August 19, 2008 | By Kurt Opsahl

Victory for MIT Students in MBTA Lawsuit Hearing

Today, Judge George O'Toole lifted the gag order on three MIT students who were sued by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority for discovering a security vulnerability in the MBTA's fare payment system. 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. MBTA had argued that the CFAA, which prohibits the transmission of a program that causes damage to a computer, also covers "verbal transmission," such as talking to people at conferences. Judge O'Toole, however, looked closely at the statute, and held that the CFAA does not apply to security researchers like the students talking to people. More details to follow.


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