I'm always bitching about Qwest and have been checking out some VOIP companies like Sun Rocket to replace my Qwest service, but I have to say when it comes to the massive NSA spy program, Qwest's refusal to participate in it without a FISA warrant is truly commendable. Out of all the nation's largest telecommunications providers Qwest was the lone holdout:
According to sources familiar with the events, Qwest's CEO at the time, Joe Nacchio, was deeply troubled by the NSA's assertion that Qwest didn't need a court order - or approval under FISA - to proceed. Adding to the tension, Qwest was unclear about who, exactly, would have access to its customers' information and how that information might be used.
...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.
...Unable to reach agreement, Nacchio's successor, Richard Notebaert, finally pulled the plug on the NSA talks in late 2004, the sources said.
Wowza! I guess the potential for a massive class action lawsuit outweighed a lucrative illegal government contract.