By Kim Zetter
August 19, 2008
A federal judge in Boston this morning let expire a temporary gag order
against three MIT students who were prevented from presenting a talk on
security vulnerabilities in the Boston subway's fare tickets and cards.
U.S. District Judge George A. O'Toole, Jr., vacated the temporary 10-day
restraining order that another judge had instituted more than a week ago
against the students and which was scheduled to expire today. District
Judge O'Toole also threw out a request by the Massachusetts Bay
Transportation Authority (MBTA) to obtain a preliminary injunction
against the students to expand the restraining order beyond the original
"It's great news for the free speech rights for these students," said
Rebecca Jesche, a spokeswoman for the Electronic Frontier Foundation,
which represented the students. "Although it's extremely unfortunate
that the students were not allowed to give their talk at DefCon."
The students had planned to give their talk last Sunday at the DefCon
hacker conference in Las Vegas. The talk was based on a research project
and paper that they had submitted for a class taught by their MIT
professor, noted cryptographer Ron Rivest. The paper had earned them an
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