what should I do about illegal wiretapping?

I’ve kept slightly abreast of the whole “illegal wiretapping” issue from the past few years.  In case you live in Osama’s cave, the issue is that the federal government asked the US telecom carriers to tap in on phone calls going through their networks.  The reason the feds wanted the info was, of course, the “war on terror.”  Normally, it takes a warrant signed by a judge (aka, a court order) to wiretap someone’s phone line, but the feds didn’t have a warrant.  Nonetheless, most of the phone companies said, “Oh, sure, here’s access.”  There apparently was one notable exception; Qwest said, “Uh, you need a warrant or we won’t cooperate.”  Fast forward a couple years, and the US Congress passed a bill (FISA) that – among other things – protects those telecom companies from being sued by their customers for illegally giving away their personal information.

My wife and I use Qwest for our home land line service, and AT&T Wireless for our cell phone.  AT&T was part of this illegal scheme (probably – the full truth may never come to light thanks to FISA), but Qwest wasn’t.  So we thought we should reward Qwest for having the moral fiber that AT&T lacked.  And the best way to do that, it seemed, is to switch from AT&T to Qwest for our cell phone service.

But there’s a catch.  Qwest doesn’t actually provide cell phone service, I’ve learned.  In reality, they are a reseller of other companies’ service.  For years, that’s been Sprint, but they’re switching just this month to use Verizon.  And as far as I can tell by reading about this stuff online, both Sprint and Verizon have cooperated with the illegal wiretapping, just like AT&T.  So switching from AT&T Wireless to Qwest for our cell service would just be taking our business from one criminal to give it to another.

So, what should I do?  Is there a cell phone company that did ask for a court order before allowing wiretapping of its users?  If there is, I can’t seem to find it.  If you know more about this issue or have suggestions for other ways to “take our business elsewhere” please leave me a comment or send me an email!  Thanks.

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