Saturday, October 13, 2007

Qwestion authority

Some time back, I looked at switching my long-distance phone service to Qwest, and stuck with AT&T instead. Silly me. Qwest had a somewhat unsavory reputation at the time, but unlike AT&T, they appear to have been the lone holdout in the NSA spying jubilee.

Even more interesting:
Former chief executive Joseph P. Nacchio, convicted in April of 19 counts of insider trading, said the NSA approached Qwest more than six months before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, according to court documents unsealed in Denver this week.


Steve Bates said...

Damn. Good research, hipparchia. I started out with different long distance and cell carriers, but ended up merged into AT&T. I rarely talk politics on the phone, preferring to lay it in the lap of the three-letter agencies on my blog and on comment threads, but I find it damned annoying that my private conversations are being monitored. And according to this, it's been going on even longer than we knew before.

I'm reminded of stories of one civil servant in the old days who used to answer his agency phone, "Fuck Hoover, this is Smith; how can I help you?" I may have to begin doing something similar.

Are you going to change carriers?

hipparchia said...

i don't think i can get qwest here, but i'll look into it.

i finally dumped at&t after haggling with them for more than 2 years, only to have them merge with my new carrier a few months later.


Anonymous said...

My cell was Cingular before AT&T bought them, but now that my contract is up I've got a T-Mobile on the way to replace it. We use Packet-8 for our home phone service, so no separate long distance.

hipparchia said...

i'm not sure if switching phone companies completely solves the problem. my understanding is that whoever owns the actual physical infrastructure -- wires, fiber optic cables, whatever -- can [and does] tap all the calls that those lines are carrying.

long distance companies [and internet service providers] often just pay for the use of infrastructure owned by other companies. dropping at&t as your provider means that you aren't giving them your money anymore, but it doesn't necessarily keep them from having access to your calls.

Anonymous said...

I just assume everything I type or say is being read or listened to, so I speak openly because I might as well have as large an audience as wants to listen if anyone is going to.

Isn't blogging fun?

Anonymous said...

Also my hit counts just went thru the roof (mainly one article) but it makes me feel more comfortable going further out... I just hope not to leave my friends behind.

hipparchia said...

i'm with you so far, dude. google's collecting and keeping all this info on what i search and what i blog and probably what i watch on youtube too, is creepy as all get out.

meanwhile, i'm doing my best to make sure as much searching, blogging, and linking as i can possibly do is as anti-war, anti-bushco, and pro-bill of rights as i can make it. [have to take kitten breaks, though; lots of kitten breaks]

before i dumped sitemeter, it was registering several visits from various computers, apparently in the wash dc area.

i hope they're still reading me.