EFF in the News
A federal judge in Boston today refused to lift a temporary restraining order preventing three MIT students from publicly discussing details of several security vulnerabilities that they found in the electronic ticketing system used by the city's mass transit authority...
At today's hearing, O'Toole also asked the MIT students to submit a copy of a class paper in which they detailed the vulnerabilities that they had found, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a high-tech civil rights group that is representing the students in the case. The MBTA requested a copy of the paper in a motion that it filed, the EFF said.
THREE MIT students claim to have identified ways of hacking the MBTA's automated fare-collection system, and they could have spared themselves some trouble had they notified the transit agency of any security flaws right away. The T found out about their work only after they made plans to describe their discoveries last Sunday at DEFCON, a conference for hackers. On Saturday, the agency persuaded US District Judge Douglas Wood-lock to issue a temporary restraining order against the undergrads.
Eleven computer scientists and researchers from institutions across the country have signed a letter in support of three MIT students who were barred from speaking at the DefCon hacker conference this last Sunday.
The letter was part of filings that the Electronic Frontier Foundation submitted to the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts asking a federal judge to reconsider his decision to gag the students with a temporary restraining order.
An advocacy group plans to appeal a 10-day temporary restraining order that halted the presentation on how to hack Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's subway fare system. The Electronic Frontier Foundation will argue Thursday that the court order violates the free speech rights of three MIT students.
For its part, the MBTA is hoping to side step the free speech issue, reportedly planning to ask a Boston federal judge to reword the extended gag order to cover only "nonpublic" information.
The state of Massachusetts plans to ask a federal judge on Thursday to keep in place a restraining order that prevents three MIT students from publicly discussing vulnerabilities they discovered in subway card security...
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is providing a legal defense to the MIT students--Zack Anderson, R.J. Ryan, and Alessandro Chiesa--plans on Thursday to ask O'Toole to dissolve the restraining order completely.
Three French journalists have been ejected from the Black Hat hacking conference after 'sniffing' the log-in details of fellow reporters.
All three worked for Global Security Magazine - one of the conference's sponsors.
Kurt Opsahl of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said federal wiretapping laws may have been broken and is having his organisation investigate if legal action can be taken.
'It's not good manners to go in and try to crack into the press network here because it is so valuable to having the conference covered well,' he told Agence France- Presse.
'The press room is designed to be a safe harbour in a fairly stormy sea.'
Lawyers with the Electronic Frontier Foundation said a federal judge who granted a temporary restraining order on Saturday to halt a scheduled conference talk about security vulnerabilities came to "a very, very wrong conclusion." They said the judge's order constituted illegal prior restraint, which violated the speakers' First Amendment right to discuss important and legitimate academic research.
According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a dangerous legal precedent has just been set that can potentially unravel existing federal privacy protections for e-mail and Internet usage. The alert from the EFF is not just to sound a general warning, but it also takes the form of an Amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief, filed with the federal 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, asking for the court's legal finding to be overturned... The findings of this case could become the foundation of a legal precedent upon which other similar cases can subsequently be based. If that were to be the case, then the unauthorized retrieving of e-mails from an e-mail server would not be considered a violation of the federal Wiretap Act, which will then open the door for government-sponsored snooping.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation plans to appeal a U.S. District Court order imposing a temporary injunction on a Defcon presentation that would have detailed flaws in the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority's (MBTA) electronic ticketing system.
"The court ultimately came to a very, very wrong conclusion," EFF senior staff attorney Kurt Opsahl said during an EFF discussion at Defcon a few hours after Judge Douglas Woodlock of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts issued a court order halting the planned talk about the transit-system security flaws.
There's a new service for conference speakers at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas this year: lawyers on call.
For the first time, the Electronic Frontier Foundation is staffing a booth at the show with lawyers, ready to take any skittish security researchers and give them a free legal consultation. The idea is to make it easier for hackers to talk about cutting-edge research, even when they're subject to what the EFF sees as bogus legal threats.