the middle attack. It only takes one compromised device on the network to allow a hacker to intercept the cams. If I have my friend come over and his android phone is part of a botnet, then a hacker can easily intercept the signal. If my dad decides to update or transfer via usb, then these devices can easily become infected at firmware level. Most manufactures don't bother to sign or encrypt their firmware, so plugging the device into an infected computer would also infect the firmware of the cams (badusb.) These devices have also been known to leak sensitive information. It was discovered that the Phillips smart lightbulbs were leaking wifi passwords. A researcher created ransomware for smart thermostats; It is possible to make it super hot, super cold, or blast the AC and heat at the same time making the bill sky rocket. The average user has 10-15 devices connected to the internet. As the IOT devices become cheaper, more people will start to buy them. Some estimate that by 2025, 75 billion devices will be connected online. Imagine instead of having 10-15 devices connected to the internet, you have 75-150 devices connected online. This is just a small number of things that will become smart:
Philips wifi lightbulb, smart toys, smart pet toys and dog trackers, smart shoes, smart vacuums, smart stove and oven, and etc. If the Internet was secure, then you wouldn't be hearing about cyber attacks or ddos attacks that happen almost daily. Manufactures have also been known to include backdoors in their products; The NSA has also been keeping exploits that they find and not report them. If that isn't bad enough, they even buy exploits. To make matters even worse, The NSA was hacked and now all their hack tools, malware, and exploits are being sold to the highest bidder. If you want to challenge me on this, then I will provide sources from wiki leaks (Volt 7) as well as other documents from the Snowden revelations. I have included several sources down below to prove that these devices are not very secure.

People today don't care about privacy because they feel they have nothing to hide, I guess this has become the American way. You said, just don't break the law, if everyone had a camera in their house America would be safer. First of all how can you be sure you never broke the law, even a minor law. Their are thousands and thousands of laws and some of them aren't enforced anymore. I will give you an example, It's a federal crime to be in possession of a lobster under a certain size. It doesnt matter if you bought it at the store, or caught in the lake, technically you can go to jail over a lobster. My parents sometimes smoke pot, isn't this breaking the law? You also have big companies like Facebook and Google that collect this information. They use this information to target you with aggressive advertising. Data mining is a multi billion dollar business. Most people will take the time to shred their email, but they don't care if their information is used for advertising or sold off to data brokers. In my opinion its totally absurd.

I have left sites like facebook, ditched most of Google services, stopped using urber, and switched to Apple because I was sick of being targeted with aggressive advertising. I don't like when I start seeing ads on my facebook, or status updates based on what I said or what was in my text messages, or hoe Facebook modifies your cookies or uses Super Cookies so they can track you even when you log off. I dealt with it for a while, until it got worse. Shortly after I started to receive alerts and offers on my phone based on location. Not only this, but the permissions that Google required were not only invasive, but they were extremely dangerous. As far as I am concerned, its harassment. The permissions only got worse and worse. I have went into a store and they ask me all kinds of personal questions, like I'm buying a gun or something. I just tell them I don't have time for that.

I know that its almost impossible to stop spying or companies sharing my information without my consent, but I can at least keep it to a minimum.

I wanted to make one more point. In the past I have been targeted with aggressive malware. The malware that I am talking about is not your typical malware. I'm talking about government grade malware. The reason I have been targeted is because I speak openly against the status quo. If I have been a target by some elite hacking group, then they have an incentive to break into those cams. I actually made a video of my infected PC. After asking around and found a few techs that have heard of this type of malware, they said their was nothing they could do. I then asked if they could get the files off the USB, and they would't even touch it saying that it would infect them as well. I have posted a link down below, its a GPU Hypervisor rootkit.


You begin your speech with a flawed statement, "If IOT devices are secure, then why do so many experts say they are not.", the reason is that the same could be said for the opposite side. This is like arguing that God is real because many biblical scholars say so. But you cannot ignore the fact that there are experts that also say he doesn"t exist. This statement is useless in proving any argument. Now this is the MAJOR problem with my opponent"s whole case. First, not only does it only address the IOT debate, which means they concede every other argument put forward aside from this. But they also do this thing where they address many problems with devices, but 1) it"s unrealistic to expect someone to refute every single one with evidence 2) they don"t quote any experts in the field. They do cite some articles, but they must explicitly quote them to know which evidence they are specifically talking about. 3) My opponent doesn"t address the statistical possibility of someone getting hacked. Yes, they mention many things, but this is just to make it rhetorically look like a lot. This is conjecture. There needs to be some sort of statistical possibility of getting hacked proportionate to how many devices there are. This whole first paragraph provided by my opponent is useless.

My opponent seems to try to refute my statement about cameras deterring people, by using the argument that people aren"t sure if they broke a law. 1) If there is such a law, then it wouldn"t be consequential considering not all crimes is worth pursuing. 2) They wouldn"t check your footage unless there was something else consequential you were accused of. 3) Again, could save your life. 4) This not speculation and not provable considering if I asked you to prove it, you will provide the minor law, and thus it would be acknowledged. Therefore your statement about there being a law we don"t know about, is not provable. 5) This seems like a stretch. 6) You said yourself, "and some of them aren't enforced anymore", thus making it that they won"t try to prosecute. And you bring up the lobster example, you acknowledge this, thus it"s not a law you don"t know about. Also, there would obviously be environmental or animal issues involved with this law. It"s not some arbitrary law. They have good reason to, if they even do, enforce the law. And you also bring up pot, of course there"s good reason to have pot be illegal, and we can turn this into marijuana debate even though it would be steering form the topic at hand. And again, no citation for these laws and their impacts. You don"t go to jail for every crime, not all crimes are equal.

Wait, what does advertisement have to do with the topic at hand? Aggressive advertising is done for money, if you don"t like those sites, then don"t join. No one is forcing you to use those websites. The permissions are not invasive, even if so, you don"t need to use google. Google offers you services in exchange for these questions and ads. This isn"t harassment if you choose to continue to use their service, and you"re sensitive for thinking google is harassing you by using ads. Then you talk about going to the store and them asking you personal questions, again, don"t go to the store. This whole paragraph was untopical.

Finally, let"s go to the argument about top secret elite hackers who are messing with you because you speak against the status quo. Huge facepalm. Bring up the evidence of these hackers, and then we might argue about this, but this is unwarranted. I speak against the status quo, no problems here. The video you posted below, obviously a troll video and check the dislike bar.

Next, onto my arguments that my opponent has totally conceded.
1) Extend my argument about deterring people in the house from doing bad things in the public's eye.
2) Less criminals, whether caught or deterred.
Debate Round No. 3


I have provided several sources about IOT security and each of them explain how they are insecure. I even explained why they are not secure; The FCC and the FBI have warned that these devices could be hacked by criminals. My opponent has not posted any links proving that these devices are secure, or talked about what security manufactures include in their products. I have posted two more links about IOT security flaws. Cyber attacks along with security breaches happen almost daily.

Hackers have many incentives to hack these devices. These devices can be used as botnets. Once a device becomes part of a botnet, hackers can attack and infect other devices on your network, they can also attack other devices outside of your network. This is the new trend in hacking. You can actually buy infected devices on the dark web, its big business. Hackers can also infect devices with ransomware or doxware. Doxware is even worse because not only does the hacker encrypt your files and demand a ransom, they will threaten to release sensitive information such as personal photos, files, text messages, personal conversations, and ext. The hacker may also sell all the information on the black market if you don't pay. The hacker can demand a ransom multiple times and blackmail you into paying them whenever they please. Hackers may hack your cams just because they like spying or they may like looking at girls get undressed, the list goes on and on.

The probability of getting hacked is high, especially because most people don't know much about cyber security or people don't pay any attention. Some hacks are impossible to prevent.

Researchers and white hackers have proven that IOT devices are not secure. When a researcher finds a vulnerability, they provide a proof of concept. Hackers that participate at black hat have also done several demonstrations to prove that these devices are not secure. A few researchers have even gone so far as to release code along with full tutorials on how to hack these devices; as a way to pressure manufactures into patching vulnerabilities and start taking security seriously. I would also like to point out that criminals can use the same backdoors and malware that governments use.

They are inviting people like the NSA, CIA, law enforcement, hackers, foreign governments, data brokers and advertisers to come into their home. My step dad even put a camera in his shop, why why why? My step dad shopped is probably the most secured room in the house. The shop is secured with a deadbolt lock. People should not put cameras in their home unless they have a good reason to. My parents are not only wasting their hard earn money, but they are enslaving themselves. The cameras should be placed outside. If the cams get hacked outside atleast the hackers can't here or see what is happening in the house.

Anything you say can be used againts you in a court of law, that also goes for civial lawsuites. You can say or do something and any evidence that your cam collected can be used againts you. You can say a joke and all the sudden it can be taken out of context.

You may be OK with thr goverment knowing everything about you now, but a day may come when you fear your goverment. As artificial inteligence improves and the goverment can store more data about you, everything that you ever said or did can be turned against you. Can you imagine if Hitler had the same technology that we have today, a lot more people would have been put to death.
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Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by SJM 3 years ago
No problem with doing both, both plans are not mutually exclusive
Posted by RussellMania741 3 years ago
I told them that cameras should go outside the house. Most people that get security cameras place them by their mailbox. I'm more worried about the goverment or someone else snooping on me. The Internet is not very secure, hacks and security breaches happen almost daily. I have read a lot about malware and different types of hacks. Many hacks can be pervented, but their are many hacks that are impossible to stop.
Posted by Sandy_358 3 years ago
I agree with the instigator, security cameras have no place in a functioning home. Easily hacked, the cameras are unsafe. Did you try to explain that they could be hacked to your parents? Did you tell your parents that the cameras make you uncomfortable? If it becomes too serious, can you dismantle the cameras yourself? Can you "accidentally" break one? Are you old enough to move out?

Also, it f they ever put a camera IN your room, call the police. You deserve privacy, especially since you change in there. And just because they're your parents, doesn't make it okay for them to record you while your in your bedroom. You have the right to privacy, and if they record you while your changing or at any point that you're not fully clothed, they can be charged with child pornography. They will be forced to take the cameras down, possibly be fined, and their custody might be taken away for a few weeks. This is an extreme measure, but honestly, your parents sound like they don't want the best for you. You stated that if your step-father knew that the cameras annoyed you, he would put more up in order to annoy you further. This isn't a healthy relationship, and it's borderline emotional abuse.

My parents did the same thing. They put up a bunch of security cameras, and I hate it, I don't know what to do. I'm too young to move out, so I'm stuck in the same situation as you. Please keep me updated!
Posted by Zidane 3 years ago
To be honest, you are the one with the justified reason to feel uncomfortable, even though that is some kind of 'paranoid' for other people.
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