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

The State should not suspend civil liberties in order to preserve security

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/3/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 719 times Debate No: 101648
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (0)





1. First round for acceptance, second round for presenting initial arguments, third round for rebuttals and extensions, fourth round for further rebuttals extensions and voters

2. By accepting the debate the Con agrees to the following definitions
State: The ruling body of a nation or territory considered as an organized political community.
Civil Liberties: Freedom from arbitrary restriction of rights

3. It is the burden of both parties to prove they have greater impacts in this debate

4. Counter-plans, Critiques, and disadvantages are acceptable

5. No Trolling, personal attacks, etc.


I accept your challenge.
Debate Round No. 1


Thanks for accepting this debate Doom-Guy-666-1993. I hope we have a fun debate

Justice as ensured through the preserving of civil liberties

a. Large movements to get justice and equality for a marginalized minority group would not have been possible without civil liberties and freedoms from government censorship. Examples include MLK's civil rights movement, Woman's suffrage movement, modern racial and feminist movements, and LGBTQ+ equality movements.

b. Civil liberties such as free speech are an important way to stop would be dictators:
"When you look at history, the first thing that dictators do is shut down the press. And I'm not saying that President Trump is trying to be a dictator. I'm just saying we need to learn the lessons of history.[1]"

1. US Government surveillance in the name of security is widespread and unethical

a. Under the patriot act huge amounts of warrantless surveillance took place:
"Since 2002, the agency [NSA] has been conducting some warrantless eavesdropping on people in the United States who are linked, even if indirectly, to suspected terrorists through the chain of phone numbers and e-mail addresses, according to several officials who know of the operation.[2]" The lack of a warrant means that there is no foreseeable end to the eavesdropping, as the NSA is effectively encouraged to spy on as many people as the can. Even if the NSA were to only target suspected terrorists it isn't just that you are you are spied on and surveilled simply because your name is Osama or you accidentally called someone who emailed someone who bumped into someone who might be a a terrorist.

b. Not only does spying on suspected terrorists go too far it sets a precedent allowing for mass data collection:
"Secret government documents, published by the media in 2013, confirm the NSA obtains full copies of everything that is carried along major domestic fiber optic cable networks. In June 2013, the media, led by the Guardian and Washington Post started publishing a series of articles, along with full government documents, that have confirmed much of what was reported in 2005 and 2006 and then some. The reports showed-and the government later admitted that the government is mass collecting phone metadata of all US customers under the guise of the Patriot Act. Moreover, the media reports confirm that the government is collecting and analyzing the content of communications of foreigners talking to persons inside the United States, as well as collecting much more, without a probable cause warrant.[3]" Mass data collection under no way ensures security but, as can be seen from the article cited above, is the result of allowing intelligence agencies to eavesdrop anyone and everyone they wish.

c. Simply the act of surveilling people can have negative effects on them:
"Evidence shows that even the possibility of being under surveillance changes the way people think and act, causing them to avoid writing or talking about sensitive or controversial subjects' discussions that are necessary for the functioning of a free society. Beyond this "self-censorship", the mass monitoring of citizens" communications and movements achieves only one thing: the development of mutual mistrust between the individual and the state.[4]" When people are avoiding these controversial topics intellectual freedom and discussion are smothered, conformity is encouraged, and democracy itself is threatened.

d. Data collection can be an excuse to spy on political opponents of the current Government:
"The six-year spying program, dubbed 'Minaret,' had been exposed in the 1970s but the targets of the surveillance were kept secret until now. The documents showed the NSA tracked King and his colleague Whitney Young, boxing star Muhammad Ali, journalists from The New York Times and The Washington Post, and two members of Congress, Sen. Frank Church of Idaho and Sen. Howard Baker of Tennessee. The documents were published on Wednesday after the government panel overseeing classification ruled in favor of researchers at George Washington University who had long sought the release of the secret papers. The intensity of anti-war dissent at home led President Lyndon Johnson to ask U.S. intelligence agencies in 1967 to find out if some protests were fueled by foreign powers. The NSA worked with other spy agencies to draw up 'watch lists' of anti-war critics to tap their overseas phone calls.[5]" spying on people based on their political opinions is a perfect beginning for the silencing of dissent, the curbing of civil liberties such as free speech and free assembly, and the creation of an authoritarian surveillance state.

e. Mass surveillance hasn't been shown to be effective
"the mass collection of telephone call records was a 'logical program' from the NSA"s perspective, one question the White House panel was seeking to answer was whether it had actually stopped 'any [terror attacks] that might have been really big.' We found none,' said Stone.[6]" If mass surveillance doesn't work and creates huge harms to society and democracy then there is no reason for it to exist.

2. If the State prioritizes security against some threat it creates an "us or them" binary mindset that harms the dissent paramount to a fair democracy.

a. After the September 11th attacks and the start of the Iraq only much later are the reasons for war questioned:
"Although we have heard, lately, about the abusive treatment of prisoners, and war "mistakes" have been publicly exposed, it seems that neither the justification nor the cause of the war have been the focus of public intellectual attention. Only recently (fall, 2003), have the reasons for waging a preemptive war against Iraq begun to be subjected to public scrutiny.[7]" after the attacks the government simply declared war on a few excuses, and both President Bush's statements "Either you're with us or you're with the terrorists" as well as the idea that antiwar meant terrorist effectively censored speech against the war, the current administration, or the human rights abuses we carried out. This put democracy on hold, threw civil liberties out the window, and began a war; all in the name of security.

b. After the September 11th attacks the press rejected any articles not in favor of everything the state did, effectively destroying academic dissent:
"The cry that "there is no excuse for September I I" has become a means by which to stifle any serious public discussion of how US foreign policy has helped to create a world in which such acts of terror are possible. We see this most dramatically in the suspension of any attempt to offer balanced reporting on the international conflict, the refusal to include important critiques of the US military effort by Arundhati Royl and Noam Chomsky, for instance, within the mainstream US press. This takes place in tandem with the unprecedented suspension of civil liberties for illegal immigrants and suspected terrorists.[7]" The policy of the United States after the attacks was filled with the suspension of civil liberties, basic human rights being taken away from immigrants, and the creation of a de facto one party state wherein only those who speak positively of the current administration are heard. This also makes it nearly impossible for people to voice potentially more effective responses to terrorism instead of starting a war and making future terror attacks more likely.

I had no room in my character limit to for my citations so they will be in the comments, thank you for understanding.
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Tree_of_Death 3 years ago
I'd be interested in debating this as a devil's-advocate sort of thing.
Posted by WAKAWAKA 3 years ago
Ok lol, do we let it run or is there an end option? i'm a noob so idk
Posted by Doom-Guy-666-1993 3 years ago
I read it wrong, i reckon you restart this debate, i am with you on this, the government should not stop civil liberties for security.
Posted by mplo 3 years ago
Suspending Civil Liberties in order to obtain security is not the way to go. As Ben Franklin quoted: Those who would give up Civil Liberties for security will get neither.
Posted by WAKAWAKA 3 years ago
My Round 1 citations which exceeded character limit

[1]: Accessed 4/3/17
[2]: Accessed 4/3/17
[3]: Accessed 4/3/17
[4]: Accessed 4/3/17
[5]: Accessed 4/3/17
[6]: Accessed 4/3/17
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