April 19, 2012 | By Micah Lee and rainey Reitman

Embeddable Version of Congressional Twitter Handle Detection Tool Now Available

On Monday, EFF launched our Stop Cyber Spying platform featuring our new Congressional Twitter Handle Detection Tool. Users can enter a zip code in order to find their Representative’s Twitter account. Folks are then urged to tweet messages to their Representatives highlighting the invasive nature of the CISPA cyber spying bill, a vaguely written piece of legislation that would let companies bypass privacy law and share private user information with the government.

And now, you can have our Congressional Twitter Handle Detection Tool for yourself!

Here's some code we cooked up to create an embeddable iframe version of the tool. We urge anyone who has a website to embed their own copy by pasting this code into their site, so more users will learn about CISPA and tweet at Congress to oppose it.

<div style="text-align:center;"><iframe style="border:0;width:720px;height:570px;overflow:hidden;" src="https://cyberspying.eff.org/embed.php?next_url=https://action.eff.org/o/9042/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=8444"></iframe></div>

Want to customize it? Just replace https://action.eff.org/o/9042/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=8444 with whatever URL you want to use as a next step. If you don't include a URL it will default to EFF's action alert against CISPA.

The tool relies on data from the Sunlight Foundation's Sunlight Congress API, which is a freely available API that programmers can use to look up legislators, districts, and committees in Congress. The data returned about each legislator not only includes address, phone numbers, faxes, websites, etc., but also Twitter handle, Facebook username, and YouTube channel. We are helping them improve their data set. Sunlight Labs also offers other services to write apps that deal with government data, including Transparency Data API, Open States API, Real Time Congress API, and Capital Words API.

The source code for our Stop Cyber Spying tool is available in this git repository. You can clone it with this command:

git clone https://git.eff.org/public/cyberspying.eff.org.git/

If you are using it, please let us know – we want to know how useful this is for folks. Email rainey@eff.org. And if you have any questions, email us at webmaster@eff.org.


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