Qwest in trouble over its pre-09/11 information access stance

Qwest, the US communications company and Internet service provider appears to have landed itself in the soup following claims it turned down an NSA security proposal in February, 2001, some seven months before the tragic events of 09/11.

Following the refusal of the NSA's security proposals - which Qwest claims its lawyers considered to be illegal - the NSA is alleged to have withdrawn some outsourcing contracts.

This minor skirmish have only came to light after Qwest's chief executive, Joseph Nacchio, was found guilty earlier this year of insider trading.

Nacchio has appealed his sentence of six years in prison and remains free pending the appeal case being heard in court. The NSA revelations apparently came out last week from his appeal documents.

According to the court filings, Nacchio turned down a series of illegal information requests from the NSA for the installation of domestic surveillance and data mining programs on the Qwest network to monitor al-Qaida communications.

Reports suggest that, although heavily censored on national security grounds, Nacchio's court filing confirms what many have suspected for some time, namely that the NSA routinely monitored all forms of communications in the US for many years before the 09/11 attacks.

After the 09/11 attacks, Qwest now appears to be the bad guy over its refusal to agree to the NSA's request.

Prior to the attack on the Twin Towers, of course, it was the NSA that appeared to be the bad guy.

I suspect we'll hear more about this case as it progresses, with the NSA making some relevant comments. Read more on this potentially explosive case here...