Debating Surveillance: The Intercept Examines High School Debate

The Intercept’s Jenna McLaughlin attended the Southern Bell this year to report about the community’s debate about surveillance.  Her article was just released, and here’s an excerpt:

“THESE DAYS, Lena and Faith are on top of every new development in the world on the path to this year’s spring tournaments — the national championships.

“It can be difficult to keep up with every new event, especially leading up to the final tournaments in the wake of Scalia’s death, the FBI-Apple battle over encryption, and so much more, but change is the nature of this activity and especially such a timely topic as surveillance,” Lena writes in an email.

A few nights before the Nashville tournament started, a Wall Street Journal article reported that the NSA, in targeting Israeli communications, swept up communications belonging to members of the U.S. Congress. Lena and Faith  hastily edited their arguments to include facts from the article, and to suggest that Congress would be more likely to favor limits to spying because members would now feel like targets.

That was a good argument, but a bad prediction. Congress still has no stomach for a genuine debate about the limit of government surveillance in modern society. For that, we need to listen to the children.”

You can find a link to the entire article here.

McLaughlin has asked for added input from the community.  If interested in adding something, please see the information below:

Are you a high school debater who’s been developing an interesting argument about surveillance? Maybe it’s personally powerful, or unique, or unbeatable? I’d love to hear about it. Send me an email at describing your argument — and feel free to include pictures or video.


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