Topic 1: Freedom of Speech
In 2008, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) obtained a temporary restraining order barring three Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) students from publicly displaying what they claimed to be a way to get â€œfree subway rides for life.â€ Specifically, 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. Were the students’ actions legal? Were their actions ethical? Discuss your answer from the students’ perspective then from the perspective of the MBTA.
Just do response each posted # 1 to 3 down below only.
From the perspective of the students, I can confidently say that their actions were ethical legal and justifiable. One thing the students had identified was a lacuna with regards to argument that the students’ activities were lawful despite the fact that not ideal for the transportation authority. In a manner it was unscrupulous on the grounds that it is harming to the organization and would hurt their business. From the point of view of the understudies, I would be irate that the transportation authority accessed bar the understudies from introducing their discoveries. It is out of line that they have the ability to do that. From the viewpoint of the MBTA, I would accept the activities of the understudies to be untrustworthy in light of the fact that it is ethically wrong to hurt an organization and offer it with others to keep harming the business. (Rainer & Prince 2018)
Legal ethics is the base models of suitable lead inside the lawful profession. It is the social standards and ethics which administer judges and legal counselors. It includes obligations that the individuals owe each other, their customers, and the courts. Regard of customer confidences, sincerity toward the council, honesty in explanations to other people, and expert freedom are a portion of the characterizing highlights of legitimate morals. Lawful morals can likewise allude to the investigation or recognition of those obligations or the composed guidelines overseeing those obligations.
From the students’ perspective, they found a loophole in a system that was carelessly brought to the public by the MBTA. The students being at MIT utilized this “hack” to reprogram the cards to increase the funds on the card instantly, never to have to pay for transportation again. The findings from these studentsâ€™ were formatted as a scholastic paper, and used to shed light on the flaws that a corporation had. In my opinion this fits into the utilitarian ethical framework. “The Utilitarian approach states that an ethical action is the one that provides the most good or does the least harm” (Rainer & Prince p 66). The exposure of the flawed system could have easily provided needed transportation to many of those in the city who may not be able to afford it. They also taught the MBTA and their partners that additional resources needed to be utilized to ensure proper use of their services. The students did not perform illegal activity when it came down to utilizing a benefit of the card by modifying the system. The card was a self-service system and not attached to any internal database or system with the MBTA. This allowed the students to change the coding to the card quickly and would have been prevented had the MBTA utilized a better system for their transportation services.
From the MBTA point of view, I can see them thinking this misuse of the product would be illegal. They are stealing rides on the transportation system and, therefore, potentially increasing the fares for innocent members of the public. They additionally would be providing the business as a target for other security attacks, if this system is flawed what other systems might people attempt to enter. The business probably reviewed this from the ethical approach of deontology. This approach “states that the morality of an action is based on whether that action itself is right or wrong” (Rainer & Prince p 66). It was wrong of them to take advantage of the system and cheat the MBTA out of needed money. As with many other public transportation systems across the country, they are suffering financially due to new competitors. At the end of the day the MBTA should have utilized more resources to develop a more closed-circuit system that would prevent the misuse of its services.
The MIT studentsâ€™ actions are legal because they wanted to use their freedom of speech. The students wanted to shine light at the flaws that the MBTA transportation card had. I do believe that the studentsâ€™ actions are ethical because the information was being presented as an academic paper. There was important information that was discussed in the academic paper where demonstrated the company MBTA had security flaws. Also, the students did not share important details that would have other people take advantage of these flaws. The students were maintaining rights approach. As stated in our textbook (Rainer & Prince, 2018), The rights approach maintains that an ethical action is the one that best protects and respects the moral rights of the affected parties. I think it is important for students to address concerning issues that can be fixed or prevented. I would say that MBTA also took the correct choice to pursue legal action. They did not agree to have security flaws shared to the public. They were trying to avoid having system attacks on their transportation card. The transportation company pursued legal action for the purpose of protecting their business against computer fraud. The studentâ€™s actions would result in damages for the compan