Because we need to put a serious check on out of control executive and corporate power (via the New York Times):
This much is known: In its hunt for information about three people it believes to be associated with the whistle-blower site WikiLeaks, the Justice Department has sought to extract details about them and their communications on Twitter. What is not yet known is where else the Justice Department went looking.
On Friday, lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation asked a federal court in Virginia to reveal the names of the other Internet companies from whom the Justice Department solicited information about the three people: Jacob Appelbaum, an American citizen; Birgitta Jonsdottir of Iceland; and Rop Gonggrijp of the Netherlands.
Their case has become a testing ground for online privacy and speech, in part because the Justice Department sought the information without a search warrant in 2010. Instead, it relied on a 1994 law called the Stored Communications Act, and asked Twitter to release information about the three Twitter users. It sought, among other things, their Internet Protocol addresses, which identify and can give the location of a computer used to log onto the Internet. Twitter responded by informing the three about the government’s request – and they, in turn, went to court.