This is a breath of fresh air: Zarhym has hit the forums to confirm the start of the Family and Friends alpha testing phase for Cataclysm. It might the first time a Blizzard representative has publicly given a truly straight answer about the status of Cataclysm testing, either for or against. Zarhym goes on to state that the closed beta phase has not yet begun, but they will give an update when it does.
As always, be mindful of scams and phishing attempts throughout the alpha and beta of Cataclysm. If you don't know a friend or family member that works for Blizzard Entertainment, you should probably avoid any sort of alpha invitation that shows up in your inbox. You're not invited, regardless of what that email might say.