Journalism in the Public Interest


ChangeTracker: What Else Should We Track?

 Last week, we launched ChangeTracker, an application that flags changes to, and

Since then, we’ve spotted a few interesting updates, but so far most changes have been relatively unsurprising. It’s time to widen the net and track Web sites that are more than just public relations vehicles for the administration.

So, we’d like your help! Where else ought the watchful eye of the tracker look?

Would you like to be informed when Facebook’s or Google’s license agreements change? Maybe a regulatory agency or an NGO would be of interest?

Please comment, e-mail or tweet your ideas!

(Also, have you copied ChangeTracker? The plumbing is freely available and dead-easy to use. If you’re using it, we’d love to know what you’re tracking.)

I loved ChangeTracker because it kept us aware of how the WH refined its message. It would be really useful to track changes in documents published by federal agencies, such as draft and final reports. Just how much impact do those thousands of public comments have, anyway? After a few stinging examples of agency PDFs that didn’t completely cover the editing tracks (duh!) my appetite is whet for more.

I would love to see the sleuthing tool focus on the fine print of the DOD, CIA, and NSA - the documents meant for public consumption such as policies, advisories, etc. - that do evolve but ever so quietly. Its rare for DOD to pull a report completely (as happened recently) but I suppose not so rare that they tacitly concede or step back without any such mea culpa.

Tell us when they do!