Updating @datahole

Datahole's Twitter avatar Datahole is a Twitter account I have been ‘maintaining’ for over four years. In practice I’ve simply been letting it run itself.

It takes RSS feeds from Ars Technica, Wired, The Guardian and Bruce Schneier‘s blog and looks for stories containing words like ‘leak’, ‘phishing’ and ‘password’.

Then it adds in unfiltered posts from The Register’s security news and The Open Rights Group.

Last night I updated the look and feel of the account with a new avatar, header and background image. Besides these cosmetic tweaks I added two feeds from the blog of security expert Brian Krebs, specifically his categories ‘latest warnings’ and ‘the coming storm’.

How? And why? →

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Help me improve the @datahole feed!

Firstly, I need to find some good sources. I’m starting with the Open Rights Group (data protection tag) and The Register (Security / ID tag). I’d look at the EFF, but they seem to be down at the moment. I’m also using a Twitter Search feed for #datahole. I’m open to any and all suggestions for good news sources. I’m hoping the Twitter and Identica community will contribute other valuable links and commentary too.

Some of these feeds should probably be filtered using keywords like lost, personal and data. Suggest any more?

Secondly, I need a plumber. Well, not exactly! I’ve used Yahoo! Pipes for some pretty basic stuff before, but for some reason, I can’t seem to get the Reg stories to mix in with the other feeds. I think it’s because their pubDate is formatted differently, but I don’t know how to fix that. I’ve published the pipe. Please, have a look and feel free to rewire the feed.

It’d be nice to make some other tweaks too. I’d like to cite the source at the start of the tweet (eg: [EL REG]), and strip out all the other gubbins, so each post becomes: [SOURCE] Headline – Link.

Click for the Datahole 0.5 pipe

Tweeting every time your data is compromised

Tonight, my project is to add some polish to my Twitter project: Data Hole. It’s an automated Twitter account that uses Twitterfeed to post links to news stories about companies and governments that loose personal data records, or otherwise compromise your privacy. The goal is to raise awareness about the issue. At the moment it’s just taking in a Google News feed, but I plan to use Yahoo! Pipes to refine it a bit, and add some other features. I’m going to look into using TweetLater too.

I may also write a follow up to my blog post, ‘Build a Robot Slave in Twitter‘. But probably not.