Government Surveillance Debate

One group will argue that special surveillance of citizens is warranted in a time of terrorist threats to the United States, and will be assigned to the Pro Debate Team. The other group will argue that the PATRIOT Act, secret searches and surveillance by the National Security Agency violate the Fourth Amendment and other civil liberties of citizens and will be assigned to the Con Debate Team. Note: I will hand-pick students and assign each student to a particular side. Each side will have to come up with a list of reasons to support the side they have been assigned and should cite sources to defend their position. In these debates, you should integrate discussions of the nature, forms and causes of terrorism. For the second week of the module, you will marshal your arguments in the group that you have been assigned. In the third week, you should come back to this document and argue your points with the other group. Each group should appoint a spokesperson who will outline the principle position of the group. Debate Instructions You will be requested to participate in an on-line pro/con debate in a discussion format after conducting ample research for whichever side of the debate you have joined. See below for details on how to proceed. Debate Topic Special Surveillance of Citizens: Justified in a time of terroist threat (Pro), or a violation of the fourth amendment and other civil liberties (Con)? You are required to read the following in preparation for the debate: First: Article Research and Analysis Research, select and analyze a minimum of 2 journal or website articles in support of your assigned position and 2 journal or website articles against your assigned position (knowing the cons if you are a pro will help you better prepare your arguments, and vice-versa). Post a 100 word analysis per article. Cite the articles using MLA. If they are from a website, you must include the URL in the citation. Second: Support Your Position as assigned, Pro or Con Use your articles and other resources to support your viewpoint. You will be assigned to a group posting area for either the pro or the con team. Then, go to the other side. Challenge someone’s argument. Be sure to use your references to support your challenge. This means that someone from the other camp will have challenged your original statement. Go back and refute that challenge by continuing to support your original position. Cite Sources: Please remember that if you reference a source, you must properly cite the source. If it is a web-based source, you can easily include the URL so other students can link to the resource.

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