“The telecommunications company Qwest turned down requests by the National Security Agency for private telephone records because it concluded that doing so would violate federal privacy laws, a lawyer for the telephone company’s former chief executive said today.
In a statement released this morning, the lawyer said that the former chief executive, Joseph N. Nacchio, made the decision after asking whether “a warrant or other legal process had been secured in support of that request.”
Mr. Nacchio learned that no warrant had been granted and that there was a “disinclination on the part of the authorities to use any legal process,” said the lawyer, Herbert J. Stern. As a result, the statement said, Mr. Nacchio concluded that “the requests violated the privacy requirements of the Telecommunications Act.”
… Qwest was the only phone company to turn down requests from the security agency for phone records as part of a program to compile a vast database of numbers and other information on virtually all domestic calls. – nytimes