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Senior Daniel Cody won the 2018 Everett Oratory. Matthew Kendrick | Col­legian

Senior Daniel Cody won the 2018 Edward Everett Prize in Oratory, an annual speech com­pe­tition that focused this year on “National Security and Privacy: Prin­ciples for Achieving a Just Balance.”

This 18th annual com­pe­tition was judged by Pres­ident Larry Arnn, Pro­fessor of Pol­itics Thomas West, and Pro­fessor and Chairman of Pol­itics Mickey Craig.

“Arnn announced that he and the judges believed this to be one of the strongest set of com­petitors since the com­pe­tition began,” said Kristin Kiledal, department chair of rhetoric and public addres and the event’s orga­nizer. “The panel of pre­lim­inary judges was sim­i­larly impressed.”

Cody, Weaver, and Carozza were among five com­petitors who qual­ified for the contest’s final round out of 21 appli­cants. Other finalists included freshman Taryn Murphy and junior Ellen Friesen. Com­petitors created and mem­o­rized a speech on the assigned topic with a 10-minute time limit.

“I thor­oughly enjoyed every round of the com­pe­tition, and I am grateful for the oppor­tunity. It is awesome to get a chance to present and defend your ideas,” Cody said.

His speech cen­tered on the current approach of the gov­ernment to record every­thing and then have the ability to access detailed reports when anyone falls under sus­picion. This, he argued, calls for policies that will fix the sur­veil­lance pro­grams.

He stated that people must rec­ognize that these pro­grams are only the van­guards to the new approach to law enforcement and national security. They are the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the immense tech­no­log­i­cally enabled gov­ernment power of mass sur­veil­lance.

To help explain the need for clear prin­ciples to guide our government’s use of mass sur­veil­lance and limit it, he pro­vided the example of the prece­dence set by the United States gov­ernment in the Tele­phone Records Program. Founded in 2001 after 9/11, Pres­ident George W. Bush secretly autho­rized this program, which required that American tele­phone com­panies turn over all records each day so they could be accessed whenever. For each person who falls under ter­rorist sus­picion, their tele­phone records are col­lected as well as all of the phone records of who that phone made contact with, as well as who those phones made contact with, as well as who those phones made contact with.

Cody ended his speech by asking the audience to imagine what sort of tech­nology will be pos­sible a year from now, with this prece­dence in mind. He pro­vided a call to action for all Amer­icans to prevent their rights from being washed away by adopting prin­ciples lim­iting the use of mass sur­veil­lance. Cody said these ideas are trans­parency, account­ability, and utility. This means not dis­solving what Amer­icans con­sider to be right, holding pro­grams respon­sible to the real courts, and doing so without increasing security of other rights.

Cody was awarded $3,000 for his pre­sen­tation. Senior Jacob Weaver received $2,000 for second place, and junior Shiloh Carozza received $1,000 for third.

Weaver stressed the strict adherence of the 4th amendment as a means for cre­ating the perfect com­promise between privacy and security. This means ensuring that whenever the gov­ernment is snooping around that it’s with probable cause. He ended his speech with a call for Amer­icans to “hold our rep­re­sen­ta­tives accountable.”

Carozza’s speech focused on the need for gov­ernment today to “play by the con­sti­tution.” She explained that by respecting indi­vidual liberty and the 4th amendment, those truly posing a threat to our country will be sought out and those who are innocent will retain their liberty.