Mill: New tools for following the FISA court

Eric Mill of the Sunlight Foundation has created new tools for monitoring changes to the Website and docket of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Court.

He describes these in his new post: Following the FISA Court, the (Advanced) Internet Way.

Here are excerpts:

A couple weeks ago, I created @FISACourt, a Twitter account that automatically posts whenever the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court website is updated. I created it in about 5 minutes, using ChangeDetection.com and IFTTT, and blogged about how it works.

After I did that and @FISACourt got a few followers, I realized this would not be good enough. In my experience, IFTTT checks RSS feeds once an hour, and ChangeDetection’s FAQ says they check pages just once a day. That’s potentially a 25 hour delay — not so good for breaking news.

So I wrote some code to check the FISA Court myself, and set it to run every 5 minutes, using my web server (the same machine that serves this blog). You can find the code at github.com/konklone/fisa, along with instructions for setting it up yourself.

This new setup does more than check for changes and update a Twitter account — it also sends me an email and a text message so that I know an update just went out. This way, I can quickly figure out what changed and promptly add some human explanation of what the FISA Court just did [...]

For more details, please see the complete post.

HT @konklone

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