Judge lifts gag order against those MIT students

Associated Press reports they can now talk about their own documents, the ones the MBTA put into the public record, on insecurity at T stations and with the CharlieCard and CharlieTicket system.

Via Dave Wieneke.

Electronic Frontier Foundation: The Court found that the MBTA was not likely to prevail on the merits of its claim under the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

Dan Kennedy: [N]ot much of a victory for the First Amendment:

... It makes a mockery of the principle that prior restraint is to be reserved only serious issues of national security, obscenity and incitement to violence.

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A step in the right direction...

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...but it's far from clear that the MBTA is done wasting taxpayer money on intimidating three MIT students, or that they have taken the research seriously.

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Well, whadaya know: The kids were right

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The Globe reports:

The MBTA acknowledged today that flaws exist with CharlieTickets that will take months to remedy after being exposed by three MIT students who hacked into the transit system's automated ticketing system for a school project.

Of course, that came in an argument from a T lawyer on why the judge should extend the restraining order for five months - the amount of time the T estimates it will take to fix the flaws. Wonder if that includes making sure doors at stations are locked?

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Well, doors and gates take time to check.

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There's a lotta locks to inspect throughout the system, and the one guy they get to do the job will have to do a lot of platform walking. We estimate the project will be completed just as quickly as the Orange Line signal replacement project.

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Don't forget

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That one guy only gets 5 hours each night to walk down the rails between stations to check the locks in each station. If we didn't shut the subway system down overnight starting at 1 AM, unlike nearly any other major city in the US, this sort of work would never be possible!

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Mad props to the Metro

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The print version of the Metro today identified the EFF legal team defending the MIT students as from "The Electronic Fountain".

Makes for a dandy psychedelic rock band name, which is appropriate given the EFF's founding history, but my gosh what a brilliant error.

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Same People?

Was this done by the same people who drew up that boffo epic fail "former Soviet Union" map that included Czech and Slovak republics, Poland, etc. as member states while never identifying the area of current conflict in Georgia?

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