Following the FISA Court, the Internet Way

published by Eric Mill on
Update: Posted a followup on how I reworked this to be faster and more powerful (but also to require some tech skills to use).

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, responsible for overseeing the US government's foreign surveillance activities via FISA, actually does have a public website. They seem to have just created it, as it doesn't have any documents from before June of 2013, and the Wayback Machine has no record of it prior to that.

The FISA Court has so little public business that their entire website is a small list of links to scanned PDFs. (Don't bother Ctrl+F-ing or trying to copy/paste, they're all images.) But they're busy these days, as the EFF, ACLU, Google, Microsoft, and now an "anonymous" "Provider" It's Yahoo! asking the Court to unseal an old opinion. have all been filing petitions with the Court while simultaneously requesting to make them public.

Of course, there's no RSS feed, but the wonderful public service of will track this page for you and email you upon any change. As of this post, I'm the only one using the service to do this.

And in fact, ChangeDetection will make you an RSS feed, though as far as I can tell it's only account-wide. So I made a new account just to follow the FISA Court page, and here's my RSS feed you can use to follow the public activity of the FISA Court — jaundiced as it is — wherever RSS is accepted:

In fact, I just went ahead and created @FISACourt, a Twitter account which updates every time the FISA Court updates, thanks to the open-web power of IFTTT. Internet.