| Friday October 31st 2014

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EFF clobbers Boston transit’s gag order on MIT students’ research


EFF’s Coders’ Rights project had a big win for free speech when a judge ruled that the gag order against MIT student security researchers should be lifted. Right on!

Today, a federal judge lifted an unconstitutional gag order that had prevented three Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) students from disclosing academic research regarding vulnerabilities in Boston’s transit fare payment system. The court found that the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Agency (MBTA) had no likelihood of success on the merits of its claim under the federal computer intrusion law and denied the transit agency’s request for a five-month injunction. In papers filed yesterday, the MBTA acknowledged for the first time that their Charlie Ticket system had vulnerabilities and estimated that it would take five months to fix.Tuesday’s ruling lifts the restriction preventing the student researchers from talking about their findings regarding the security vulnerabilities of Boston’s Charlie Card and Charlie Ticket — a project that earned them an “A” from renowned computer scientist and MIT professor Dr. Ron Rivest. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) represents the students as part of its Coders’ Rights Project.

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