EFF clobbers Boston transit's gag order on MIT students' research


13 Responses to “EFF clobbers Boston transit's gag order on MIT students' research”

  1. bogusphotographer says:

    My sister just came back from the US and told me about the ‘Charlie Card’ being like London’s Oyster system. It amused me it’s called a ‘Charlie’ card – Charlie is UK slang for cocaine; in some parts of London I’m sure the Oyster really is a Charlie card, but not for train lines. “Ticket to ride, white line highway, tell all your friends they can go my way”…

  2. Neko says:

    @10 “It’s as if you asked the public to name your new national ID card, and they told you to call it the Winston Smith Card. Would you go with that?”


  3. Enoch_Root says:


    You are exactly right. This is not much of a “win” at all. The judge let a gag order expire because the MBTA couldn’t prove $5,000 in damages and the presentation was not an “electronic transmission” in the sense of a computer hack, it was “intended for people.”

    Basically this get the students of the hook (which is great) but doesn’t really add any new case law protecting free speech (which would be the “win” in this case).

    The outcome is very much ho-hum.

  4. mdhatter says:

    Surely you’ve hear of Charlie and the MTA? (now MBTA)

    It’s an old protest song, protesting the raising the price of the ride to a nickel to get in, and an additional nickel to get out at non-central stations.

    Bit more than a nickel now.

  5. MarkHB says:

    Yay. A win!

    Can we have more of these, pretty please? Not asking re: blog policy, just begging of a heartless, relentless reality…

  6. Enoch_Root says:

    @all those that don’t know Charlie

    He could never get that nickel and never returned


  7. Enoch_Root says:

    It is worth noting that Boston progressives used to support lowering fees and taxes… viva Walter A O’Brien

  8. bentheo says:

    Good old MBTA. Besides ignoring their security sucking and being millions of dollars in debt, they just gave the executives a 9% raise.

  9. Nick Mathewson says:

    It always struck me as weird that the MBTA would choose to name their payment system after a song about a guy whose life has been ruined by petty-minded money-grubbing subway bureaucrats chiseling him for “one more nickel.” I’m given to understand that the name was chosen by the public… but that just makes them look worse.

    It’s as if you asked the public to name your new national ID card, and they told you to call it the Winston Smith Card. Would you go with that?

  10. Sean Eric FAgan says:

    The judge merely let it expire, because he determined that it didn’t meet the very narrow criteria.

    I have a feeling this was his way of not chastising a fellow judge. But it let me with a pretty unhappy feeling.

    (Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad they’re no longer bound by the order. But it’s also pretty moot by this point, and it already achieved the chilling-effects intent they wanted.)

  11. ckd says:

    Nick Mathewson (#10): well, there is CCTV surveillance coverage of Pl. George Orwell in Barcelona.

  12. nprnncbl says:

    The first ad I saw for the Charlie card was in Vietnamese. I recall thinking, someone didn’t think this through.

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