Qwest CEO Nacchio to NSA: “Go Screw.”

Although doubtlessly guilty of insider trading, former Qwest CEO Joe Nacchio has one moral feather tucked beneath the diamond-encrusted ribbon of his Mr. Moneybags-style top hat: when the NSA approached Nacchio and demanded Qwest phone records to stave off the terrorist threat, Nacchio told them to go fuck themselves. This is while executives at companies like Verizon, AT&T and Bell South gleefully capitulated to what amounts to an illegal and unconstitutional request.

What this means that, thanks to Nacchio, Qwest customers are practically the only people in the country who aren’t currently in the NSA’s massive database of phone records.

Why’d Nacchio do it? It probably wasn’t any real concern over his customers’ privacy. Actually, it looked like he did it because the legal department warned him it would open Qwest up to a massive class-action lawsuit. Of course, that legal quibble might have been unfounded, if the DoJ gets their way in dismissing lawsuits against these companies simply by stamping the court papers with a big, blocky TOP SECRET stamp.

Nod to Nacchio for “no” to NSA [Denver Post] (Thanks, Brandon!)


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  1. Nate says:

    He couldn’t have told them to f-off. From the photo it’s clear he has no mouth and huge insect-like eyes. Whatever gesture he used to stave off the NSA — perhaps using one of his appendages — I’m glad it worked.

  2. LandruBek says:

    IIRC, this is old news, revealed shortly after the warrantless wiretapping story first broke. At the time I congratulated Qwest for their what-could-be-interpreted-as ethical behavior.

    Qwest, if you read Consumerist, note that this year, somewhere in the USA, at least one new customer chose you over the competition because you refused to help the NSA violate the US Constitution.

    It would have been even better if Qwest had said, “We reject this illegal request and choose to obey the wiretap laws, because we believe the rule of law and the Fourth Amendment are still important.” Ah well, I can dream, can’t I?