Argument Analysis Applied To Homeland Security Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Privacy, Security, Whistleblowing

[Surveillance is a necessary evil to prevent terrorist attacks from happening.]A [For example, the secret "PRISM" effort saved New York City's subways from a 2009 terrorist plot led by a young Afghan-American, Najibullah Zazi.]

A = Main Argument

Surveillance is a necessary evil to prevent terrorist attacks

B = Level

The secret PRISM effort saved New York City's subways in 2009 from a terrorist plot.

Claim B. is Level 1 and supports Argument A, which is the main argument.

[Surveillance violates the right to privacy by citizens worldwide.]A [Of course, citizens already release their private data to government and companies alike, whether it be the tax office, health services or banks.]B [However, in all those cases, we can decide for ourselves which information is shared, so our privacy is not violated, whereas the government surveillance schemes sweep up information without our explicit permission.]C

C = Main Argument

Decide for ourselves what information to share + government surveillance sweeps without explicit permission.

B = Level 1

Surveillance violates the right to privacy by citizens.

A = Level 1

Citizens release private date to government and companies.

...The main argument shows that both Claim A and Claim B. occur independently at the same time. Neither Claim is dependent on the other, neither Claim restricts or facilitates the other Claim. Hence, both Claims are Level 1.

[Surveillance on the scale revealed by Snowden should be stopped.]A [Surveillance should be stopped because it can be abused by government to get back at its critics.]B [Given the past track record of U.S. Government, this is not entirely unlikely. For example:]C [Firstly, the department of Homeland Security did conduct in the past inappropriate surveillance of protesters associated with Occupy Wall Street.]D [Also, the Justice Department's inspector general found that the F.B.I. monitored a political group because of its anti-war views.]E [Finally, a former C.I.A. official says that the agency gathered information about a prominent war critic in order to discredit him.]F [Then again, potential abuse would probably stifle any government initiative.]G

G = Level 1

Potential abuse would probably stop government initiative

B = Level 1

Surveillance can be abused to get back at critics.

A = Main Argument

Surveillance on the "Snowden scale" should be stopped.

C = Level 2

There is a government track record of abuse.

F = Level 3

CIA gathered data to discredit a prominent war critic.

E = Level 3

FBI monitored anti-war political group.

D = Level 3

Inappropriate surveillance of Occupy protestors by HS.

There are three Level 3 Claims: Claim D, Claim E, and Claim F. All three Level 3 Claims support the Level 2 Claim C. since they provide an example of the more general Claim C. There are two Level 2 Claims: Claim B.…

Sources Used in Documents:

In January 2014, Snowden claimed to have "made tremendous efforts to report these programs to co-workers, supervisors, and anyone with the proper clearance who would listen" (Cassidy, 2014). Snowden further stated that reactions to his disclosure varied widely but no one was willing to take any action. In March 2014, Snowden reiterated his early testimony saying that he had reported "clearly problematic programs" to ten officials (Cassidy, 2014).

Cassidy, J. (2014, January 23). A vindicated Snowden says he'd like to come home. The New Yorker. Web. 27 May 2014.

I consider Thorisson's description of whistleblowing to be an apt description of the necessary and pivotal actions that must be taken in order to bring illegal activities into the light. It is not enough to tell people about the problem who have no authority to take action toward fixing the problem or making the appropriate changes to labor, practice, or policy. Typically, those people who may be sympathetic by don't have official duties and responsibilities in the relevant realm can put their own career in jeopardy by trying to take action or pass the message up the chain. It is important that those who are given the information not be on parity with the whistleblower. Someone in a position of authority needs to be made aware of the problem, and that receiving person needs to take steps to bring the problem to the correct person, and to standby in order to be certain that the proper steps are being taken. It is often the case that he act of reporting is also the act of informing the proper authorities about the illegal action. While this may seem narrow in focus, it is sufficient in effect. For instance, while it might be within the spirit of the policy, but not the letter to, say, drop a note onto the desk of the proper authority, this would not be sufficient. This is an act of reporting and not of seeking out the appropriate party necessarily, but it is not talking (or reporting) truth to power, which is a necessary aspect of reporting to the proper authorities.

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