“THE news that federal prosecutors have demanded that the microblogging site Twitter provide the account details of people connected to the WikiLeaks case, including its founder, Julian Assange, isn’t noteworthy because the government’s request was unusual or intrusive. It is noteworthy because it became public.

Even as Web sites, social networking services and telephone companies amass more and more information about their users, the government — in the course of conducting inquiries — has been able to look through much of the information without the knowledge of the people being investigated.”

From The New York Times