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Pre 9/11 Qwest Telco CEO who resisted NSA spying is out of prison, feels ‘vindicated’ by Snowden leaks

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The seal of the U.S. National Security Agency....

The seal of the U.S. National Security Agency. The first use was in September 1966, replacing an older seal which was used briefly. For more information, see here and here. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just one major telecommunications company refused to participate in a legally dubious NSA surveillance program in 2001. A few years later, its CEO was indicted by federal prosecutors. He was convicted, served four and a half years of his sentence and was released this month.

Prosecutors claim Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio was guilty of insider trading, and that his prosecution had nothing to do with his refusal to allow spying on his customers without the permission of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. But to this day, Nacchio insists that his prosecution was retaliation for refusing to break the law on the NSA’s behalf.

After his release from custody Sept. 20, Nacchio told the Wall Street Journal that he feels “vindicated” by the content of the leaks that show that the agency was collecting American‘s phone records.

Nacchio was convicted of selling of Qwest stock in early 2001, not long before the company hit financial troubles. However, he claimed in court documents that he was optimistic about the firm’s ability to win classified government contracts — something they’d succeeded at in the past. And according to his timeline, in February 2001 — some six months before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks he was approached by the NSA and asked to spy on customers during a meeting he thought was about a different contract. He reportedly refused because his lawyers believed such an action would be illegal and the NSA wouldn’t go through the FISA Court. And then, he says, unrelated government contracts started to disappear.

 

Cray X-MP/24 (serial no. 115) used by NSA

Cray X-MP/24 (serial no. 115) used by NSA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

His narrative matches with the warrantless surveillance program reported by USA Today in 2006 which noted Qwest as the lone holdout from the program, hounded by the agency with hints that their refusal “might affect its ability to get future classified work with the government.” But Nacchio was prevented from bringing up any of this defense during his jury trial — the evidence needed to support it was deemed classified and the judge in his case refused his requests to use it. And he still believes his prosecution was retaliatory for refusing the NSA requests for bulk access to customers’ phone records. Some other observers share that opinion, and it seems consistent with evidence that has been made public, including some of the redacted court filings unsealed after his conviction.

 

English: Picture of the Qwest corporate buildi...

English: Picture of the Qwest corporate building in Denver, Colorado by User:Tijuana Brass. PD. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/09/30/a-ceo-who-resisted-nsa-spying-is-out-of-prison-and-he-feels-vindicated-by-snowden-leaks/?tid=pm_pop

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Written by voiceoftruthusa

October 1, 2013 at 6:37 am

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  1. […] Pre 9/11 Qwest Telco CEO who resisted NSA spying is out of prison, feels ‘vindicated’ by… (voiceoftruthusa.wordpress.com) […]


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