Thursday, May 11, 2006

Qwest: The Lone Hold-Out

It's recently become known that the NSA has been secretly compiling the largest list of phone records in history.

Here's the explanation from a USA Today article: "The NSA program reaches into homes and businesses across the nation by amassing information about the calls of ordinary Americans - most of whom aren't suspected of any crime."

Out of the four big telecommunications companies, three agreed to provide the caller information to the NSA: AT&T, Verizon, and BellSouth. The fourth, Qwest, was the only one to refuse.

Here is what the USA Today article had to say about the refusal:

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Unable to get comfortable with what NSA was proposing, Qwest's lawyers asked NSA to take its proposal to the FISA court. According to the sources, the agency refused.

The NSA's explanation did little to satisfy Qwest's lawyers. "They told (Qwest) they didn't want to do that because FISA might not agree with them," one person recalled. For similar reasons, this person said, NSA rejected Qwest's suggestion of getting a letter of authorization from the U.S. attorney general's office. A second person confirmed this version of events.

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Why would the FISA court -- which has only rejected 4 out of over 20,000 applications to come before it since it was established in 1979 -- deny the NSA's request for a court order?

Just a hunch here, but maybe it's because the program is unconstitutional.

1 Comments:

Blogger Brovold said...

My interminable two year Verizon plan just expired and I'm considering switching providers -- this will certainly be a factor in that decision. Thanks for the pointed summation!

February 29, 2008  

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