NSA Domestic Surveillance Began 7 Months Before 9/11, CEO Claims

That startling allegation is in court documents released this week which show that former Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio — the head of the only company known to have turned down the NSA’s requests for Americans’ phone records — tried, unsuccessfully, to argue just that in his defense against insider trading charges.

Nacchio was sentenced to 6 years in prison in 2007 after being found guilty of illegally selling shares based on insider information that the company’s fortunes were declining.  Nacchio unsuccessfully attempted to defend himself by arguing that he actually expected Qwest’s 2001 earnings to be higher because of secret NSA contracts, which, he contends, were denied by the NSA after he declined in a February 27, 2001 meeting to give the NSA customer calling records, court documents released this week show.

AT&T, Verizon and Bellsouth all agreed to turn over call records to an NSA database, according to reporting in the USA Today in 2006. At that time, Nacchio’s lawyer publicly stated that Nacchio declined to participate until served with a proper legal order.


Read more on this story at wired.com