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One aspect that is seldom mentioned - AT&T and Verizon charged a pretty penny for selling out our privacy to illegal wiretapping. Qwest was punished by being locked out of certain government contracts.
Either wiretapping is legal, and then the telcos must comply in all cases with a proper decision made. Or it is not legal, and then the telcos must not comply. This article suggests that telcos somehow make their own judgement case by case, which is pretty bizarre. Surely they do not get the background info?
That's exactly the issue. The requests weren't valid, which is why Qwest didn't comply with the requests. One of the principles of our government is that of checks and balances, which is why judicial review is required for wiretap orders. If the AG approves wiretap orders from an intelligence agency that's the same as the Executive Branch saying that the Executive Branch's request is valid.
The Founding Fathers had a word for this kind of reasoning and justification - tyranny.
I think the Vice President should be in jail (Dubya is irrelevant) but I have to wonder why Senator Rockefeller should give anyone a free pass so easily. Perhaps he is being given another snow job about national security?
I keep hearing about how these wire taps were critical to keeping other attacks from happening. With Tricky Dick running the show, I will need some solid proof before I believe anything this bunch has to say.
PS. Guess I have to hope LR will not roll over and hand my identity to the Justice department.
Bear in mind that his conviction may well stem directly from his saying no!
At the time of the illegal, warrantless request, Qwest was a leading contender for a big government contract. So they included it in their anticipated revenues. Because Nacchio did the right thing and turned down the request, the Cheney-Rove regime didn't award them the contract. And the prosecutors were let loose on them.
Nacchio's books were probably far less than squeaky clean, but there's probably a real connection between the events.
Have some backbone? Some integrity? Some sense of right and wrong that goes beyond the rule of law?
But, then, we are talking about telcos here.
I'm not "flippantly suggesting that breaking the law is OK as long as you genuinely disagree with it".
I am suggesting that perhaps the telcos have the means and power to explore whether what they're asked to do is on the level.
Put another way, how much time, money, and effort do the telcos spend fighting regulation of what are, in many cases, de facto geographic monopolies? Millions of bucks and hundreds of hours.
Could any of that time, money, and effort be used to see if spying on citizens was an appropriate request, even while honoring the letter of the law?
And IF they find out the request was out of bounds, are they not in a position to apply political pressure -- to lobby -- for the requests to stop?
I'm not suggesting that the telcos break the law.
My position, you'll recall, is that I don't care if they pay a dime for their "crimes", so long as they tell us exactly what they did. (http://www.lightreading.com/bl...