Nsa affirmative

Surveillance creates too much data

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Surveillance creates too much data

(___) Mass surveillance creates a Tsunami of data, undermining counterterror efforts.

Maass , national security reporter for The Intercept, 2015

(Peter , 5-28-2015, "Inside NSA, Officials Privately Criticize "Collect It All" Surveillance," Intercept, https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/05/28/nsa-officials-privately-criticize-collect-it-all-surveillance/)

AS MEMBERS OF CONGRESS struggle to agree on which surveillance programs to re-authorize before the Patriot Act expires, they might consider the unusual advice of an intelligence analyst at the National Security Agency who warned about the danger of collecting too much data. Imagine, the analyst wrote in a leaked document, that you are standing in a shopping aisle trying to decide between jam, jelly or fruit spread, which size, sugar-free or not, generic or Smucker’s. It can be paralyzing. “We in the agency are at risk of a similar, collective paralysis in the face of a dizzying array of choices every single day,” the analyst wrote in 2011. “’Analysis paralysis’ isn’t only a cute rhyme. It’s the term for what happens when you spend so much time analyzing a situation that you ultimately stymie any outcome …. It’s what happens in SIGINT [signals intelligence] when we have access to endless possibilities, but we struggle to prioritize, narrow, and exploit the best ones.” The document is one of about a dozen in which NSA intelligence experts express concerns usually heard from the agency’s critics: that the U.S. government’s “collect it all” strategy can undermine the effort to fight terrorism. The documents, provided to The Intercept by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, appear to contradict years of statements from senior officials who have claimed that pervasive surveillance of global communications helps the government identify terrorists before they strike or quickly find them after an attack. The Patriot Act, portions of which expire on Sunday, has been used since 2001 to conduct a number of dragnet surveillance programs, including the bulk collection of phone metadata from American companies. But the documents suggest that analysts at the NSA have drowned in data since 9/11, making it more difficult for them to find the real threats. The titles of the documents capture their overall message: “Data Is Not Intelligence,” “The Fallacies Behind the Scenes,” “Cognitive Overflow?” “Summit Fever” and “In Praise of Not Knowing.” Other titles include “Dealing With a ‘Tsunami’ of Intercept” and “Overcome by Overload?”

Surveillance creates bad data

(___) The NSA “collect all the data” strategy fails to find terrorists and instead creates incentives to find imaginary needles in the haystack of data.

Hu, Assistant Professor of Law, Washington and Lee School of Law, 2015
(Margaret,. "Small Data Surveillance v. Big Data Cybersurveillance." Pepp. L. Rev. 42 (2015): 773-883.)

As discussed above, big data cybersurveillance and mass dataveillance depend upon a “collect-it-all” approach or a “connect-the-dots” theory of mass surveillance.271 This new approach to intelligence gathering is highly controversial.272 Levinson-Waldman has explained that it is a put-the- ”haystack-before-the-needle approach to information gathering.”273 Stephen Vladeck framed the controversy in this way: there is a presumption that there is, in fact, a needle in the haystack.274 Vladeck’s point appears to be that presuming there is a needle in the haystack creates a justification for the view that all persons are suspects.

Also worthy of caution is the fact that this presumption presents the potential for multiple challenges,275 including integrating biases into datadriven systems (e.g., confirmation bias, implicit bias, cognitive bias); path dependency (e.g., building systems to guarantee a correlative “hit” or “miss” that is intended to indicate data is suspicious; and assuming statistical certainty that suspicious data proves guilt of terroristic or criminal threat); overreliance on automation and risk of undertrained analysts; and exacerbation of perverse incentives (e.g., metrics of success designed to track number of suspects identified rather than assess whether intelligence can independently verify suspect classification). In other words, presuming that there is a digitally constructed needle (e.g., suspect or terrorist target or precrime-preterrorist threat that can be digitally identified through big data tools) in the government’s digitally constructed haystack276 (e.g., government’s attempt to store and analyze all digitally produced data in order to, purportedly, preempt crime and terrorism)277 can create incentives to construct imaginary needles.

Answer to: would have solved 9/11

(__) Would not have solved 9/11.

Geiger, Advocacy Director & Senior Counsel at Center for Democracy & Technology, 2015.

(Harley, 5-11-2015, "Senators’ Questionable Claims about NSA Bulk Collection," Lawfare, http://www.lawfareblog.com/2015/05/senators-questionable-claims-about-nsa-bulk-collection/)

Claim 2: The bulk collection program could have stopped 9/11. “Here is the truth. If this program had existed before 9/11, it is quite possible we would have known that 9/11 hijacker Khalid Al Mihdhar was living in San Diego and was making phone calls to an Al Qaeda safe house in Yemen.” – Senator Marco Rubio

A bulk collection program was not necessary to find Al Mihdhar prior to 9/11. As the PCLOB report details, the NSA had already begun intercepting calls to and from the safe house in Yemen in the late 1990s. Since the government knew the number of the safe house, and Al Mihdhar was calling that number, it would only be necessary to collect the phone records of the safe house to discover Al Mihdhar in San Diego. This is, in fact, an example of how targeted surveillance would have been more effective than bulk collection. The 9/11 Commission Report and other sources note that the CIA was aware of Mihdhar well before the attack and missed multiple opportunities to deny him entry to the U.S. or intensify their surveillance of him.

Answer to: would have solved 9/11- extensions


(__) Can’t connect all the dots, 9/11 proves.

Hirsh, national editor for Politico Magazine, 2013
(Michael,"The Surveillance State: How We Got Here and What Congress Knew," nationaljournal, http://www.nationaljournal.com/nationalsecurity/the-surveillance-state-how-we-got-here-and-what-congress-knew-20130607)

The challenge is that even now, in spite of these programs, the intelligence community remains overwhelmed by data, and as the Boston Marathon bombings in April showed, it is very difficult to piece together clues in time to stop an attack. "There are massive gaps in our ability to actually analyze data. Much of the data just sits there and nobody looks at it," says one former NSA official who would discuss classified programs only on condition of anonymity. "People can do pretty horrific things on their own. Whether with explosive devices, or chemicals or biological agents. Everybody's walking around with these devastating weapons. How are you going to stop that?" Intelligence professionals say that it is only with mass data collection that they can find the key "intersections" of data that allow them to piece together the right clues. For example, if an individual orders a passport and supplies an address where some suspicious people are known to be, that might raise some concerns – without, however, leading to a definite clue to a plot. Yet if the same person who ordered the passport also buys a lot of fertilizer at another address, then only the intersection of those two data points will make the clues add up to a threat that authorities can act on. In a Jan. 30, 2006 op-ed in The New York Times headlined "Why We Listen," former NSA senior director Philip Bobbitt provided a vivid example of how this "threat matrix" works. On Sept. 10, 2001, he wrote, the NSA intercepted two messages: ''The match begins tomorrow'' and ''Tomorrow is zero hour.'' They were picked up from random monitoring of pay phones in areas of Afghanistan where Al Qaeda was active. No one in the intel community knew what to make of them, and in any case they were not translated or disseminated until Sept. 12. But, Bobbitt wrote, "had we at the time cross-referenced credit card accounts, frequent-flyer programs and a cellphone number shared by those two men, data mining might easily have picked up on the 17 other men linked to them and flying on the same day at the same time on four flights."

2AC Answer to the Executive Action

1. The executive can’t limit its own power. Only the affirmative solves.

Donohue, 2008
Laura Donohue is Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, The cost of counterterrorism: power, politics, and liberty. Cambridge University Press.

These are just examples of checks that could be instituted within the executive — an immensely complex problem that deserves further scrutiny. Yet I am skeptical about the ability of the executive, as an organ, to limit its quest for more power. After all, because it falls directly to this branch to take responsibility for crime and threats to national security, it is to be expected that it would seek the broadest range of powers available.

The judiciary also has an important role to play in setting the limits of state authority. It was Brandenburg v. Ohio that established protections for political speech in the United States (see Chapter whereas Hamdan v. Rumsfeld restricted executive expansion in the context of habeas claims (see Chapter 2). 10 On the other side of the Atlantic, A and others v. Secretary of State for the Home Department led to the repeal of indefinite detention (see Chapter 2).11 The courts' role, though, ought not to be overemphasized, as their ability to check the executive is, as I have shown, limited. And most of the remedies available to the courts are inadequate for stemming expansions in counterterrorist law. In other words, we should care about what the judiciary does and says, but not assume that it is the most important player, or even the final word, in respect to counterterrorism.

Instead, I see the legislature as the crucial player. This body acts as an enabler, providing the executive with legal legitimacy. It is the most representative of the people. It can lead and respond to them. And it has the authority to hold the government to account for the immediate and ongoing need for extraordinary provisions. The legislature can demand that the executive show that the powers are being used appropriately and demonstrate the efforts being made to mitigate the broader costs. Insisting that the government makes its case, releasing into the public domain whatever it can of relevant information, reverses the usual course of counterterrorism- where the executive is able to put through many of its demands immediately following a terrorist attack, leaving to those who find the provisions excessive and want to repeal them the impossible task of proving either that no violence will follow repeal or that some violence is acceptable. The legislature has the power to reverse the counterterrorist spiral.

2. Obama doesn’t think that he can unilaterally end bulk collection.

Levine, 2015

Sam Levine 15, 5-26-2015, "Rand Paul: Obama Started NSA Bulk Collection And Can End It By Himself," Huffington Post, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/26/rand-paul-nsa_n_7442448.html

Speaking generally about Paul's comments, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Tuesday that Obama could not unilaterally end bulk data collection. "The authorities that are used by our national security professionals to keep us safe are authorities that are given to those national security professionals by the Congress, and those authorities can only be renewed by the United States Congress through an act of Congress," Earnest said.

Answers to Politics – Plan is popular


(__) Snowden turned the tide, surveillance is unpopular.

The Hill 15, 6-3-2015, "Spy critics eye next targets," http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/243983-spy-critics-eye-next-targets

Perhaps no single event helped propel reform more than the leaks from Snowden, which exposed the sweeping nature of the NSA’s previously secret warrantless collection of data about millions of phone calls made in the U.S.

But the action was also spurred by a new political climate, especially the increasing influence of the libertarian wing of the Republican Party.

No one felt that new political reality more than Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who appeared dumbfounded at his repeated inability to push through an unchanged reauthorization of the Patriot Act laws, even with Republicans in command of both chambers of Congress.

One of the biggest obstacles in McConnell’s path was Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who has made his opposition to federal surveillance one of the pillars of his campaign for the White House.

Paul refused to vote for the USA Freedom Act, arguing the reforms didn’t go far enough, and he held up the legislation long enough to force a temporary lapse in the surveillance powers.

(__) The plan is popular

Politico 15,
"Prospects dim for 11th-hour PATRIOT Act deal," POLITICO, 5-26-2015, http://www.politico.com/story/2015/05/prospects-dim-for-11th-hour-patriot-act-deal-118300.html?hp=t3_r

The PATRIOT Act used to have overwhelming support in Congress — reauthorization passed in 2010 by a voice vote. But minimal dissent gradually turned into a firestorm of opposition after contractor Edward Snowden exposed the breadth of the bulk data collection program in 2013. For the first time, a clean extension of the bill couldn’t garner a majority on the Senate floor on Saturday and attracted just two Democratic supporters, an unprecedented level of opposition.

Answers to Politics – Plan is popular with public


(__) Voters hate surveillance.

Ackerman, National Security editor for the The Guardian, 2015,

(Spencer, "NSA surveillance opposed by American voters from all parties, poll finds," Guardian, http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/may/18/us-voters-broadly-opposed-nsa-surveillance

(Spencer, 6-1-2015, "Fears NSA will seek to undermine surveillance reform," Guardian, http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jun/01/nsa-surveillance-patriot-act-congress-secret-law)

More than three-quarters of likely voters the poll interviewed opposed related aspects of current surveillance authorities and operations. Eighty-two percent are “concerned” about government collection and retention of their personal data. Eighty-three percent are concerned about government access to data stored by businesses without judicial orders, and 84% want the same judicial protections on their virtual data as exist for physical records on their property. The same percentage is concerned about government use of that data for non-counter-terrorism purposes. “Consensus on this issue is bipartisan,” said Strimple. “There’s real concern about what the government’s accessing about your personal life.”

(__) Voters support NSA reform.

Ackerman, National Security Editor at the Gaurdain,2015

(Spencer, "NSA surveillance opposed by American voters from all parties, poll finds," Guardian, http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/may/18/us-voters-broadly-opposed-nsa-surveillance

Neema Singh Giuliani of the ACLU said the poll results show a “disconnection” between anti-surveillance fervor by voters and a congressional debate bounded by retained surveillance powers at one pole and what she described as the “modest reform” of the USA Freedom Act on the other.

“The fact that a lot of members of Congress are still pushing forward to try to reauthorize provisions of the law that many people find concerning is not reflective of the view of the vast majority of the public of both parties,” she said.

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