Since the beginning of the current privacy scandal, Twitter has been careful to brand itself as a champion of privacy rights – but are they? As other tech titans first denied complicity, then joined together seeking permission to discuss it in the compliant American media, Twitter remained outside the fray.

In the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the great good wizard Saruman becomes slowly corrupted by a malign influence named Sauron. Hoping to look into the future, the distance and the past he gazes into a magical crystal ball called a palantir. He finds Sauron's great unblinking eye looking back at him, bending his will, subverting him, causing him to both compete with Sauron and become just like him. He slowly breeds foul creatures and converts his citadel of Isengard into a replica of the great furnace factory of death that is Sauron's own seat of power at Mount Doom.

Mere hours after the revelation by the Glenn Greenwald in the that Verizon had been handing over data on all its domestic subscribers to secret state police forces in the United States, an even more chilling story on domestic spying was broken. Mirroring the long term coordination between Bletchly Park and Fort Meade, the Washington Post and the Guardian released another story about domestic spying complete with classified documents confirming its existence.

The recently released a classified court order [pdf] detailing U.S. Justice Department instructions to Verizon Wireless to release information on their entire domestic customer base. While the actual recordings of calls were not released under this order, the government acquired data that includes who called whom, how long they spoke for, and up to the minute location data on every single subscriber.

After two days of wrangling, several major mainstream media organizations agreed to meet Friday, May 31 with Attorney General Eric Holder to discuss the circumstances under which the Justice Department would imprison journalists for reporting on human rights abuses if that reporting is deemed to be damaging to national security. Neither the Columbus Free Press nor Wikileaks was invited to attend or offer comment.

Hackivist Jeremy Hammond accepted a non-cooperating plea agreement Thursday, May 30 in the Stratfor case which could land him in prison for 10 years. Hammond was arrested in March 2012 for his role in the LulzSec hacking attacks on private security and public safety servers.

The new push for internet voting is being spearheaded by charities, think-tanks and policy wonks that are in bed with right-wing fundamentalists, union-busters, unreconstructed cold warriors, semi-retired intelligence agents, child sex traffickers, militarists, and an odd progressive or two brought along for the apparent appearance of bi-partisanship.

Recently, the Free Press ran a story about Jim Leftwich, covering his double-dipping into the public trough, lobbying the Federal Aviation Agency to designate the Dayton-Springfield area as a special testing site for military drones, while simultaneously charging Wright State University a consulting fee. While reporting on his $114,000 per year from the State of Ohio, and $20,000 per month from Wright State and the resultant ethics flap, we did not roll the clock back far enough.

In international law, there is little doubt that torture is a war crime. The United States, along with 149 other nations, has adopted the protocols of the Geneva Conventions. Despite an attempt by the Bush administration to define torture differently than the rest of the world, in 1993 the UN agreed that the protocols defined in the Geneva Conventions had passed into customary international law, and is thus binding on non-member states. This would make any attempts to re-define torture by any state, member or non-member, irrelevant within any international accepted legal framework.

As previously reported in by the Columbus Free Press, the Romney family, namely Mitt, Ann, G Scott and Tagg Romney, along with Mitt's “6th son” and campaign finance chair have a secretive private equity firm called Solamere Capital Partners. This firms ties to Romney's campaign and bundlers is already well documented, along with its connection to the manufacture and distribution of voting machines.


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