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Qwest Punished by NSA for Non-Cooperation

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the tit-for-tat dept.

Privacy 170

nightcats writes "According to a story from the Rocky Mountain news, Qwest has received retaliatory action from the NSA for refusing to cooperate in the Bush administration's domestic data-mining activity (i.e., spying on Americans). 'The [just-released government] documents indicate that likely would have been at the heart of former CEO Joe Nacchio's so-called "classified information" defense at his insider trading trial, had he been allowed to present it. The secret contracts - worth hundreds of millions of dollars - made Nacchio optimistic about Qwest's future, even as his staff was warning him the company might not make its numbers, Nacchio's defense attorneys have maintained. But Nacchio didn't present that argument at trial. '"

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Nonsense (5, Informative)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 6 years ago | (#20944819)

The linked article does not support the sensationalist nonsense presented in the summary.

Re:Nonsense (5, Insightful)

clodney (778910) | more than 6 years ago | (#20944927)

I admit the summary is inflammatory, but strip away the hyperbole and the implication is there.

Nacchio is claiming that he expected to receive classified government contracts that would have prevented the revenue shortfall, and that therefore he was not guilty of insider trading because he believed the revenue forecasts to be accurate.

Nacchio is clearly not a disinterested party to this, so his assertions have to be examined carefully, but it is at least plausible that after Qwest declined to give the NSA access to their network, NSA decided to give the contract to someone else in retaliation.

I haven't followed the story closely enough to pretend to have an informed opinion on the merits of the argument. Of course, this is /., so I guess that doesn't matter here.

Re:Nonsense (5, Insightful)

complexmath (449417) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945315)

Nacchio is clearly not a disinterested party to this, so his assertions have to be examined carefully, but it is at least plausible that after Qwest declined to give the NSA access to their network, NSA decided to give the contract to someone else in retaliation.

This was my interpretation as well. Basically, the government was using lucrative contracts as an incentive for cooperation with various other less palatable projects. When Qwest declined to cooperate with those, the government pulled their other contracts and gave them to someone else who was presumably more willing to cooperate. Given this, I think a case could be made for the mis-estimation of future income by Qwest. Depending on where they were in negotiations, etc, it's reasonable to assume that there was grounds for considering these contracts as valid future revenue.

So? (0)

wsanders (114993) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945411)

1) Government wants s33kr1t network to spy on alleged troublemakers.

2) AT&T and Verizon cooperate, Quest refuses.

3) Contract goes to AT&T and Verizon, blows off Quest.

4) Duh!

If you love the U.S., help prevent corruption. (-1, Troll)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945447)

"Basically, the government was using lucrative contracts as an incentive for cooperation with various other less palatable projects."

There are plenty of other aspects the corruption. The free movie "Zeitgeist" explains the 3 main parts of U.S. government corruption: Zeitgeist (2007) [zeitgeistmovie.com] .

The Zeitgeist movie is very poor in some places, such as the opening sequences, and excellent in most places.

Part 1 of the Zeitgeist movie gives an example of how people are controlled by myths. Without people who call themselves "Christians", but are actually just suffering from the mental illness called anger, George W. Bush could not have been elected, or stayed in office. The "Christians" have a moral rule, "You will not kill", that they follow only when they please. The "Christians" were easily controlled by Karl Rove, who had George W. Bush say that he is one of them. Belief in myth caused millions of U.S. citizens not to think independently, and allows their anger to be manipulated easily.

Part 2 of the Zeitgeist movie discusses how people who control government use fear to get more control. Laws that required centuries to build are now being thrown away with as little awareness by citizens as can be designed. The Zeitgeist movie uses the bombing of the World Trade Center is used as an example of creating fear to get control. Those who want more information about how corrupters use fear can watch the free 3-Part BBC movie about how those who want corruption gain more control: The Power Of Nightmares: The Rise Of The Politics Of Fear (2004) [moviesfoundonline.com] . BBC Article about the movie: The Power of Nightmares [bbc.co.uk] . Wikipedia Link: The Power of Nightmares [wikipedia.org] .

Part 3 of the Zeitgeist movie explains briefly how and why the U.S. government is pursuing a policy of hyper-inflation of the dollar now. In fact, a small number of people control U.S. monetary policy.

Zeitgest, the movie, is free and can be downloaded using a BitTorrent client, burned to a CD (a DVD is not necessary), and most modern DVD TV players will play it.

Don't expect emerging consciousness of very difficult subjects like those in the movie Zeitgeist to be free of error. The movie correctly says that "resurrection after 3 days" is part of many ancient myths, with an astrological background. However, the movie also speculates that Jesus Christ may never have existed. That's beside the point. In fact, whether Jesus Christ existed or not, many people in the world thought that the new ideas of someone called Jesus and someone called Paul of Tarsus were an improvement over what they had before. Even many people who do not claim to be part of a religion think that.

Those movies are an excellent and entertaining way to start learning about U.S. government corruption for those who don't know about the corruption, and want to know what is happening and why.

It is difficult for the average person to believe that someone who already has a lot of money would kill others simply because he wants more money. However, people from rich families often grow up believing that it is acceptable for them to kill people to get what they want.

Those who invest in weapons and the manipulatable parts of the oil business, such as Cheney and the Bush family, control the government to get more money and get more power.

I am surprised at how much conflict of interest is allowed in the U.S. government. Why are weapons and oil investors like Cheney and Bush allowed to decide about starting wars in countries that have oil? (Afghanistan may not have oil, but oil investors want to build a pipeline through Afghanistan.)

Now those who control the U.S. and U.K. governments are planning to start a war with Iran, another oil-rich country. If I count correctly, that will be the 24th country the United States government has invaded [futurepower.org] since the end of the 2nd world war. Every one of those invasions was motivated by profit for a hidden group of investors. See the article, Coups Arranged or Backed by the USA [krysstal.com] .

Expect attacks on those movies by paid political operatives. Remember that the corrupters have billions of dollars.

Also, remember that people like those who made the Zeitgeist movie accept enormous challenges in communicating about corruption clearly and authoritatively. It is therefore necessary to do your own research. Expect that you will find mistakes and need to correct them.

If you love the U.S. like I do, you will not accept government corruption.

Re:Nonsense (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946945)

Like so many in this thread - you can't tell the difference between an assumption and a fact. That Qwest was being punished is spin, an assumption. It is not a fact. Correlation is not causation.

Re:Nonsense (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945453)

Certainly the implication is there, but the article and the summary presuppose it as a fact. Facts and implications are not the same thing.

Re:Nonsense (3, Insightful)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945909)

It is a fact that he had meetings discussing contracts with the NSA, the details are redacted but the meeting is there. The fact that the judge won't allow the redacted information in the trial is somewhat disturbing as they prove he didn't have intent to defraud investors. Along the same line, the nature of such contracts means that investor notification may not be entirely possible or even legal. If he said he would probably make numbers dependent on pending government work he should be in the clear. Numbers are just that, numbers, they have risk.. greater when working for secret agencies as Quest is an order of magnitude smaller than Verizon or AT&T.

Re:Nonsense (2, Insightful)

terrymr (316118) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946131)

I'm curious why the judge didn't allow him the argue this at trial - maybe the NSA visited the judge too.

Re:Nonsense (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946969)

The implication seemed to be that somewhere along the like the gubment pulled the "state secrets" card out of their deck, again.

They sure do seem to have a lot of those. Isn't there some sort of tournament rule about having your deck be all one card?

Re:Nonsense (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946901)

You don't know if the information was redacted prior to the judge seeing it or not. Like so many in this thread you can't tell the difference between an assumption and a fact.

Re:Nonsense (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946613)

I admit the summary is inflammatory, but strip away the hyperbole and the implication is there.
"I know that this story is true. I believe that the witnesses and the documents are authentic. We wouldn't have gone to air if they would not have been." - Dan Rather, referring to the forged Killian documents

Re:Nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20946813)

The nature of the evidence is irrelevant; it's the seriousness of the charge that matters.

Re:Nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20946861)

Nacchio is claiming that he expected to receive classified government contracts...
... based on his insider knowledge of said contracts.

I don't think that you could come up with a better example of insider knowledge. Did the people on the street know anything about these classified contracts?

Re:Nonsense (3, Funny)

singingjim1 (1070652) | more than 6 years ago | (#20944967)

SONOFA! I was going to say that and would therefore have had my first positively moderated post! Oh well. Fuck it. Back under the bridge for me.

Re:Nonsense (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20944993)

Did you bother reading the PDF court filings which are listed on the article page?

It appears that (if Nacchio was telling the truth) the NSA offered projects worth a significant amount of money to Qwest -- then, when Nacchio refused a separate NSA request on the grounds that the request was illegal, the NSA withdrew the other projects.

If this isn't punishing Qwest for non-cooperation, what is?

Re:Nonsense (1)

jonfr (888673) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945685)

This is a common NSA / Homeland security tactics. If they company doesn't work with them, it dies. Or at least they try to kill it on a quiet note (They do similar things with people, but most of the time, they skip the killings, it gets too much attentions if that happens). This also is in the line of how the Bush administration has been working for the past six or so years.

There actions are in all like the actions of a military type government, not a civil one.

Re:Nonsense (1)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945009)

The linked article does not support the sensationalist nonsense presented in the summary.
Obviously another feeble attempt to discredit those who wish to discredit Mishter Presidient.

Re:Nonsense (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945571)

Nope. Just one of those rare individuals with balls to stand up and point out that the emperor has no clothes - and those that swallow uncritically anything that discredits the current administration have no brains.
 
The administration has done enough bad things - but that doesn't stop the brainless ones. They have to make shit up ("Iraq was attacked in retaliation for 9/11, the President said so") and, in this case, ignore the differences between fact and implication and between correlation and causation. The biggest threat to our country isn't the current Administration, it is the brainless sheeple, on both sides of the debate, that blindly swallow whatever they are told and regurgitate it any time anyone puts a quarter in their slot.

Re:Nonsense (1)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946123)

the brainless sheeple
Agreed. But this article is similar to what was done to the UFO spotters. UFO spotting is much more about finding secret military instillations than finding aliens, but the Pod People are full of spooks pretending to be lunatics. The war debate and so forth is much more about truth than about whether reds or blues are in power, but the disinformation machine seeks to change the agenda.

Dreams of impeachment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20946525)

Obviously another feeble attempt to discredit those who wish to discredit Mishter Presidient.
This attempt would need substantial improvement to attain "feeble." Nacchio has been the poster boy of corporate evil for years before he became a convicted felon. Suddenly his claims are credible evidence! Hapless victim of the Bush "regime"!!11!

Enjoy watching this puff of nonsense dissipate harmlessly. Another bit of "truth" appended to the "Reality Based(tm)" litany.

Next up: O.J.; "Bush took my stuff!"

Re:Nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20945047)

Heh, I thought it was a kdawson article at first.

From TFA: (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20945089)

The National Security Agency and other government agencies retaliated against Qwest because the Denver telco refused to go along with a phone spying program, documents released Wednesday suggest.

The documents indicate that likely would have been at the heart of former CEO Joe Nacchio's so-called "classified information" defense at his insider trading trial, had he been allowed to present it.

When you said that, I thought you meant that the Slashdot summary did not agree with the story, but it sure appears to. Did you mean that the story itself does not cite these documents directly or make it clear how they relate to his defense?

Because that I'd grant you.

Re:Nonsense (5, Informative)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945099)

The National Security Agency and other government agencies retaliated against Qwest because the Denver telco refused to go along with a phone spying program, documents released Wednesday suggest.

Well, the opening paragraph of the linked article indicates that they thought it did mean that.

Although, I don't think it's the domestic spying program that's been in the news. The article seems to infer that he had refused to participate in some unnamed program (which predated 9/11) which he said would be "was both inappropriate and illegal".

I think the summary seems valid (as it's largely direct quotes from the article).

It seems to be the article which is drawing the conclusion that there was some secret/illegal program (possibly a precursor to the current one) involving the phone system, and that Nacchio's refusal to go along with it.

If I understand it, they're saying that had he been able to cite these secret contracts with the government as to why he thought they'd do well (but couldn't release the info to shareholders) he might have had a defense against his insider trading clauses -- because he would have been prohibited by law from divulging them.

Now, as to how much you can attribute the actions of the NSA et all to retaliation for not participating in the now infamous domestic spying program -- that seems like speculation in the article. It seems like the summary is merely conflating "a" phone spying program with "the" phone spying program. The poster of the article doesn't seem to have so much sensationalized, as slightly mis-interpreted.

Cheers

Re:Nonsense (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945629)

No, both the article and summary make the mistake of treating an implication as a fact.

Re:Nonsense (3, Informative)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945815)

No, both the article and summary make the mistake of treating an implication as a fact.

No, the summary correctly says "According to a story from the Rocky Mountain news ...". The poster of the article adroitly sidesteps any personal claim that any of this is actually fact.

Now, as to how much of the things implied in the actual article can actually be considered fact, that's an entirely different matter. Some of the argument seems a little specious and vague to me. They're conclusions drawn by someone who has read a document I've never seen. It's not even really clear on who drew the conclusions.

I'm defending neither the article, nor its conclusions. But, I will say that I don't think that the person who posted the summary made it any more sensationalist than the actual article was, give or take a slight mis-interpretation of which (alleged) illegal spying program was at issue here. The summary merely treats it as fact that the Rocky Mountain news did, in fact, make assertions which are in line with the summary. Having RTFA, I can only determine that the poster didn't draw his own sensationalist conclusion, he slightly botched someone else's sensational conclusions.

All other aspects about the truthiness of the article are outside of the scope of anything I've said or plan to say, since it's all hearsay by the time we read it. :-P

Cheers

very definition of insider trading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20946223)

if he made trades based on relevant information which was not publicly known but which he learned about through his position in the company, then didn't wasn't that a classic definition of insider trading?

Re:Nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20946293)

Well, the opening paragraph of the linked article indicates that they thought it did mean that.
The they in this case is a convicted felon, and his criminal legal defense, that have made numerous improbable claims to explain his fraud, including being delusional. Yet another fount of towering credibility to feed the truthers.

Good luck peddling this outside of Air America and MoveOn. Maybe Waxman could fire up another investigation and piss away another year on dreams of impeachment.

Meanwhile, the reality of governance (as opposed to the hysteria of campaign) asserts itself on our ever so productive "Reality Based(tm)" Congressional Leadership and half a decade of wiretapping controversy is quietly put out to pasture. [nytimes.com] If only reality had some impact on Democratic campaign rhetoric.

Re:Nonsense (1)

TREE (9562) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945175)

It's a copy and paste. What on earth are you talking about? The /. summary *is* the article.

Re:Nonsense (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945667)

It isn't a copy and paste. Reading comprehension FTW.

Re:Nonsense (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20945551)

Why is the parent post modded 5, Informative when it states the opposite of the verifiable truth?

Check the article yourself if you doubt it. Look at the sidebar "RELATED LINKS" and click on the "CIPA 9" objection. It's a poorly scanned black-and-white document, but you can see a redacted section on the first page. This presumably mentions the NSA's illegal request. After that, you can read, "the agency retaliated for this refusal by denying the Groundbreaker and perhaps other work to Qwest."

Other people replying seem to be confused about the real issue here. The prosecution of Nacchio is not the retaliation being brought to our attention -- it is by "denying the Groundbreaker and perhaps other work to Qwest" that NSA retaliated.

Re:Nonsense (3, Insightful)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946105)

but that retaliation messed up his numbers while he was telling investors big deals were almost done... oops now it went south, the check wasn't in the mail... and he can't talk about it because it's secret. Now he's charged with a crime for not talking about it when the stock did poorly without those contracts. One could almost argue that the prosecutor had cherry picked that time frame knowing he couldn't use the facts to defend himself.

Political Flamebait (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20944869)

I love how today is "politics trolling" on slashdot.

This politics section was the worst idea since New Coke or the Apple Newton.

Don't like a story? Don't comment. (5, Insightful)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945167)

Please don't read or comment on articles in which you have no interest.

Alrighty then... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20946637)

I like cake, but I don't like puppies.

Re:Don't like a story? Don't comment. (1)

alan_dershowitz (586542) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946669)

The overarching problem is that a particular section on Slashdot consistently creates articles that devolve into flame wars. I can tell you two very good reasons why this is a bad idea: it attracts the wrong kind of poster, people who just like to fight; and second, moderators waste mod points modding down the ensuing flamebait and trolling instead of modding up good content in ANY section. Politics section is a mod points black hole and I believe you can see the effects of this today on the entire site. There are other solutions to alleviate problems like this, but by only seeing the problem as being with individual article quality, discussion about that is disallowed.

Re:Political Flamebait (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945225)

I love how today is "politics trolling" on slashdot.

Blasphemy!!! To the bonfire!!!

Re:Political Flamebait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20945279)

You know, I have to object to your grouping the /. politics section in with the apple newton and New Coke. New Coke was actually extensivly researched and thought out [snopes.com] just executed very poorly and got one of the biggest knee-jerk reactions from the american public ever.

Meanwhile the politics section of /. is indeed just plain stupid, and I really have no opinion of the newton.

Re:Political Flamebait (2, Insightful)

Soporific (595477) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945299)

God forbid you filter it out...

~S

Re:Political Flamebait (0, Troll)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945707)

God forbid somebody caring what kind of people are attracted to the site, and the results on the level and quality of the discussions resulting.

Re:Political Flamebait (1)

tcolberg (998885) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945319)

I think it's great that Slashdot has a politics section. Most people, let alone Americans are not informed about the political process on a daily basis. With the internet, people are able to be highly selective about the information that passes in front of them, in some ways making it more difficult to keep people informed or even interested politics. Sure there's "trolling" in the comments, but that's par for the course with any discussion. If Slashdot can put a couple political articles before a few more apathetic internet users per day and get them to debate it, the site has done a great service for both nerds and democracy.

Re:Political Flamebait (1)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946235)

The problem isn't trolling in the comments, it's trolling in the article summaries that's the problem...

Re:Political Flamebait (1)

Ecuador (740021) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945729)

What are you talking about? New coke was brilliant. The "Coke Classic" reintroduction turned out to be a historical moment.

First post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20944885)

woot!

Qwest gave up the names of a few (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20944887)

crack-smoking niggers. So what?

The article wasn't clear exactly.... (1)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 6 years ago | (#20944939)

why he was being charged with insider trading. I was to say he really botched it if he bought, but he sold because of the numbers not being met according to the prosecution. [ft.com]

It sounds like he thought he was going to get the contracts but the NSA stuck it to him for not helping them spy. Now, the conspiracy theorist in me wants to believe that the NSA not only tanked the contracts, but also put the prosecutors on him to really make an example out of him.

While story !=summary, it's onerous (5, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 6 years ago | (#20944959)

If you RTFA, the implications are there. Play ball with the NSA, and life could go better with you. Cross-connect your new fiber infrastructure with the NSA and get nice secret benefits. Don't do it, and watch yourself go down, hard, at the hands of the non-secret branches of government.

Good conspiracy stuff. Kennebunkport and B-52s, anyone?

Re:While story !=summary, it's onerous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20945109)

This is not just the NSA and the USA.

Similar things happen elsewhere all the time. In order to do government contracts you have to play ball by the government rules. If you demonstrate in public that you are not willing to play ball, you are not given contracts.

Re:While story !=summary, it's onerous (2, Insightful)

Kenrod (188428) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945169)

The implication is coming from a guy trying to save his own ass - alleging something that the govt will not and can not acknowledge or deny. Clever and slimy.

Re:While story !=summary, it's onerous (1)

doas777 (1138627) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945243)

is it slimier than tapping everyones phones? I think not. I'm going to inquire about switching my phones to Qwest post haste.

Re:While story !=summary, it's onerous (3, Interesting)

paganizer (566360) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945527)

I'm pretty sure I can't switch to Qwest. but I'm going to try to find SOME way to give them money; this sort of behavior deserves it.

Re:While story !=summary, it's onerous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20945171)

He went down hard because of his insider trading. Of course of the feds had awarded the contracts to him, then everyone on Slashdot would be accusing the feds of collaborating a with a crook.

Re:While story !=summary, it's onerous (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945349)

Consider: he knew that he might be up for dark income. He bets against the current wisdom. The insider information cannot be revealed-- it's warranted against exposure. He trades.

Is this two wrongs making a 'right' (e.g. personal profit with knowledge that cannot legally be revealed) or is it good old American profiteering, nice and smarmy and probably legal?

Or is this just another snake eating its tail....

In my judgment, the NSA illegally monitors and coopts the telcos. He bucks the trend, and then it's uh-oh, insider trading (think equal protection clause).

huh? (3, Funny)

jdc180 (125863) | more than 6 years ago | (#20944995)

'The [just-released government] documents indicate that likely would have been at the heart of former CEO Joe Nacchio's so-called "classified information" defense at his insider trading trial, had he been allowed to present it. The secret contracts - worth hundreds of millions of dollars - made Nacchio optimistic about Qwest's future, even as his staff was warning him the company might not make its numbers, Nacchio's defense attorneys have maintained. But Nacchio didn't present that argument at trial. '"

What? That didn't make any sense in the summary, or in TFA. I didn't bring my bad grammar decoder ring to work today, can someone translate?

Re:huh? (5, Funny)

tonyreadsnews (1134939) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945019)

because the NSA stripped out the impo

Re:huh? (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945165)

The mother wolf kills the calf, and the blood drips down, feeding the children. It's a very long explanation...

Re:huh? (1)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945247)

As far as I could tell (the article wasn't really clear), the issue was that he wasn't allowed to make the argument at trial so he didn't.

Re:huh? (1)

enrevanche (953125) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945267)

According to Nacchio, he was expecting to get some secret government contracts which would have allowed Qwest to make its sales projections. This he would not have been lying when, 8 months (or something like that) before the Qwest debacle, he sold (dumped?) a bunch of stock.

He's probably right in that he was prosecuted because he turned up his nose at the NSA. If he hadn't the justice department probably would have looked away from his "little transgressions".

Re:huh? (4, Informative)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945369)

What? That didn't make any sense in the summary, or in TFA. I didn't bring my bad grammar decoder ring to work today, can someone translate?

The assertion is that when he was CEO he had been told by the government he would be getting big, huge contracts. He used that as a basis to express positive earnings potential. When he declined to participate in a program he felt would have been illegal, they pulled those contracts.

They seem to be implying that, had he been allowed to at is insider trading trial, he would have referenced said contracts in his defense. But, he was prevented, possibly by the government or the judge. They refer to a heavily redacted document to support the belief that he wasn't doing anything illegal, but legitimately had a reason to believe the company had good things coming in the future, and therefore wasn't doing illegal insider trading. (ie. There really was a secret program he was being courted to help with, after he refused, they hung him out to dry).

Another implication, is that before 9/11, the White House was looking at implementing a program involving phones, and the NSA, and that the individual in question felt that it would have been illegal. By inference, this is related to the now well-known but not acknowledged (but still illegal) domestic spying program. There's little evidence offered to support this link.

At least, that's my best understanding of it.

Cheers

Where are the grammer police when you need them? (1)

WebHostingGuy (825421) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945387)

Ditto, wtf does this say?

Way to go! (-1, Offtopic)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945027)

in the Bush administration's domestic data-mining activity (i.e., spying on Americans).
Way to show your bias here. Slashdot(i.e. the anti-Bush internet forum) is showing its true colors here.

Re:Way to go! (1)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945425)

Way to show bias based on rhetoric. Not "spying on Americans" but spying on foreigners contacting Americans. The calls that are being data mined are those originating outside of the U.S. by people or countries that are known terrorist supporters.

Now let's see the nonsense that falls out of this thread now.

Re:Way to go! (2, Interesting)

Kajukenbo (79040) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945661)

If calls are coming into the US, to Americans, and the NSA is listening to them...
Explain to me how the NSA is not simultaneously spying on the Americans?
Do they only hear the foreign side of the conversation?

Thought so. You got nuthin.

Re:Way to go! (1)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945747)

Real simple here. If you walk onto an airplane, you know you will be scanned and possible searched. You accept that for taking that action. If your receive foreign calls, you could be monitored. You accept that for taking that action. It is the Americans' fault for receiving calls from such people. I accept the risk because I have nothing to hide. No...wait....I don't even receive international calls.

Re:Way to go! (1)

SargentDU (1161355) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946031)

How do you know the calls are to American citizens? There are many legal and illegal aliens here that are likely to receive calls from terrorist areas of foreign nations.

Re:Way to go! (1)

pluther (647209) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945737)

Not "spying on Americans" but spying on foreigners contacting Americans. The calls that are being data mined are those originating outside of the U.S. by people or countries that are known terrorist supporters.

No, you're getting two separate programs confused.

The warrantless wiretapping is only for international calls (with origin either inside or outside the United States, but at least one party has to be outside).

The data mining does not include listening to any content of the phone calls, just caller, receiver, time, and duration. This information includes data on purely domestic calls.

Re:Way to go! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20945925)

Now let's see the nonsense that falls out of this thread now.

What, like your nonsense pretending that if I get a phone call from a foreigner I'm magically transported to some other nation and no longer protected by the same Bill of Rights as everyone else who is not on the phone with a foreigner? Or your nonsense pretending that they're only recording the foreign end of the conversation?

Well, whichever it is, have a soft landing!

Re:Way to go! (0, Flamebait)

KlomDark (6370) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945467)

You're STILL sticking up for that fucking Bush guy even after all these years? What are you, some kind of a retard? Are you a Banana Republican?

Re:Way to go! (0)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946385)

There is nothing wrong with Bush that a nuke dropped on Iran or Syria wouldn't fix.

Don't bash someone unless you have a person to replace him that can do a better job.

Re:Way to go! (1)

MacCumhail (1134153) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946571)

RON PAUL

Re:Way to go! (0, Flamebait)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945541)

Who still approves of President Bush? Trust me, hating Bush is not a Slashdot-only phenomenon. The man is a buffoon and a criminal, and everyone knows it. I'm friends with a number of Republicans, and NONE of them still support Bush. Political endorsement by the man is the touch of death, no one wants to be associated with him at all. The only people who still support Bush are mouth-breathing microencephalic inbred uneducated backwoods yokels, and fellow criminals who have profited from his redistribution of wealth from the poor to the rich.

Bad government = change the government (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20945085)

Instead of trying to control how the government spies on the people... why not just give the government to the people [metagovernment.org] ?

But, you ask, how will we protect our national interests? Well... get rid of nation-states as well. What good are they anyway?

Re:Bad government = change the government (1)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945257)

From your link: Anyone may contribute to any open source government.

That's has been done and the Open Source Governments forked into the states we have now. So, we just a bunch of different distros - that's all.

Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20945129)

All qwest denied to NSA was the tie of the names to the lines. If they wanted that info, they had to get a warrent. Qwest was not punished by the feds. In fact, they have been rewarded multiple times (anybody notice the recent multi-billion dollar award to ATT/Qwest/Verizon?)

Re:Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20945813)

a contract involving phones was given to the ONLY phone company ... i cant imagine

Datamining=Spying?!!? (0)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945157)

Data Mining is spying? I use data mining techniques every single day. It's how I separate the few peanuts of data that I want from an enormous stack of crap. I had no idea that I was spying!

So tell me, how do we get the data I need without manually searching each and every record? (replace "data I need" with terrorist and "every record" with citizen)

Re:Datamining=Spying?!!? (0)

2short (466733) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945303)

Who are you arguing with?

I mean, I couldn't make head nor tails of the summary either, but is your need to troll so strong you must go to meaningless articles, invent a tangentially related position no one has advanced, and incredulously question it?

The first step in getting help is admitting you have a problem.

Re:Datamining=Spying?!!? (2, Insightful)

doas777 (1138627) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945347)

Data mining is all about finding patterns in large amounts of data (usually summary statistics). this is not spying in itself. the spying comes in when that data represents information that people are not willing to provide themselves, and must be attained through NSA letters with non-disclosure agreements and no court backing. since that data is used to track individual human's actions, with no notification or consent, that is clearly spying. it's not the tools, it's how you use them. To me, this program is domestic intelligence gathering, and thats spying however you look at it.

Re:Datamining=Spying?!!? (2, Insightful)

w3woody (44457) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946321)

I think the Supremes ruled that when a computer looks at data, it cannot be spying: spying is when a human looks at data. Sadly the damages the government suffers from spying--that is, from having a human look at data you'd rather have hidden--is that without a warrant they can't use it in court, and if they embarrass you then you can sue for damages.

Reality is, however, there is a hell of a lot of private data floating out there that is being handled by lots and lots of strangers--things that we'd like to pretend are secret but are really not. The most fascinating part about all of these complaints about the NSA spying on us is that they show just how public our private data really is. While we may use the NSA as the boogyman in all of this, there is plenty of information that I'd rather have private (such as how much I paid last year in property taxes on my house) which can be found for free on web sites such as Zillow.com [zillow.com] .

Re:Datamining=Spying?!!? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20946955)

Some people will get so pissed off at government's invasion of privacy that they will become terrorists to fight that government. If they view data mining as spying, regardless of whether it actually is or not, then the data mining is responsible for creating terrorists. So, to reduce the amount of data that you need, simply avoid data mining.

Printy link (1)

Seakip18 (1106315) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945177)

Here's the print link [rockymountainnews.com] to the article (resize window to get ridda blue sidebar). Who says you need firefox to cut out the ads? I'm in agreement with the above. This doesn't sound as much like retaliation as it does "You don't scratch mine I don't scratch yours." All that it comes down to is that "the contract didn't materialize." Is that considered retaliation?

Re:Printy link (3, Interesting)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945395)

Based on government regulations and supposed required bidding processes, it should have been impossible for the NSA to make conditional a set of contracts based on another set of contracts or requests. If that truly was done, there should be heads rolling at the NSA procurement division.

In short, gov contracts are either competitively bid, or they are single sourced. In the former case, if you're the low bidder and will deliver the products, then you "win". They can't give it to someone else without negating one or the other of those two acceptance criteria. In the latter, the fact that it was single-sourced requires documentation as to why the open bid process could not be done. That documentation alone would negate giving the contract to someone else.

Do remember the government is not in the business of scratching backs. (good grief, I almost said that with a straight face...)

Re:Printy link (1)

terrymr (316118) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946307)

Remember the recent contract for fuel tanker planes which was awarded to boeing - withdrawn because of bribery and then awarded to boeing again because it would be unamerican to give it to airbus - the only other bidder.

Domestic spying (2, Insightful)

CaptCrunk (859386) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945187)

I realize that this is a sensitive issue, but why would it be assumed that this is "spying on Americans"? Given this kind of access, it's possible that it could occur, but given that the American telecom industry tends to have faster communications lines than those in countries known to harbor these groups, it's just as possible that they're monitoring those calls. It's a matter of call routing and the most efficient way to get from point A to point B. Just my $0.02.

Re:Domestic spying (2, Informative)

Boronx (228853) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946727)

Because spying on foreigners without a warrant is not illegal, and these guys were doing something illegal (hence the desire by the telecoms to get their actions retroactively legalized, without first telling us what they are)

Wait, WHEN did this happen? (5, Insightful)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945193)

I obviously need to do some research:

Nacchio planned to demonstrate at trial that he had a meeting on Feb. 27, 2001, at NSA headquarters at Fort Meade, Md., to discuss a $100 million project. According to the documents, another topic also was discussed at that meeting, one with which Nacchio refused to comply.
The NSA wanted to begin its wiretapping program PRIOR to the "unforeseeable" events of September 11th, 2001???

Either I'm out of touch, or this is a tad bit of a smoking gun...

Next up for me is trying to determine when the guys who went along got their start. Either way it doesn't look good.

Interesting stuff.

What makes you think that this "War on Terror" (3, Insightful)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945353)

began on 2001-09-11?

If you do some research, you will see that a lot of these programs had been ramped up considerably under Clinton (including both extraordinary rendition, and the attacks on free speech). There was also an increasing amount of information that Eschelon was underway at that time. Unfortunately this is not a matter of who is in office, but rather who is informing whoever is in office.

This means: career military top brass, it means career intelligence services (CIA, NSA, etc), and to a lesser extent it means private think tanks.

Re:What makes you think that this "War on Terror" (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946051)

Any pointers you have would be great.

Re:What makes you think that this "War on Terror" (4, Interesting)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946577)

"Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act" signed into law by Clinton in 1998. Some law experts have pointed to attempts to use this act to punish acts of pure speech, such as United States v. Al-Hussayen (2004). In that case, the prosecution alleged that merely providing a hyperlink and advocacy of the policies of Hamas constituted material support/expert advice under that 1998 law.

Also see the European Parliament's report on ECHELON, from July of 2001. Note that the investigation that lead to the report began in the year 2000.

The tools of this "war on terror" were being deployed well in advance of 9/11. If we are to give the government the benefit of the doubt, one would suggest it started with the 1993 bombings of US embessies, and a genuine fear that it would escallate. To be more cynical, one might think that it is about certain government agecies trying to maintain their own value after the fall of Communism. Human nature being what it is, both positions are probably true at the same time.

Re:Wait, WHEN did this happen? (1)

FleaPlus (6935) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946141)

The NSA wanted to begin its wiretapping program PRIOR to the "unforeseeable" events of September 11th, 2001???

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ECHELON [wikipedia.org]

Re:Wait, WHEN did this happen? (2, Informative)

phantomlord (38815) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946947)

Slashdot had quite a few stories on Project Echelon too.

(just a small selection)
http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=99/10/18/1419245 [slashdot.org]
http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=99/06/04/1915248 [slashdot.org]
http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=00/07/05/1044228 [slashdot.org]
http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=98/09/30/1429227 [slashdot.org]
http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=99/11/03/1258257 [slashdot.org]

I seem to remember there being quite the uproar back then...

Re:Wait, WHEN did this happen? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20946351)

A "smoking gun"? For what?

That the "government did 9/11"?

Come the fuck on.

And as to your "any pointers you have would be great", do a little fucking research yourself, asshole. There were hordes of surveillance and datamining programs of all kinds, long before Bush and 9/11, and many were significantly enhanced or created under Clinton.

People like you make me almost physically ill. Get a fucking grip on reality.

You can start here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ECHELON [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ANCHORY [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communications_Assistance_for_Law_Enforcement_Act [wikipedia.org]

Not so fast... (3, Interesting)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#20945289)

When it comes to Qwest, you may wish to take the information with a block of salt. They've been known to twist things rather heavily before in order to get their way (for a big instance - a quick Google search for "Qwest UTOPIA Utah" should cough up their antics in trying to kill off a muni-funded fiber broadband project just to keep their profits high).

IMHO, Qwest's motives are suspect, and this article with its sensationalist flavor reads almost like it came from Qwest's PR office.

As is usual with opinions, YMMV.

/P

No surprise (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20945977)

This shouldn't be a surprise. Bush has insisted on amnesty for illegal acts AT&T (and others) *may* have done, but won't admit what they have done. Steny Hoyer is leading the charge against this amnesty on the basis that congress has no idea what the administration strong-armed these guys these guys to do.

But Bush won't say what they did. Which means it's bad.

I'm not making this up. Please go to http://washingtonpost.com/ [washingtonpost.com] and do a few queries. Or Google.

QWEST - not my favorite (1)

keraneuology (760918) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946109)

Once upon a time QWEST absolutely refused to do anything about the unrepentant spammers on their network. I don't care what happens to either QWEST or any of the executives.

God for Qwest...but what now? (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946387)

The topic itself is redacted each time it appears in the hundreds of pages of documents, but there is mention of Nacchio believing the request was both inappropriate and illegal, and repeatedly refusing to go along with it.

The NSA contract was awarded in July 2001 to companies other than Qwest.
I'm glad Qwest did the right thing. But my next question is, who did those contracts go to, and what illegal thing is THAT company doing right now? Unfortunately, the documents that would indicate this are sealed. There might be the makings of another EFF/ACLU -vs- AT&T case hiding amongst those documents.

Bribe (1)

virtigex (323685) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946663)

It sounds like the guy was offered a bribe by the NSA to do something borderline illegal and he turned it down. Perhaps he didn't realize it was a bribe. Anyway he turned it down and he didn't get the moolah in return. Good for him on this count. However, it sounds like he was trading based on information not available to the public and thus is guilty of insider trading. It does not matter where this information came from. He could be the greatest philanthropist alive, but it does not affect his guilt in this matter.

And In Soviet Russia .... (1)

darkonc (47285) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946805)

The government screws you.

(( Sigh. Some things just never change. ))

Let Joe Out? (1)

bxwatso (1059160) | more than 6 years ago | (#20946829)

Hate Bush all you want, but the real story is that this may get Joe off. His real crime wasn't insider trading, but accounting fraud. The Feds declined to indict him on that offense, going for the easier to understand insider trading (which I don't think really exists).

It's too late to indict Joe for anything new, and he may have an appealable issue. If he does no time, then the Feds have really blown it.

BTW, petty government people who retaliate on unrelated fronts for unjustifiable reasons are nothing new. Kennedy, Nixon, and Clinton all have been acused of directing the IRS to audit their enemies (probably other presidents as well).

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