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Attention City Government: You ARE The Problem

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The blog at Wired.com reports that a federal judge in Boston that expire, the temporary gag order against the MIT students from presenting their presentation at the Las Vegas 2008 DefCon convention. Sad to say that spokeswoman for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Rebecca Jesche said it best when she stated: "although it's extremely unfortunate that the students were not allowed to give a talk at DefCon."

There is an old saying that things come in threes. Last month, I commented on the city of San Francisco putting its only CCIE in jail, because some bureaucrat thought they deserved to know the passwords that ran the internal side of the fiber optics for the city. The CCIE made clear he didn't trust less technically competent. With that sort of data, and wound up in jail.

Proving his point that city bureaucrats can be complete idiots, the city District Attorney put in public records, as exhibit A,  in the prosecution of the CCIE, the usernames and passwords for the city employs. Alas, it appears, the city of Boston has its own share of idiots on the public payroll.

For a moment, let's set aside the fact that the city and the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MTBA), incorrectly filed against the MIT students, an accusation of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. In rescinding the gag order, District Judge George A. O'Toole Jr. said the act does not apply to speech and that the MBTA has failed to provide sufficient proof, with regards the statute to murder a restraining order or pulmonary injunction.

This however is not where the idiocy of the city of Boston really shines. Oh no. The city's legal system has to show, it's just as bright as the city of San Francisco.

The MIT students had given to the MTBA the outline of their presentation for DefCon, along with a more detailed analysis of the vulnerabilities of the system, which they had no intention of revealing. This data is now online, making MTBA much easier to defraud.

Some could wax philosophically, saying the cities of San Francisco and Boston got what they deserved. That an overzealous use of power comes back and bites. Unfortunately for the citizens of San Francisco and Boston, it isn't the bureaucrats who pay directly for their stupidity. It's the citizens who watch their tax money get squandered via ill responsible behavior.

As I said above, things seemed to come in threes. I want to refer to the thoughts on the legal matters of Copyleft Gets Rights.

The only common denominator, I see is the United States federal courts showing some sense. Is it too much to expect the elected city officials of the United States, to show the same level of intelligence? If that is too much to ask, how about stop posting sensitive information in public records, under the guise of saying IT professionals are out to do bad things? I see Wired.com is as upset about the Boston flap as I am. Gag orders on security professionals does Not protect us.

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