May 13, 2014

AF Dallas and the Rupe Debate Series Ask: What’s the Role of the NSA?

By: Kathryn Shelton

On March 23, the Dallas chapter of America’s Future Foundation hosted 35 young professionals at Maggiano’s Little Italy to participate in a debate: “What Is the Role of the NSA?” The event was sponsored by the Arthur N. Rupe Foundation as part of a debate series around the country entitled “What’s Next for America’s Future?”

Guests Ladar Levison, founder of Lavabit LLC, and Steven Bucci, director of the Heritage Foundation’s Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign and National Security Policy participated in the debate.

Levison, whose company offered the encrypted email service that Edward Snowden used following his disclosure of classified NSA documents, argued strongly for America’s legacy of complete liberty. He detailed the history of the United States’ privacy argument, invoking former Secretary of State Henry Stimson’s quote that, “gentlemen do not read each other’s mail.” Levison argued that electronic mail is just as private as physical letters.

Bucci, who is also a former Army Special Forces officer and top Pentagon official, argued in defense of the NSA’s complex and delicate role as a military and intelligence office. He also defended various programs’ emphasis on foreign threats to national security rather than domestic. Bucci swore off any heroism of Snowden or Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

Guests enjoyed cocktails and appetizers while the debate took place, and engaged in a question-and-answer session afterward. Attendees and debaters alike made their sense of patriotism known, but also enjoyed discussing different ways to interpret liberty and security.

 Special Thanks to AF-Dallas Board Member Sarah Bennett for this chapter highlight 


Interested in learning about AF opportunities or chapter events in your area? Check out our Local Chapter Highlights to learn more, or contact Kathryn Shelton, Director of Chapter Advancement for America’s Future, at [email protected]