Aug. 8, 2021

294: DEBATE! Was the Edward Snowden Reveal a Net Negative or Positive for Liberty? -on TownSircle

294: DEBATE! Was the Edward Snowden Reveal a Net Negative or Positive for Liberty? -on TownSircle

Eric Brakey (Young Americans for Liberty) takes the affirmative. Marc Clair (Lions of Liberty) takes the negative.


Check out this debate between Marc Clair and Eric Brakey on whether or not the Edward Snowden reveal was a net negative or positive for liberty. I had the opportunity to moderate said debate over on the amazing new platform, TownSircle.

 

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Now, Eric and Marc didn't exactly need nudging to take part in this debate, but we were still able to provide over 1,500 meals to those in need thanks to the money raised!

 

Check out the original link to the TownSircle debate page here and learn more about TownSircle here.

 

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Transcript

Hey everyone and welcome to town circle where we enable public figures from all sides of the aisle to invite each other to live debates and conversations, to unlock money for charity to help those in need. I'm your host, Steve Hayes. And today we have an exciting debate between Eric breaky and Mark Claire, on whether the Edward Snowden reveal was a net negative or positive for liberty. And the best part is that over 1400 meals will be provided to those less fortunate, thanks to everyone who pledged money to make this happen. But what makes this debate extra exciting is at Brian Nichols, one of the fastest growing voices in the Liberty movement, and host of The Brian Nichols Show will be moderating it. So Brian, before you kick things off, it'd be great if you could tell us why you've invited Eric and mark to this debate.

Well, what a timely debate it's going to be here, Steve, so I will be joining Eric down in Orlando, Florida coming up here in just under a week at revolution 21 for young Americans for liberty, where they'll be having guest appearance by Edward Snowden, which is the topic of conversation today, which I think help facilitate this conversation between Eric and Mark talking about whether or not in fact, we did see that this was a net positive for the Liberty movement, the NSA leaks that Snowden did, in fact, reveal.

Awesome. So before I get off screen here, I just want to give a special thanks to Eric and mark for accepting Brian's invite, without your willingness to engage in good old fashioned live debates, tons of meals would have been left on the table for those in need. So thanks for setting, you know, such a positive example. Particularly nowadays, our country can certainly use more civil discourse. So without further ado, Brian, the stage is yours.

Awesome. Thank you so much for that, Steve. And yes, with that being said, Eric breaky mark, Claire, welcome to the debate debate. I know it's gonna be more of a I think, a kind of meeting of the minds you two are our dear friends and I would say good friends hear of yours truly over in The Brian Nichols Show. But before we start things off, let's kind of go back to what it is we're talking about here. Steve mentioned beforehand, the Edward Snowden NSA leak was a net positive for liberty. Eric, you are taking the affirmative mark, you are taking the negative, which I think is interesting for a lot of folks at first hearing that, but you did a pre debate poll, and you found that it's actually much closer in terms of a people a little split on this issue. So I think let's start off here. Mark, we'll start off with you taking the negative in this case, why do you believe that the NSA leak was in fact, a net negative to Liberty?

Well, Brian, let me just start off introducing myself a little bit, just because this is going to be running on the lions of liberty podcast, but it's also going to be running on town circle, where we were able to raise that money for those 1400 meals. So So for those that don't know me out there, the three of you anyway, I am Mark Clara, founder of the lions of liberty podcast in 2013. It has since expanded into the greatest Liberty variety show on earth, featuring multiple hosts multiple formats. And one of those popular formats has had been debates that I have hosted. And I've had the pleasure of hosting many, many debates starting in 2016, when I started hosting Libertarian Party, sort of intra party internal party debates, and that sort of thing. And that has expanded over the years to become one of our more popular formats. So I was really excited for this opportunity to come up and sort of flip the tables a little bit and actually participate in a debate. And you know, when when this the opportunity to do this came up with Eric breaky and someone I've had on the show someone who's participated in debates. So I do know that he is a formidable debater, I could not say no, because this just seemed like the perfect opportunity to provide something interesting to Lions, Liberty fans, while at the same time talking about a very important issue, and at the same time raising these the money for these meals. So it's really a win win win for everybody. So I'm really excited about this opportunity. But to get on to the point at hand, I just want to start off by saying that my taking of this position of the negative in this position. It's in no way meant to disrespect the actions of Edward Snowden and revealing the NSA spying apparatus to the world at large. It's in no way meant to downplay the risks that he took in doing so. And it's certainly in no way meant to defend the actions of the NSA to defend NSA spying. I, in fact, I don't even believe the NSA should be should be an organization that exists at all. So I'm obviously very much opposed to to what he did reveal to people and I would not argue, and I will not argue that these kinds of actions, these kinds of rights violating actions by this government by any government should not be revealed the ad they absolutely should be. But the premise of the debate is not whether he should have done this or the premise of the debate is did this result in a net positive For the Liberty movement, however, we want to define Liberty movement, I guess I would generally define that as the movement of people who want greater Liberty who respect the ideas of individual liberty and want to see that expand and are in the world want to see greater freedom for people, the world around the world. And that's the metric that I'm looking at when when judging the actual, the actual events that have unfolded since that that reveal of the NSA spying back in 2013. And it's possible that while throughout the course of this conversation, I may bring up, I will bring up some areas in which I do have some doubts about the authenticity of Edward Snowden and his story. At the end of the day, they are merely doubts, and my case does not rest upon these doubts. I simply will be looking at the results, as they have unfolded since 2013. And I'll be asking myself these questions asking you these questions asking the audience these questions. Do we have more freedom today than we did in 2013? Before this reveal, and I would say that has to be a resounding no. I will be asking has the issue of government spying become a major issue for the American people? And I will say that that is a resounding no. Has the reality of government spying changed for the better at all in the last eight years? I will also argue that is a resounding no. on all of these metrics, NSA spying is spying is barely an issue for the American people. In fact, in 2016, we had a presidential campaign spied upon, and everybody knows it. And even when that person became the president of the United States, and served as the President of the United States for four years, there were no consequences whatsoever. There was barely any public outcry, hardly a peep. And the target was the president. And he stood and nothing was still done about this. Lastly, this some might argue this is my my my weakest argument. But it might be my strongest argument, depending on how much how you think about me. Because my last argument is simply my gut instinct. When I see something, you know, but when I see headlines blaring on CNN about something, when I see the New York Times discussing an issue, I start to think why, what is the agenda here? Could there be a deeper agenda? And this is just something that I thought to myself, even before I really consider myself a libertarian, but sort before I consider myself political in any way. I remember during the build up to Iraq to Iraq, when all this when all the headlines were about, you know, w n ds, my gut instinct told me there's something else here. There's something else going on, there's more of an agenda here. And I was obviously correct about that. And I'm not the only one. But I felt that gut instinct. And it's very similar to when the COVID propaganda started coming out. I started to think there's something more here, this is going to go somewhere else. And it certainly has. And so I've come to trust my gut instinct over the years. And I had that same feeling when I first saw this, the headlines on CNN, the headlines about this spying, I thought to myself, what is the agenda here? Why is the mainstream media promoting this so much? Why are they you know, caught, you know, playing this out like they weren't, they were they were kind of talking heads on both sides arguing the issue, but it was made an issue. And I think when we look at Edward Snowden and his positions today, versus the position of other whistleblowers over the years, versus the position that that say Julian Assange is currently in, or even the position that Chelsea Manning is currently in, I think it's safe to say that Edward Snowden has made it out quite well, all things considered.

So at the end of the day, like I said, I don't know what's in Edward Snowden, his heart, I don't know what drove his actions. I don't know the true story. I only know what we've been told by Edward Snowden, and what we've been told by the mainstream media, and that seems to be the narrative that everyone has accepted. But regardless of whether what we know about that narrative to be true or not, factually speaking, when we look at the actual results, results, we look at the laws that have been put into place in the last eight years. When we look at the USA Freedom Act. When we look at the reality of how the public views spying, it's quite literally not a concern. I mean, we recently had Joe Biden come out and base and literally the Biden administration said, Oh, yeah, we're going to be combating this information about vaccines and COVID-19 that we see in your SMS messages. And no one cares, I almost cursed I'm not sure if I should be doing that on this platform. So I'm just gonna hold back, but nobody cares. Literally. Nobody cares. In fact, we joke about it at parties. I hear jokes about it at parties. I make jokes about it at parties, I might be just as much of the problem as anybody else. But it's become completely accepted in our society, and essentially a non issue politically, this may be different at the micro political level. I'm not saying there aren't certain legislators, Senator breaking included of that are certainly working on this issue. But as far as the public at large goes, it is a non issue. And that is the results as I see them. And that is why I see that not only is it a not a positive it is a negative because I feel that spying has essentially become accepted as a part of our legal system. Much of the spying has now been enshrined in Law, and it has become essentially accepted by the American public. And that is why I do see it overall, regardless of Mr. snowdens intentions as a net negative for liberty.

Very interesting. Okay, so you hinted that Yes, Senator Eric breaky does bring some solutions to the table. So Eric, you're leading the the amazing argument there from the young Americans for liberty camp. And you're obviously as you mentioned, having Edward Snowden there as one of your guest speakers for revolution 21. But you're in need of the net positive for the Liberty argument. So Eric, what's your position there? why it was Edward Snowden in a net positive in his his NSA leaks for the pro Liberty movement.

Well, thank you, Bryan. And, and I should also say thank you to Steve as well. And thank you, Mark for for doing this. But let me I guess, like Mark did, let me introduce myself a little bit.

So I'm Eric breaky.

I served I was I got my start in politics as the state director for ron paul's presidential campaign served two terms in the Maine state Senate, where one of the bills I sponsored was the fourth amendment Protection Act, which would have it passed the House, sadly, not in the Senate, but would have had our state just notify and refuse to cooperate with any unconstitutional surveillance done by the federal government, something I'd love to see states pass across the country. That's a little bit of my background. Now I am the senior spokesperson for young Americans for liberty, and glad to be here today. So thank you, again, Brian, for hosting. Thank you, Mark, for debating. I do want to give the audience a little bit of context. On kind of how we got into this, it should be acknowledged as as Mark said, we actually decided we were going to it would be fun to have a debate before we knew exactly what we were going to be debating. And finding a topic became more difficult than either of us imagine. Because it turns out there's very little of substance we actually disagree on. But like this up isn't a political pod here. So I guess that's a good problem to have. There's so much to work together on on so many issues. But eventually Mark suggested this this topic, which I thought was fascinating whether the Snowden revelations were a net positive or negative for the cause of liberty. It has been eight years since these revelations came came out. So there's a lot to consider and kind of the history of the last eight years, and the answer admittedly may not be as immediately obvious as it first appears. It is worth noting, as Mark said, the question has nothing to do with Edward Snowden is intense. Whether Edward Snowden is the earnest self sacrificing truth teller that I personally believe him to be, or a double agent CIA operative, which is an actual conspiracy theory I often hear on the internet. I think it's fair to be skeptical of all the official narratives. So I'm not, you know, throwing shade at those people. But what the answer to that question is is not relevant to this question. The question is about the results. Eight years later, what actual measurable impact have the Snowden revelations that the US government was illegally, unconstitutionally and secretly conducting mass surveillance on everyone in America? What has what have the results been for the cause of liberty? So first, to play devil's advocate against myself, and to acknowledge some of the points that I anticipated Mark would be making, there is a case to be made for the negative position. You know, with eight years of knowledge that we are being watched mass surveillance has become somewhat normalized for many Americans, who now openly Welcome 1984 telescreens into their homes, and even more dystopian fashion than George Orwell could have predicted. We call some of these devices by human names Siri Cortana Alexa, like they're members of our own family. Further, the spy agencies Yeah, to to to agree with Mark's point, the spy agencies, conducting this illegal surveillance have faced very few serious repercussions for doing so. If anything, they are more emboldened than ever acting like a fourth branch of government. Not only do they spy on the public, they spy on our elected officials in Congress and the White House, who are supposed to be performing oversight over these agencies checking their power, having forged an unholy alliance with the National democrat parties since the election of Donald Trump. The Department of injustice now targets those few elected officials who attempt to perform their oversight functions, using politicized investigations and selective leaks to the corporate press to openly manipulate our elections in a fashion surpassing even the wildest accusations against foreign adversaries. But let me stop making Mark's case. This is all I was gonna say please go on. This is all during this part. But I would say a lot of this would have happened with or without snowdens revelation. So I think Mark's question of do we have more freedom today, I think that's a that's a bit of a false question. Because the question is, would these things have happened and to what degree would they have happened without snowdens revelations? I think a lot of these things would have happened anyway.

You know, further the heavy handedness over the last eight years from these spy agencies, I think it also has to be understood in the context of desperation, you know, love him or hate him or feel somewhat ambivalent about him. The election of Donald Trump represented a public rejection of their authority. Do you know institutions secure in their power, don't behave like Gollum trying to regain the Ring of Power. They were put in a position where they felt that they were, you know, put push back on their feet. They're losing their narratives or losing in the in the public eye, and they've had to be behave in a much more openly heavy handed fashion than we've ever seen. So how did they get put in this position? Snowden made us all aware of it. It is 2019 memoir permanent record. Edward Snowden writes, quote, If mass surveillance was, by definition, a constant presence in daily life than I wanted the dangers it posed, and the damage it had already done to be a constant presence to. So the greatest strength of these spy agencies has been their ability to operate in secret. How can you combat an invisible threat that most people deny exists? You can't. Before Snowden if you verbalized a fear that the government was spying on you through your cell phone through your computers and your digital devices and all this, you were at high risk for being diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and being put on psychotropic drugs. Today, it turns out those people we called were crazy whether they were crazy or not. We're also right, proving that just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you. Awareness is the first step. But Edward Snowden even acknowledges, awareness is not enough. action must follow. So let me focus here on three important developments that have taken place over the course of the last eight years as a result of this awareness as a result of Edward Snowden pulling back the curtain. First, there have been legal victories. Now, I want to say this is probably the least important of the victories. Many of the legal victories have been marginal, but they are significant in their own right. In 2015, a Federal Court of Appeals ruled in ACLU vs. clapper that these bulk data collection programs are illegal, violating even the loose standards of the Patriot Act, and most probably unconstitutional as well. While the Patriot Act authorized the government to demand from third parties, quote, any tangible thing that was deemed, quote, relevant to foreign intelligence and terror investigations, the court determined that relevant cannot mean anything and everything that could hypothetically become relevant at some ambiguous time in the future. Further, this case established that the American people have standing in court to sue over mass surveillance, which was a big question. None of this would have happened if Snowden hadn't revealed the existence of these programs. Further, it led to the passage of the USA Freedom Act in Congress, which frankly, I don't think went nearly far enough. And I think Mark's point that, you know, in some ways, it created its own loopholes and and and formalize some of this surveillance, which is zone problem, but it did amend the Patriot Act to explicitly prohibit the bulk collection of America's Americans phone records. I think that's a marginal victory. That doesn't go far enough, but it is something. What is more important, however, is the awareness of mass surveillance created a market demand for secure digital communications. And a lot of ways companies did respond. Apple and Google adopted strong default encryption for their mobile devices. businesses across the world increase the security of their website platforms, turning that HTTP to HTTPS. The S stands for security. This helps prevent third party interception of web traffic. new software for end to end encrypted communications like signal and the brave browser have become available and widely used by the public. As Snowden has noted, quote, a change in the law is infinitely more difficult to achieve than a change in a technological standard. Furthermore, the law, quote, The law is country specific, whereas technology is not every nation has its own legal code, but the same computer code, technology crosses borders and carries almost every passport. So the technological changes that have been demanded in the marketplace are I would argue much more significant and more And then the the legal changes that were won in the last eight years. And that's can be directly linked back to the Snowden reveals. Finally, the Snowden revelations were a major red pill moment. And like I'm about to turn 33. For some people, they might think that, you know, that's pretty old. But, you know, some people might think that's still pretty young. But I'll tell you, having been in the Liberty movement for over a decade, I'm working now with my colleagues at young Americans for liberty, and I'm the old geezer in the office at 33 years old. Many of them were 11, and 12 years old, when Snowden pulled back the curtain, and it was a defining moment for them, when they first saw the nature of our government for what it is, today, they are some of the leading activists in our movement, making Liberty wind, through fights on college campuses, at the ballot boxes, and in the realms of social media. Without the actions of Edward Snowden, they could still be living in the matrix today. And our movement would certainly be the worst for it. So later this week, as was mentioned, Edward Snowden, we'll address 1400 young Liberty activists at revolution 2021, the National Convention of young Americans for liberty, Edward Snowden gave the American people a fighting chance, by giving us the awareness of what's exactly going on. What we do with that knowledge is up to us. The revolution is ours. Now, that revolution continues. And, you know, awareness isn't enough. We're going to have to keep fighting if we're going to get changed. But I think that we are in a better place today than we would have otherwise been without the Snowden revelations.

Well, I gotta say, I'm thankful that both mark and Eric focused on results and outcomes here. So let's kind of go back to you, Mark, when you're looking at some of the things that that was brought up here from Eric, specifically, I think the number one thing that I heard that I think is the most solid argument is the technology, the technology advancements. I mean, I was just before this, we did this recording, I was watching some YouTube, and there was a brand new OS out there that's competing, it's basically Android, but it's it's super secure. It's super private. And it's you're starting to see more and more of this in the marketplace turnout. So I guess to to that point, Mark, is there some merit that now we actually do have more of an awareness, not just at from the societal aspect, which I will I'm gonna definitely push Eric on a little bit. But looking at the market now offering these solutions for the people who do want to have the alternatives. Is it fair to say that they wouldn't have had that the the opportunity to even have this in the marketplace? We're not for Snowden doing these revelations? Or, Brian, I

certainly won't argue that the advancement of technology and the market responding to concerns about privacy is a good thing. So I'm not going to make that argument, that it's not a good thing to say, I will, I will argue that it is a good thing. And it's possible, it's possible that we might not have had the same push for those advancements, maybe the market wouldn't have wouldn't be crying out for that need quite as much. If the Snowden revelations had not been laid out? I'm not so sure that's the case, though. I think privacy has always been a concern. I don't think the Snowden revelations are the only instance of the last, you know, eight or nine years where, where there have been privacy concerns. I mean, we joke about how, you know, people, people now we'll just we know, at least when I'm at a party, or something that like I think Eric mentioned, like, we'll joke about the fact that, you know, you know, if someone is talking about something, they'll get an ad on their phone and pop up. And and well, we all kind of know everyone kind of knows and talks about the fact that that these phones are spying on us that smart TVs are spying on us. A lot of that did come out completely separate of the fact of Snowden. I mean, it's come out because it's transparent in our lives, people are starting to see it and recognize it in their own lives. So I can't really say that, that Snowden revelation is the only thing out there that has made people more aware of spying. I will say that it's the only time that I've seen a discussion of the spying blasted across the mainstream media now. Just because something is blasted across the mainstream media doesn't make it untrue. I mean, I think what Edward Snowden revealed is is absolutely true. But it does make me question the agenda. And Eric did mention, you know, something earlier, he said that he wouldn't, and I kind of set set him up to say this, but I think he took what I said a little bit further when he said it's not relevant. If If Edward Snowden is actually turns out to be a double agent, I wouldn't go that far. Eric, I would say that if we actually did know that, and I'm not gonna say that we know that. But I will. He'll lay out some suggestions a little later on of why why we might want to question that. And while my case is not based on that, I have to disagree that it would not be relevant if it did turn out that he were some sort of double agent if this were a a coordinated release of some kind if this was done purposefully, with the blessing of some levels of the government, because if that were the case, then of course, we would have to all question why that was done then. And again. I mean, Eric mentioned the USA Freedom Act. I see things Like that, as really enshrining this stuff in law, even if it is placing certain restrictions on it, these are restrictions to laws that shouldn't even exist in the first place. So now we have something enshrined in law in the USA Freedom Act, that institutionalizes the concept of spying. And sure, it might take certain aspects away from the government, it might have put certain constraints on them, but in many ways that also farmed it out to the tech companies and open the door for the government to get that information from the tech companies anytime they want. And it's basically enshrined in law now, whereas under the Patriot Act, while it wasn't any better than at least it was sort of it that had that have those sunset provisions, where were they expire, whereas it seems now that we are just building law building, building case law to to implement spying and to allow spying and to demand spying from these tech companies. So even as these tech companies are competing, and putting out, you know, more, you know, technology that that made may cater to those like us, and the people in general that have become more aware of the fact that our devices are listening to us that are our friends that live with us in the house here. Like my friend, Alexa in there is listening to me all the time and feeding this information. And like I said, Look, it's to the point that even I have, I have welcome we've all welcome these devices in our into our lives. We all have smartphones, we all have these smart TVs, I shouldn't say we aren't many people have been smart enough to kind of stay disconnected from that stuff. But I think that mass acceptance has been happening. You know, it's at worst, it's happened in spite of Edward Snowden revelations. At best, it's happened partially because of them. And because the media put it out there because it became a part of the national debates. Well, now it's just accepted that part of the conversation is how much spying to the US government be allowed to do? How much access to the to the to the information that tech companies hold? Should they be allowed to have that is where the conversation is shift shifted? it shifted away from shock and horror and odd This is shifted to how can we best work this so the government can still protect us from those terrorists while trying to, you know, protect our privacy. But what that's really doing is setting up this system where spying, spying on the American public is enshrined in this system, it's become a part of the system. And these are the things that I questioned when I when I go back to asking, why was this broadcast so heavily? Why was this promoted so much by the mainstream media? Why was this narrative so prevalent? And I do believe, if we are going to question the motives of whether it's Edward Snowden or the mainstream media at large, or the people that seem to be treating in many ways, Edward Snowden with kid gloves, again, he has not suffered a fate anywhere near that of Julian Assange, as far as I actually saw that Edward Snowden since his reveal, and again, I'm not opposed to him doing this. The guy's got to live, the guy's got to eat, but he's taken $1.2 million in appearance fees. How is that? How is that happen? And how is that so different than the fate of Julian Assange? How is he doing pretty damn well? How's he making so much money that anyone more money than anyone on this panel? I mean, I know how because he's gotten this fame and attention from this. But he's also somehow been able to, to keep himself on an island in the process and island of sorts in terms of he has not been touched. Like, maybe he's maybe he's not living it up as much as as as much as it seems he is. But when you see him make video appearances on other programs, when you see him make appearances on other on other podcasts like the Joe Rogan show, for example, I think one thing people should go back and do if they do want to think a little bit about what Edward Snowden might really be, I would encourage people to watch the Joe Rogan interview from 2019. And I do mean, watch it, not just listen to it. If you have ever seen people on TV, who are actors who are trained actors, I believe here, Senator breaky is a trained actor as well. So maybe he I don't know if you've actually watched the Joe Rogan interview or not, there are elements of Edward snowdens mannerisms, where it really does appear at times that he is reading from a script, it really does appear at times to me that he is putting on an act of sorts. And again, this is not my main argument. But I want to counter Eric's point that it's not relevant. I think, if it's if it's true, if there are reasons to not believe it, it is very relevant, because it does then make us have to go back and ask why, what is the motivation? And there is obviously would be a motivation for something of this kind to be coordinated. So again, I didn't make it the center of my case, and I will not make it the center of the case. But I don't I don't want to leave it aside entirely. Because it weren't to be true, it would certainly be relevant. So,

Eric, let's go back to a point beyond the double Asian talk. We can get back to that in a second. We want to I do want to respond to some of that. Yeah, perfect. So but but before we do that, let's go to I think one of the stronger arguments that mark is making, and that is kind of this apathy, you're in the activism business, you know, how hard is to get people to actually go out and show that they care and to get involved. So is it fair to say that I mean, you do see infringement upon infringement where people just are meant they're they're kind of a wet frog in the pot of boiling water slowly having that temperature increased and increased to the point now that despite the the revelations that it wasn't, in fact, a net positive for liberty.

Like I think that These established government institutions have a formula for kind of withstanding calls for reform. And that's just to Stonewall until people move on to the next thing that they're outraged about. We were outraged about the Federal Reserve at one point, and there were massive calls for an audit of the Fed. They stonewalled and stonewalled and stonewalled until people got upset about the next thing, the same thing happened with surveillance, the same thing happened with the calls from Occupy Wall Street and the tea party for economic reforms. They just Stonewall until until they can get us outraged about something else. And now these days were outraged. You know, people are generally outraged about things that, you know, aren't threatening to the establishment, all this identity politics and everything, which I believe is a red herring used to, you know, keep us away from fighting about the things that actually could make a difference and threatening this corporate political power structure. But anyway, putting that aside, but I do want to respond to some of the things that Mark Mark was, was saying, you know, I think that we've entered the realm of speculation. And if we're going to live in the realm of speculation, I'll join there with kind of a different a different narrative and way of kind of interpreting the events, you know, some of the reasons why I, you know, it could it could all be kind of an elaborate, certainly could all be an elaborate show, you know, on a on a global stage. But the fact that the Federal the international manhunt that took place for Edward Snowden the fact that they grounded the airplane, of the president of Bolivia, on the simple hunch that Edward Snowden might be aboard this, this, this, this airplane, you know, they went to such incredible lengths using tremendous political capital, to try to get this guy. And I think the only reason he's really kind of protected today is because he has been granted asylum in a nuclear armed power, that we don't quite dare sending shock troops in to go in and, and take them out. He's, you know, in Russia, ironically, he's in Russia, because they cancelled his passports, as he was, you know, flying from one country to the next. And he ended up ended up being grounded in Russia. It's reportedly not where he had liked to be. And he'd even be open to coming home to the US if you were promised a fair and public trial, not one of these show trials, well, not even show trial, you know, because no one no one in the public gets to see their show trials, but not one of these kind of these, these trials in a in a in a back room where all the government secrets are kept private, and the public don't get to see what's going on. Anyway, so why why was his treatment so different than Assange? Well, because the US was able to pressure the Ecuador as political change happened there to surrender Assange when he was in their embassy. And and the government hasn't been able to do that with Russia, though. I think that Snowden in Russia, I think, from a certain degree, you can look at that as one of the contributing factors for why, you know, relations with Russia have soured so much over the last eight years. It's because they're, you know, they're protecting this, this great whistleblower, who the federal government would certainly want to punish to the same degree they have Julian Assange. I'm putting that up putting that aside. The other question, why was his treatment in the media so different? You know, you could you could argue the case that in fact, I'll try to argue the case that was, you know, a different narrative is that

first of all, Edward Snowden didn't leak these documents to CNN. He leaked them to Glenn Greenwald and a few journalists who had the balls to actually report on it. They're very few Glenn Greenwald's out there. And I think we can see that Glenn Greenwald still is today a consistent truth teller, wherever it leads him. You know, a, someone who is by no means on the right, someone who's a consistent critic of the surveillance state, who is, you know, married to a socialist member of I think Brazilian Congress. today because of the left's new unholy alliance with the surveillance state he he finds a you know, better audience on Tucker Carlson, Fox News and he does anywhere on the left these days. You know, these were the kinds of people that Snowden sought out people who would be fearless and reporting the truth and once that truth was caught out, it created a media created a a public, you know, frenzy that I think the rest of the establishment media couldn't, couldn't really ignore and had to and had to engage in. But I also think that that moment is a big part of the reason why, you know, so many of these, you know, surveillance state agencies like the CIA have It's so necessary to infiltrate the corporate press to control these stories. So a Snowden moment can't happen again. I think you look at the ramp up of, of, you know, intelligence agents who have become employees of CNN and MSNBC in the big corporate media establishments, you know, since since 2012, ramping up, you know, since the election of Donald Trump, and I think you can, you can tie a lot of that back to the Snowden moment, and the not wanting to allow something like that to happen, ever again. So, yeah, this is speculation. We're operating in the realm of speculation on this. And that's not I think that's not the worst thing in the world, as long as we you know, you know, note that this is this, this is speculation, these are speculative narratives, on kind of trying to explain the phenomenon that we've seen that we've seen over the last eight years.

Eric, well, my strategy to aware Eric down with a forcing him to speculate is working, then

we'll just say, well, Eric brought up this point, Mark, and I would love to hear kind of, you know, your let's let elephant the room we're talking about this. We're talking about Edward Snowden. We're talking about privacy. We're seeing across the board, there has been a conversation, talking about privacy from both those on the left, like, as Eric mentioned, Glenn Greenwald. But also, I mean, goodness, look at the activists here in the greater Liberty world who have made privacy some of their main concerns and are starting to offer market based solutions. Is it fair to say that it would be entirely because of that Snowden revealed that has pushed and activate a lot of we can dare to say, are some of the most noted figures in the Liberty movement?

I would not say it's entirely due to the Snowden reveal. I think people, you know, young in here, Greg is a little bit younger than I but you know, this is a concern that people that like myself, like libertarians, and conspiracy theorists who Edward Snowden has the right and by the way, I should say, have been talking about for a long, long, long time, even before I was a ron paul guy, even before I was a Liberty guy, I will admit that I did listen to a fair amount of Alex Jones. And this is something Alex Jones was talking about. Well, well, well, before the era of the Edward Snowden revelations i was i was confusing Eric breaky and Edward Snowden there for a minute. And I would never accuse, I would never suggest Eric breaky might be on the payroll of the CIA, or what I knows.

Now, but this is something people were talking about long before before Snowden, perhaps it I think the main difference that we see now is that it is now being talked about by the major institutions. And I think Senator breaking made a little bit of my point for me a moment ago, when he said that that Edward Snowden moment, it caused a reaction, and it caused the CIA and intelligence agencies to further infiltrate media and corporations. So this kind of thing doesn't happen again. So this doesn't, you know, so so they can control these narratives. But hasn't that made it worse? Isn't that isn't that a bad thing? Do so if we're only looking at the results, if we're just looking at where this has gone, I would argue that further further infiltration by the intelligence agencies, into the media, into the corporations, the pushing of this woke narrative to distract us from these issues to distract us from talking about the spying issues, has only made things worse, so to whatever to whatever extent there was a movement and there certainly wasn't movement, maybe not as large, maybe not as, as recognized in the mainstream media. There certainly was a movement talking about government spying and talking about the fact that we know they're doing this stuff. Well, before Edward Snowden. At worst, what Edward Snowden did was bring this conversation somewhat to the kitchen table, I guess might be the argument to where now maybe like my mom and dad might actually agree. Okay, this crazy thing you're talking about? I guess we agree it's happened. But I was having the conversation. You know, this is this is something that I've had to reflect upon. As a big ron paul supporter, a big fan of the ron paul movement. There is no doubt that Ron Paul, and I'm not gonna make an argument against the ron paul movement here. That would be a big mistake. And I never would because the ron paul movement created me the ron paul movement created lions of liberty. But I do ask the question, sometimes, the ron paul movement created millions of libertarians and created millions of more people who talked about these ideas, but has it created more freedom in the world? Have we seen the result of that? And I would probably argue now, and that doesn't mean the ron paul movement is bad. And that doesn't also mean that Edward Snowden reveal is bad, because that's not the argument I'm making. The argument I'm making is that the results have not actually seen more freedom, the results have not actually seen more Liberty, and to the extent that the conversation has become accepted and has become something that you and I are all talking about here. It has not really resonated with the American people at large. I think that we can kind of live in a bubble, you and I and Senator breaky, we live somewhat in the sort of liberty bubble in a sense, where we're surrounded by people concerned about these issues. We're surrounded by people who talk about these issues, but they simply are not an issue that are addressed or concerned about by the American people in any way, shape and form. There is a Pew Research poll conducted just in April of 2021. That asset at that took a poll of the the biggest political issues that the American people were concerned about. I like to just read some of these top issues concerning the American people. They were the affordability of healthcare, the federal budget deficit violent crime, illegal immigration, gun gun violence Coronavirus, outbreak racism, economic inequality, unemployment, climate change, childhood education, domestic terrorism, infrastructure, international terrorism, sexism spying isn't even on this list spying that we're that we care about is not even on the list. It's not even on a long list of political concerns that the American people have. It is simply not a concern it for the vast majority of the American people. In fact, it is now something that has gone from something that might have had a smaller but fringe movement trying to battle against trying to make people more aware of and now it's it's it's becoming trying again, in our legal system, the USA Freedom Act, which senator brachii pointed out, I believe is pointing out is more of a positive thing. I take it largely as a negative because it has enshrined this in our law. It has made it a permanent part of the legal system. spying is a part of American legal law, and it is currently going on and it is completely accepted. And and while there is opposition. Well, it's great that we're talking about it. I don't think we I actually don't think we wouldn't be talking about the Snowden leak. I think we actually absolutely wouldn't be talking about government spying. I think there are many ways that spying has come to the surface. In many years. I think Donald Trump still would have been spied upon. And we still might not have known about it even without these Edward Snowden leaks. But Donald Trump's spying is is almost enabled by the fact that this has been so mainstream by the fact that spying is an accepted part of what the US government does, because well, it has to battle terrorism, and it has to look out for terrorism. And when I go back to Edward Snowden, his appearance on Joe Rogan, this is something he even brought up. He even brought up the fact that bad actors can use these technologies. Oh, well, he was he was actually talking about this technology issue that Brian brought up. And he was saying, you know, this is, you know, all these companies are putting backdoors on, and he but he even did bring up on that. And that appearance, that yes, there are bad actors that could use encryption that could use these technologies for a bad purpose. And we do need some way to to to put out to do to stop them essentially. So in many ways, the narrative whether he's doing it intentionally or not, by having the latest leading spying advocate anti spying advocate, suggesting that there might be a need for some sort of backdoor, we just need to do it in the right way. We just need transparency about it. Again, this is where transparency is what helps in trying to into law. So now there's an open conversation, you know, Trump said, bar William bar, yes, I think was William bar, he was looking to do backdoors. And it didn't really happen, but who knows what they're really doing. But this is something that the government is pushing for. And it's very likely that there will be more and more backdoors put into any new technologies that come out, and more and more laws that allow the government to request information from these from these private companies that are collecting all this information from us. So even if we might be having a more specific conversation about Snowden, I like to think that no matter what the three of us at least, would still be concerned about government spying, that it would still be an issue because we knew this was going on before. And there are many indications that this was going on before. What the Snowden reveal has led to is a mainstreaming of the conversation. But the mainstreaming of the conversation has turned away from the fact that they should not be spying at all, and should not have this power at all, to the fat to the conversation of how can we take what's going on and what we are going to accept is going on because there are bad actors out there, as Edward Snowden has agreed with that might do harm to us. How can we control it to protect everybody's privacy, but what that has done is created a series of laws and a series of regulations that have just told the government here's how you need to spy going forward, not actually ending any of the spine.

So Eric, Mark brings up a point. I mean, we had a sitting US president pretty much gets spied on his entire administration. And it not only is an open secret, but half of the voting American electorate, they're okay with it. Not only are they okay with it, they full heartedly endorse it because it was against the other team. I would dare say if we saw that, on the other side, you would see even some on the right hand side also argue in favor when they're going after their friends in the left. So to Mark's greater point, are we maybe at a point where your average person is just so okay, with having government privacy overreaches just across the board that it's now status quo? This is the accepted norm. So a couple of points here. First,

I want to get to Mark's marks question on, is it a bad thing that the CIA is infiltrating the media? Well, I think that there's, you know, for every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction right there. Very few things are wholly good or wholly bad and their results, everything has multiple effects, kind of like this question that we're debating right now. What are the multiple effects of the Snowden reveals? And is it more net positive or net negative? Frankly, I mean, yeah, certainly in the short term, it's a net negative that the CIA is basically you know, infiltrating the corporate press and setting the narrative from these corporate press institutions, but the public positive effect of that is very apparent to the positive effect of is people don't trust the media. The trust for the for the corporate press is at the lowest levels, I think in recorded Well, at least in our lifetime,

single digits for sure.

Right. It's I mean, I mean, trust for the corporate press is almost as low as trust for Congress, which is, which is always, always very low. So. So yeah, there's a positive effect in that even that we don't trust the media anymore. And it's causing people to turn more and more to alternative media sources, like lions of liberty and The Brian Nichols Show. So I'm

also CIA infiltration, because it's might be better for all of us in the long run.

Yeah, absolutely. And you can point point out that the CIA is infiltrating these groups, which is why they should come and listen to the products that you're putting out. Not bad marketing. I'll give you that. Well, and let me say on top of that, we're not the CIA. Not yet that that could be the

delay get successful enough. And hopefully, it will be infiltrated as well. Because then the lions of liberty, definitely

not the CIA, you can put that in, like, make some people wonder. But so but but then, so to this question that no one cares about surveillance, this is something that Mark has asserted, you know, you know, I would say there's great

I should confirm, I don't mean no one literally in the literal sense. Obviously, the three of us and many other people do

say we care, people in Liberty, movement care, but also, the right increasingly does care. And you can look at this by the fact that as the corporate press, they're the trust for the corporate press slides. Day by day, the number one news show on cable news is Tucker Carlson, who on a regular basis is even going so far as to ask questions about like the FBI put, like having, you know, a doing what the FBI what we know, the FBI does, the FBI, basically infiltrating movements, using entrapment to get people to do things that they can then clamp down on and call terrorism to justify their own powers and their own existence like they did in Michigan, with the Gretchen Whitmer case. And like, you know, many have legitimate questions. Did they do this on January 6, and Tucker Carlson is the number one show on cable news is directly challenging on a near daily basis. These are the powers of the spy agencies. So the right has come full circle, I think seeing the abuse of these spy agencies, you know, against, you know, the folks who supported the creation of these institutions, under George W. Bush have come full circle, and are the biggest opponents of it now that it's being turned against them. So, in some ways, you know, as someone as someone who my mission has been since, you know, in the ron paul move in the last 10 years trying to radicalize the right. To to oppose these unconstitutional government programs, I see that as a big win. Sadly, the left has gone full circle the other direction. And, but that's its own, that's its own thing. But I do want to bring up this concept, again. The question, there's a, there's a concept in economics, you know, ceteris, paribus, all other things being equal. And because we aren't in a laboratory environment where we can, like we can we can run an experiment. Okay, what happens in history if the Snowden you know, reveals don't happen versus what they do? We can't we can't do that. We can't run an experiment like that. We don't have a time machine. You know, a lot of these a lot of these things are speculation, but I would, I would say, I would suggest that a lot of these things really would have been happening anyway. But the awareness has given movements like ours. It has helped us red pill a lot of people to fight back, just like the ron paul campaign. did. I want to push back on mark on that one? Um, you say you say that we haven't, you know, if freedom has an increase since these revelations, but freedom wasn't increasing. We weren't on a trajectory of increasing freedom. You know, before these revelations anyway, the question is, is freedom increased versus where it would have been otherwise? And just like the ron paul movement, the you know, radicalized so many young libertarians to go and, you know, become early pioneers and things like Bitcoin to challenge the Federal Reserve, or even run for their state legislatures and restore gun rights with constitutional carry and so many other things. It is it is not is there more freedom today than there was eight years ago. It's are we more free and on the path to being more free today than we would have been otherwise?

My goodness, I can't believe we're already getting close ish to time. So I want to do this. This is one thing I like to do when I'm training my sales team. And when you're going through, I want you to Think about something and Margo may start with you something that Eric has has presented here. That is the strongest argument in favor of what he's presenting, you have to give a little little bit of concession to and then Eric, we're gonna do the same for Mark site. So what would you say is the strongest argument that Eric's made thus far today, Mark?

I think it's actually the argument that he just made a moment ago. I would say that that to whatever extent that the Snowden reveals, much like the ron paul campaign, I would be clear, I'm not arguing the ron paul Kane didn't leave lead to more freedom. It was just kind of a side side comment, because it is something I think about in that way, just like I have made myself think about this issue in the last couple of weeks preparing for this debate. The idea that to whatever extent more people became aware of this issue, then would have because maybe they wouldn't have seen it if it wasn't blasted on CNN, or they wouldn't seen it. If it wasn't a mainstream conversation, even if there were an alternative mode ulterior motive, even if there is more laws that are that are enshrining the spying and that sort of thing, to whatever extent that people became inspired and emboldened to get more into the privacy issue, to become entrepreneurs to become tech nerds, to get into cryptocurrencies to find all the ways that we can combat this not just politically, but just in our own lives, you know, by the way that you can protect individual people from spying the to make people more anonymous, through crypto cryptocurrency and the blockchain technology overall, to whatever extent people became more inspired, obviously, Bitcoin and cryptocurrency was around before the Snowden reveal. So I think this trend was already there. So again, just like we're not we're not looking at just what are the effects since then? What are the effects if they, you know, had not occurred? I think if the Snowden revealed specifically had not occurred, we would still be seeing that trend. But I would, I would concede that to whatever extent, people were inspired by this reveal, and more people became aware of this stuff, and more became more people became in their own lives, interested in pursuing things that will make us more free, that will provide us more security. I think that is an excellent argument. So that I think that is the the best argument that Senator breakers made so far.

All right, Eric, and for the point that Mark's been raising, and he raised a few really strong points. Which one do you think has been the strongest argument thus far?

Well, first of all, I want to say, you know, Mark, and I promised going into this debate that it was going to lack substance and just be about ad hominem that we really failed. We really thought of him. I'm a little disappointed.

We saw some time guys, come on, I still haven't

got to the point where I'm going, I am going to accuse you of being a CIA actor, even though I suggest that I might not. But I was not. Yeah, I haven't, you know, and all I'm gonna say is Google is Eric breaky fit and see what you find. That's all I'm gonna say.

And all I'm gonna say is, is lions of liberty, a CIA controlled opposition outfit? I don't know. That's for the viewers to decide. I'm not suggesting they are. But yeah. So you know, so in all seriousness, I think I acknowledged this in my opening remarks, I think the strongest argument is, you know, from Mark side, is the degree to which the awareness has created a sort of normalization in people's minds and a mass acceptance that well, this is just what the government does, kind of like the TSA, we were all outraged about it at first, but now we're 20 years later, it doesn't look like the TSA is going anywhere. And we just passively accept that we got to let TSA agents like, you know, go run us through, you know, naked body scanners or like grope us and commit sexual assault against our children every time they want to, we want to fly an airplane. So. So that kind of mass acceptance is is sad, some of you know when institution like this goes on long enough with public awareness. And people just accept that as part of the scenery. And I do think that that certainly has happened to some degree. But I would also counter that, you know, movements for change don't necessarily require, you know, majority support. You know, the American Revolution we often talk about was initially, you know, it was it was it was a radical 3% of the population that lit the brushfires for this that grew into, into real change and real revolution. And I think that, you know, we need to be, I think that the, you know, the fact that we are I think that our radical Liberty movement continues to grow. It is sometimes a slow burn, it doesn't happen as fast as as we'd like it to. But revolutions, it's like Ron Paul, Ron Paul said, at the end of the 2008 campaign, you know, campaigns are short term efforts, but revolutions are our long term projects, you know, building support for overthrowing the deep state, our fourth branch of government building support for restoring liberty in America in a true way. It This is going to be a slow burn, sometimes it may be a battle of inches, sometimes it may even, you know, we feel like we're moving backwards. Sometimes we see the The, the, you know, these institutions behaving just more recklessly, you know, increasing their grip on the American public than ever, but again, I I always take heart with that. The knowledge that, like I said before, institutions that are winning the fight the narrative fight, do not behave like Gollum trying to reclaim the Ring of Power. And that's what they've been behaving like, as they've cracked down on the public more and more there, they beat they're behaving like people who are afraid that they're losing control. And I think that they are. And as our, you know, the mass majority of the american public may not take these issues seriously right now. But I guarantee you that as we move more and more towards this tipping point moment that is coming in the future, when we have the financial crisis that is inevitable, as the as they print more and more money and destroy the currency, there's going to come there's going to come a day, when so many of these, these things that have just been passively accepted from the government are going to be called into question. And it's going to be people like, you know, Brian, you me, Mark, it's going to be people like us who are going to have to, you know, use that moment, and and rally the radical 3% who want liberty, to to, to challenge kind of, to use that moment, to challenge the structures that are in place and get real change. Until then we got to keep plugging away. But Edward Snowden, I mean, again, the first you can't fight an enemy that people don't even acknowledge exists. People know that the surveillance state is there now. And that's the first step. So we got to keep pushing.

All right, Jen. So let's finish here. We're going to recap again. What was the topic of conversation it was was Edward Snowden, NSA leak, a net positive for liberty or for the advancement of liberty? So Mark, we heard from you first, let's go ahead. And in the final closing statements here, final thoughts will go ahead, give you the floor here. Do you think you made the best case you could today?

Well, I just want to say from the beginning that well, first of all, thank you, Brian, for hosting this show. When when Senator Brady and I were discussing who we should have host this, you were quite literally the first person that came to mind. And as soon as I brought it up, he completely agree with me, and you have absolutely lived up to the expectations. You've been an awesome host, and not quite revealing whatever biases you might have in there. And while really facilitating the conversation, and I'm really thrilled that you were able to connect us and bring us a town circle. And we're also able to help feed people at the same time and really bring more awareness to this conversation. I think it's an important conversation to have. So I just want to thank you for that. Brian. Yes, I am kissing up to the host. But yeah, I would say Did I make the best argument I could have made? I don't know, time will tell. Because I didn't mention this in the beginning. But just to gain some sympathy points with the audience. This is actually while I have hosted many debates in my life, this is actually the first debate I have been a participant in, in my entire life in any format whatsoever, unless we discount all of the many late night conversations I've had at the bar and with friends and what have you, because then I've had million. So I guess it really just depends on your perspective. But in the formal sense, this is the first debate that I've been involved with. So it's possible, I didn't make the best argument I could have made because now it's my first go at it. But and I do I recognize from the very beginning of this, that I was taking the difficult position to take, especially when a large portion of the people were going to be speaking to a large, large portion of the people that are going to be viewing this and watching this and listening to this are going to people that are you'd be more inclined to the ideas of liberty, they're going to be opposed to NSA spying, which of course, I am opposed to as well and that are going to view Edward Snowden with a hit as a hero, which I will say, for the large portion of my life, including today. I largely do. Maybe that doesn't help my case. But I just want to be clear here that I am I'm participating in this debate, because I wanted to facilitate the conversation and I and I consciously took the more difficult position to take. So there probably is there probably are ways I could have made better arguments in some in some areas. But I think as far as just looking at the results, I think again, that is the most important thing. And I guess we never really will know what awareness of spying, what kind of laws you might have, what kind of effect there would be if there was no Snowden revealed, because we don't live in that world. So it really is it comes down to speculation, no matter which way we look at it at the end of the day. But again, what I really want to emphasize is the direct results of this note and reveal. And the direct result of that Snowden reveal again, are the enshrining of spying into the legal system. Whereas before, what they were doing, what the NSA was doing was clearly illegal was absolutely illegal. And now it has just become more legal. Perhaps it has restrictions that it didn't have before, but it's more legal. And that's the difference. That's the difference to me. There have also been other results. Other blowback, you might say from this reveal that I didn't have the chance to talk about earlier. But we've seen many countries around the world, right? We really been mostly talking about the United States, but many countries around the world have reacted to this note in league by passing various laws and regulations in Europe. We saw the general data privacy regulation, that may have never happened. Many people believe that was a direct result of the Snowden revelations, those regulations that huge penalties for any companies associated with data disclosures. I'm not defending companies that are involved in data disclosures. But it has led to the blocking of access to a lot of websites in Europe and the shutdown of many services. So it really has led to a lack of information freedom in many other countries. There have also been severe internet restrictions in many of the countries that were targeted and revealed to have been targeted by US intelligence. Both Brazil and Russia have passed data sovereignty laws that require all internet services to store user data within China, ironically enough, where Edward Snowden is and now China has enacted some similar regulations. China's Russia has been censoring social media and messaging apps that have failed to comply, provide access to certain data and messages. China has passed cybersecurity regulations that have forced information technology vendors to turn over their source code for software, there have been a lot of reactions that we didn't really talk about in the show around the world to the Snowden reveal, including in the country where he currently resides. And these do seem to be direct responses to this note and reveal. So again, that doesn't mean you shouldn't have done it. That doesn't mean it was wrong. But I think there has been a lot of negative consequences throughout the last eight years to this. And they're they're very, very plain and very things that we can actually point out to you, I think it's more difficult to point out to how much more people are into data privacy, how many more people are aware of it, how many more people might have gotten into bitcoin and cryptocurrency and privacy and take that technology, which I did say was Eric strongest argument, but it's difficult to quantify that. Whereas I can actually point at many laws and regulations that have come into place that I do see as a net negative for liberty out there that are a direct result of the blowback, you might say from the Snowden revelations, which again, are really regardless of intent, regardless of you know, what

what he wants to do with it, regardless of what his true intentions are. So I will say that did I make the best argument I don't know I guess the the viewers can decide but I do. Thank you for hosting Brian, I do thank you for participating in this, Eric. And you know, you're welcome for giving the free letting you take the softball easy position.

Oh, before we before that, Eric, go ahead and get his rebuttal. And where can folks go ahead and follow you mark if they want continue the conversation?

Oh, you can follow me as you see right here on Twitter where i is the place where I get the most hot and spicy with my takes. You can follow me at Mark that's mark with a C at market D Claire CLA IR for those that are not watching the video. Of course you can find us the lions of liberty podcast. You guys know how the internet works lions of liberty, we're everywhere. We're everywhere on the internet. And you can hear me every single Monday where I often host interviews. But this month for the entire month of August. It's my birthday month, I decided to do something fun. And I have a whole month of debates including this one. There are five Mondays in August, and you're going to hear five different debates on lines of liberty. I'm super excited about that. And of course, if you want early access to those debates, you can get that by becoming a patron of lions of liberty patreon.com slash lions of liberty. And that's about it.

Cool. Mr. breaky. Alright, so obviously, I'm going to pose the same question I pose to mark, did you make the best arguments that you can make today, Eric? And also final thoughts on the conversation today? Was Edward Snowden. In fact, his NSA leaks and net positive for liberty?

Well, of course, I only make the best arguments. And, and by the way, you know, Mark, Claire, is proven by taking the other side of this, that he's totally an NSA agent. No, and all seriousness, Mark, it's been a pleasure debating with you, Brian, thank you for hosting. And I do want to say I do think that it is important for even questions that may appear, the answer may appear obvious on first glance, it's important to put a question mark at the end of assumptions that we take for granted. And so I think that there's valuable value in having this debate. And I really commend mark for taking kind of the devil's advocate position, which I would say I think is the harder position because I think the evidence is on my side. So. Um, but I also did want to say, Mark, I didn't realize you and I are both Leo's for liberty. Indeed, yeah. Because August is my birth birth day month as well. Oh, excellent. What's what day is your birthday? I'm the seventh set. That's my brother's birthday. But my birthday is

actually why I can't be a rep. 21 I'm gonna be busy partying that night. I had other obligations. I didn't want to go.

Well, I'm at eight. So anyway, so we're both Leo liberty. That is not relevant to this debate whatsoever. But I

know, but it's relevant to the fact that we are both lions of liberty in our own way.

Absolutely. Absolutely. Um, I'm trying to think other things I would say. I would say that the strongest argument on for my case, again, I that I think that the legal victories at this point in time have been marginal at best. And I frankly, I think agree with Mark to some degree about the USA Freedom Act that I think to some degree, it was token legislation. It had some good qualities in it. But overall it did in a Rand Paul criticized that at the time as formalizing a lot of the things that were at that point illegal.

Side question. Sorry to interrupt. I just am curious. Do you think you if you were in the US Congress at this time, do you think that's something that you would have voted for that?

I'm probably No, no. I think I, I would have been fighting for full repeal of the Patriot Act. I don't like this, like, Oh, you know, we've just accepted. I mean, at one point, the Patriot Act was controversial. And then now we just accept it. Well, we need to have the Patriot Act. Right. And so let's just make it better. Yeah, I don't think that's how we should be doing things. Um, anyway, uh, putting that aside, but I but I do think that the best argument remains, the the technology that has emerged out of a demand in the marketplace for better security. I think that this is still something that's in its infancy, but we're seeing, you know, huge strides for some of the technologies I mentioned, we didn't even really get into cryptocurrency. But I do think that that has been fueled by you know, you know, desire to have technology that is, you know, safe from manipulation from, from these centralized government authorities. So I think that there are a lot of things that are building that we have not reached the culmination of yet, these these, these developments can take some time. But it's like Michael malice says, you know, you don't win all at once you win Little by little, and then all at once, and we haven't won all at once yet, but I do think that when we look back maybe in 50 years time, we're going to see much more clearly the the the the triumph of liberty, the triumph of this Liberty revolution in America and across the world. And we're going to be able to point back to the Edward Snowden revelations as a very big contributing factor to it all.

I think I think the fair thing to do then is to just agree right now. That's in August of 2071. We will do this debate again, with with more hindsight and more information at our disposal.

Should we should we like should we like bet like some Bitcoin on it? Sure. $5 I would say one bitcoin, but I don't know. I don't know that might be that might be a bridge of the mind.

And you might buy a mansion with $1 Bitcoin in 2071. But with that being said, I mean, Eric, really quick before I wrap up, where can folks go ahead and follow you in the young Americans for liberty crew.

So you can follow me directly at senator breaky on Twitter. You can also follow young Americans for liberty at y a Liberty on Twitter, you can also find all of us young Americans for liberty myself on Facebook and Instagram, look around, we're always delivering good content talking about the the fight for liberty on a daily basis, the amazing work of our activists on college campuses, knocking doors to elect principal Liberty champions who are going to challenge the the surveillance state and and well the state at all in all of its manifestations. In the years ahead. We're making Liberty when glad to be a part of it. And thank you both for for being here.

Absolutely. I'm, I'm looking forward to hanging out with you down at revolution 21. Here, Orlando, Florida coming up August 5 through the seventh I'll be on media row. So folks who are watching there'll be down there please stop by but to kind of put a bow on this debate slash conversation. I love that you both focused on results. I agree wholeheartedly in terms of what you both thought were the strong arguments on the other. I personally believe the technology argument from Eric standpoint is huge into Mark's standpoint, there is general apathy that we have to go ahead and make sure that we are combating. But speaking of results, 1400 meals were to go Jen's we raised 1400 meals here at town circle, as we had this conversation was the NSA leaks of Edward Snowden a net positive for the Liberty movement. I cannot thank enough Eric breaky who took the affirmative and Mark Claire from lines of liberty with the negative I am your host, Brian Nichols from The Brian Nichols Show. Thank you for joining us here on town circle. Thanks. Thanks, Brian. Thanks, Eric. Thank you.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai