Friday, May 12, 2006

Legal or illegal?

Qwest's Refusal of N.S.A. Query Is Explained - New York Times:
"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.'"
By contrast, here's Hayden:
"Everything that the agency has done has been lawful," he said. "It's been briefed to the appropriate members of Congress."
It's not as clear cut, at all, as the Bush administration is portraying it. Typical.