Say Thanks to Qwest! Website created by Richard Kastelein Text by Chris Floyd and Richard Kastelein It’s not often these days that we have occasion to laud corporate behavior, but the stance taken by the telecom Qwest in resisting the Bush Administration’s covert program to ensnare every single American citizen in a vast web of [...]
...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.New York Times - March 12, 2006
JACKI SCHECHNER, CNN INTERNET REPORTER: Wolf, a liberal blogger and his web master started the site thankyouqwest.org on Friday. They have had some 15,000 visitors since then. And 250 people going online to say thanks to Qwest. Even some people thinking about switching service are now going to stay to show their loyalty. We reached out to Qwest to find out if this was having any impact on their service. And they say they refuse to comment on this or any matter they say is relating to national security.
Online reactions. At www.thankyouqwest.org, visitors applaud Qwest for not turning over phone records and say they're dropping carriers that did. The site is an offshoot of Empire Burlesque, a blog created by Chris Floyd, an American-born author in Oxford, England, and Canadian Richard Kastelein, who runs the website in the Netherlands. Floyd, a frequent Bush administration critic, is author of Empire Burlesque: The Secret History of the Bush Regime. The thankyouqwest.org site is getting about 6,000 or more unique visits a day, according to its founders. It was created Thursday.
Website urges people to sign on with carrier. A pair of Europeans say they wanted to show their appreciation for the telecom's standing up to the NSA's call for data.
Qwest's reported refusal to give its customer calling records to the National Security Agency is winning the Denver-based phone company big fans online.
At least 15,000 people have visited thankyouqwest.org since two bloggers in Europe launched the website Thursday, said co-creator Richard Kaste lein. Most of the 269 comments posted as of Monday evening praised Qwest.
"Thank you Qwest for behaving like a real American company!" exclaimed one visitor.
The site links to dozens of other blogs also following the story.
"Thank you Qwest! It's nice to see someone following principle over profits," wrote a user named Terra at ThankyouQwest.org, a Web site hastily erected by the purveyors of the left-wing blog Empire Burlesque. "When will you have cell service in Ohio?"
"Thank you Qwest," wrote one commenter who was not really with the program at ThankyouQwest.com. "What will your next advertising campaign be — 'Qwest: Telecom provider to the terrorists'? Well done."
One blogger even created a Web site, www.thankyouqwest.org, praising the company for its decision not to cooperate with the government's surveillance plan.
Bloggers also have expressed their support, and Richard Kastelein, a Web designer based in the Netherlands, created thankyouqwest.org, which commends the company as the only holdout and declares: "Qwest customers are safe."
Kastelein said he started the site "because it's about time someone stood up. Qwest has had a lot of bad press during the past few years and its fair share of problems. But they certainly deserve kudos for not buckling under to the heavy-handed tactics of the Bush administration."
Kastelein's praise and reference to "bad press" capture the two faces of Qwest: the defender - of privacy - and the defendant - in securities litigation.
"By Thursday afternoon, a Web site had gone up called thankyouqwest.org, which encouraged visitors to contact the company's chief ethics officer to express their appreciation for so-called "NSA-free" phone service."
This new web site thanks Qwest for not turning over its customers’ phone records to the NSA.
At least 250 phone customers posted messages to the hastily put together Web site ThankyouQwest.org. in the last five days. Chris Floyd, who created the Web site, also encourages readers to send a congratulations e-mail to David J. Heller, Qwest's chief ethics and compliance officer according to the site.
Lastly, I'm having a real hard time understanding the celebration/worship of Qwest. They're the one big telecom that didn't hand over their phone records, instead asking for a subpoena, which of course, wasn't offered. So people are falling all over themselves to thank or reward Qwest for standing up for customers.
And sure, Nacchio has a checkered past, but what’s a little insider trading when you’ve just stood up to the NSA and protected the privacy of millions of Americans? That’s heroism, and I say that with my tongue only slightly in cheek.