Judge Lifts Gag Order Against MIT Grad Students And Their RFID Payment Research

Retailers who are worried about RFID security problems will have more details available to them now that a federal judge has killed a gag order on MIT students who had identified flaws in Boston's contactless RFID subway cards.

Ten days ago, a judge ordered three MIT students to not discuss research they had done about RFID security problems with the Boston subway system. On Tuesday (Aug. 19), U.S. District Judge George O'Toole Jr. killed that order, ruling that discussing the papers would not violate computer fraud laws. "The MBTA ultimately is trying to silence some uncomfortable truths that these students uncovered," Cindy Cohn--one of the attorneys for the students--told The Boston Herald. "They brought an action against three college kids rather than address the problems in their own house." Countered an attorney for the Boston subway: His organization merely " wanted the students to refrain from revealing details about the security problems publicly until the MBTA has time to correct the flaws." How long did he think that would take? Five months.