Policy Debate Resolution

2020-2021 Fall Term Resolution (New 2021-2022 resolution will be announced August)

The US federal government should substantially reform, replace, or repeal its policy regarding use, control, access, or personal privacy in regards to the internet system for the benefit and protection of US citizens and/or US society.


Resolution Notes

This resolution shall include US federal policy, existing, or to be newly created,  regarding issues about American internet control, use, access, or privacy.  The following are possible areas for potential cases (be sure to focus on issues that are regulated by the US federal government):

Questions: Who “owns” the internet? Who “owns” the information on the internet? If anyone, who should regulate internet use and privacy in America?

  • Social Media Censorship (fact checkers targeting conservative groups? See Privacy)

  • Net Neutrality in the United States (repeal?)

  • Internet Privacy Policies for American citizens (including Fact Checker reading of Facebook, Twitter, etc.)

  • Internet Access Address Regulation (ICANN)

  • Transmission Blockage of legal US data on the US controlled internet 

  • Fake News Transmission (or its prevention) through US Social Media (especially as used by hostile foreign nationals)

  • Broadcast Decency Rules as applicable to US internet content

  • Overall Improved Efficiency of US Internet Policy and Protocols (for more effective oversights, protections, and freedoms)

  • 5G Technology (safe to usher in or dangerous?)


Questions surrounding these issues are particularly important in light of recent news headlines regarding fair internet use, access, and privacy concerns. Some of these concerns resulted from AOL/Verizon bottlenecking internet data for fee packages; NSA's questionable internet tracking of US private citizens; Facebook data mining and sale to third parties; Facebook and Youtube purveying fake news by hostile foreign nationals to attempt election manipulation; and alleged Youtube’s/Google’s/Facebook’s blockage of legal data transmissions by US conservative groups, such as Prager University videos on Youtube. plus the recent rise of "fact checkers" on social media platforms.

Topic Background 

The Main Government Agencies Involved (note, other agencies or departments may also be involved due to topic area focus)

Federal Communications Commision (FCC) https://www.fcc.gov/ and its Broadband and Internet policies https://www.fcc.gov/general/broadband-and-internet-guides

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) https://www.ftc.gov/ and in particular Federal Trade Commission, (Online) Privacy and Security policies https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/media-resources/protecting-consumer-privacy-security

National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA.gov), and its Internet Policy Task Force https://www.ntia.doc.gov/category/internet-policy-task-force


US Constitution, First Amendment Protections of Free Speech, Freedom of Press, Freedom of Religion  https://constitution.congress.gov/constitution/amendment-1/

How Internet Policies Work

Guide to Internet Law, HG Legal Services https://www.hg.org/internet-law.html

​Data protection in the United States, Overview of Law, Thomson Reuters Practical Law



Background of the Internet

History of the Internet, Life Noggin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8K49dD52WA

​History of the Internet, Five Minded http://www.fiveminded.com/history-of-the-internet-animated-for-kids/

​The Internet, Crash Course Computer Science #29, Crash Course Science (more complex explanation) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEaKrq3SpW8


​How the Internet Really Works, Cisco (a corporation that builds internet routers and does present by their viewpoint) https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solutions/small-business/resource-center/networking/networking-basics.html

Articles to Investigate for Case Ideas



Five Key Issues to Watch at the FCC, https://www.aei.org/technology-and-innovation/telecommunications/after-net-neutrality-five-key-issues-to-watch-at-the-fcc/

​6 Changes the FCC Has Made in Just 6 Weeks, USA Today https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2017/03/08/fcc-ajit-pai-net-neutrality-cable-box/98894350/



​US To relinquish remaining control over the administration of the internet (ICANN), The Washington Post https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/us-to-relinquish-remaining-control-over-the-internet/2014/03/14/0c7472d0-abb5-11e3-adbc-888c8010c799_story.html

​The Only Way to Keep the Internet Free (ICANN), Student Daily News editorial https://www.studentnewsdaily.com/editorials-for-students/the-only-way-to-keep-the-internet-free/

Get Ready for the Department of the Internet, (ICANN) Student Daily News editorial


​Internet Freedom Works, (policing of internet including political speech) Student Daily News editorial https://www.studentnewsdaily.com/editorials-for-students/internet-freedom-works/

Internet Governance and International Law, The Controversy Concerning International Telecommunication Regulations (stay focused on US participation) https://stlpartners.com/2012/11/27/internet_itu_the_political_bat/





​What You Don't Know About How Facebook Uses Your Data, The New York Times


​Facebook's Latest Data Lapse Draws Critique from Law Makers, Bloomberg Technology

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-04/facebook-disputes-report-it-grants-phone-makers-deep-data-access (article requires payment. look for facts elsewhere)

​Prager U Takes Legal Action Against Google and YouTube for Discrimmination, Prager U (note, this is an issue of free speech before the courts) https://www.prageru.com/press-release/prageru-takes-legal-action-against-google-and-youtube-for-discrimination/

President Trump Plans to Ban TikTok in the US, Townhall.com, https://townhall.com/tipsheet/bethbaumann/2020/08/01/how-president-trump-plans-to-ban-tiktok-n2573542 (8/1/2020)

​Tech Giants are Dangerous and Congress knows it, MSMnews.com, https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/opinion/the-tech-giants-are-dangerous-and-congress-knows-it/ar-BB17lkPH?fbclid=IwAR3HoixkGBjcZn_6QXx7Bo47JjDO2QmqnVonQtbkFEUkAV7LPnxpqcjlYnk

Representative Jim Jordan Hammers Tech Giants, Infowars.com, https://www.infowars.com/jim-jordan-hammers-tech-giants/?fbclid=IwAR2bYsgYHuPhp9s4TzpSqtb5_QnRQjWzWO9cO_ERACOP45m1gOACN65FTdo

​Trump Bans TikTok and WeChat, Townhall.com, https://townhall.com/tipsheet/bronsonstocking/2020/08/06/trump-signs-executive-order-banning-tiktok-in-45-days-n2573903 , retrieved 8/6/20.

Trump administration asks court to dismiss Big Tech's challenge to social media executive order," AMP/Reuters, Technology News, August 12, 2020, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-socialmedia-exclusive-idUSKCN25831P

Twitter Kicked Me Off for Saying This But I'm Going to Double Down, Townhall opinion article, Marina Medvine, columnist, August 19, 2020, https://townhall.com/columnists/marinamedvin/2020/08/19/twitter-kicked-me-off-for-saying-this-but-im-going-to-double-down-n2574611



"Net Neutrality 2019 Legislation" (source of definition and legislation of various states), National Conference of State Legislators, https://www.ncsl.org/research/telecommunications-and-information-technology/net-neutrality-2019-legislation.aspx, December 21, 2019. 


Old Policy:

Net Neutrality: President Obama's Plan For a Free and Open Internet," official archive of the Obama Whitehouse administration policy (old repealed policy), https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/net-neutrality, retrieved September 17, 2020.

Current Policy:

"Restoring Internet Freedom," Federal Communications Commission (FCC) official policy statement (current policy), "The FCC's Restoring Internet Freedom Order, which took effect on June 11, 2018," https://www.fcc.gov/restoring-internet-freedom, retrieved September 17, 2020.

Pros (we need net neutrality legislation):

"10 Reasons Why You Should Care About Net Neutrality," How Stuff Works, an award-winning source of unbiased, reliable, easy-to-understand answers and explanations of how the world actually works., https://computer.howstuffworks.com/10-reasons-care-about-net-neutrality.htm, retrieved September 17, 2020.

​"Net neutrality was repealed a year ago — what’s happened since?" by Zachary Mack, Senior Podcast Producer, The Verge blog source, founded in 2011 to examine how technology will change life in the future for a massive mainstream audience,  https://www.theverge.com/2019/7/9/20687903/net-neutrality-was-repealed-a-year-ago-whats-happened-since retrieved July 31, 2020

Cons (we do not need net neutrality legislation, FCC current policy should stand):

"Net Neutrality Requires a Bi-Partisan Legislative Solution," Peter Sepp, opinion contributor, President of National Tax Payors Union, The Hill, news source, (cites legislators pro net neutrality but Sepp opinion against) https://thehill.com/opinion/technology/376101-net-neutrality-requires-a-bipartisan-legislative-solution, February 28, 2018.

​"Net Neutrality Is Officially Dead, and that's good for free speech," by Nick Gillespie, editor at large, Reason, news source, "Founded in 1968, Reason is the nation's leading libertarian magazine which produces "hard-hitting independent journalism on civil liberties, politics, technology, culture, policy, and commerce." https://reason.com/2018/04/23/net-neutrality-is-officially-dead-dont-e/,   April 23, 2018.

​"What Is Net Neutrality," Prager University, a conservative think group,  https://www.prageru.com/videos/what-net-neutrality, retrieved September 17, 2020.


5G and its importance to national security


Is 5G Dangerous or Harmful to our Health? Mira (a private healthcare company) https://www.talktomira.com/post/is-5g-dangerous-or-harmful-to-our-health-a-summary-of-previous-research

Is 5G Bad for our Health? Medical News Today https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326141



General Politics and Worldview
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJY6P7t-yD0 "Private Sector vs. Public Sector," Prager University, Dennis Prager, conservative commentator, video, published July 8, 2016.

Left vs. Right: How Do We Make Society Better? Prager University video.

Conservative vs. Liberal Beliefs, The Student Daily News

Are Some Cultures Better Than Others? Prager University video

Socialism vs. Capitalism, Student News Daily


General Government Lessons
Types of Government Explained, a youtube presentation on the different types of government.

How power is divided in the US, a TedEd video.

Why America is a Republic, not a Democracy (overview of other government types included, by the Indicrat)


Senator Ben Sasse discourse during Kavanaugh which is an estute review on judicial vs. legislative function in the US.

Separation of Powers Check and Balance  (a Crash Course video, some good info, annoying presentation)

the Bicameral Congress (a Crash Course video, some good info, annoying presentation)

Constitutional Principles:Representative Government (the Bill of Rights Institute)

The Electoral College (and why it is important), Prager University video.

Introduction to the Constitution, video lecture series by Hillsdale College  Also check into their other free, online courses such as Constitution 101 and 201 and US History. (These courses are excellent prep for the American Government and US History I CLEP's).


How a Bill Becomes Law
I'm Just a Bill (yes...the old Schoolhouse Rock version)
SNL and Executive Orders
Vox update on How a Bill Really Becomes Law

LexNexis interactive chart on the real steps of How a Bill Becomes Law

General Economics Lessons

Why You Love Capitalism, Prager U video

Can the Government Run the Economy? Prager U video

But Who Gets the Profit? Dinesh D'Souza Youtube Video

What Creates Wealth? Prager U video


Why Capitalism Works. Prager U video


Who Is Karl Marx? Prager U video

Lower Taxes, Higher Revenue. Prager U video

A highly revered article on the miracle and power of free market economics
I, Pencil (written form)  (movie form)

Henry Hazlitt's Economics in One Lesson


Broken Window Fallacy, Learn Liberty video

Just for fun...

The Economics of Halloween Candy

The Worst Candy: Halloween Economics

The Guide to Trading Halloween Candy (warming some cheesy language)


Keep track of all your research and extra reading. Credit hours can accumulate and Club points will be awarded for those who complete extra reading and research!

EXTRA CREDIT QUESTIONS (Place in notebook. These can help offset a sick day during debate rounds!):

Who should control America's access to the internet?

Who should control internet content?

Read and Answer Student News Daily questions from their Media Bias articles base examples of media bias.

5 to 10 points per article, depending upon depth and number answered (do not choose a question with an answer on key other than "answers vary").


Watch and respond to a video. 5 point Response should include short summary of what it says, what does it mean, and personal opinion about concept.

Possible video choices:  "I Pencil," "The Broken Window," "Who Is Karl Marx?," and the "Electoral College"