In 2008, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation
Authority (MBTA) obtained a temporary restraining order barring three
Massachusetts Institute of Technology students from showing what they claimed
to be a way to get “free subway rides for life.” The 10- day injunction
prohibited the students from revealing vulnerabilities of the MBTA’s fare card.
The students were scheduled to present their findings in Las Vegas at the
Defcon computer hacking conference. Are the students’ actions legal? Are their
actions ethical? Discuss your answer from the perspective of the students and
then from the perspective of the MBTA.