Freedom of press

The soap opera called ‘OV Chipkaart’ (the Dutch version of the Oystercard for the entire national public transit system) continues on.

A popular information technology website had a promotion sweepstake where they handed out 10 RFID-reader/writers. All by itself this would not be remarkable and only proper geeks would find it interesting. However a few days ago software to hack the system was made publicly available through the various channels on the interweb.

The organisation regulation the flow of the money transferred to and from the RFID-cards, Trans Link Systems, is now seeking legal advise whether this sweepstake promotes people to partake in criminal activity, namely using a hacked card in the national transit system and thus travelling without a valid ticket.

I’m really curious what the outcome will be and wether a judge deems this a viable legal case.

In the mean time a popular, US based, blogging service has discontinued the blog of (one of) the hacker(s) because s/he posted a link to the software that would enable a person with very little technical knowledge to change the information stored on the card. This link, so they say, is a breach of the EUA of the service.

Therefore I will not post a link to the software as I don’t want to promote illegal activities, I simply want to keep you updated about what’s happening, exercising my freedom of press/speech.

Should have a problem with any content of this post please inform me and I shall remove/edit that part forthwith.

I would like to hear what you think is the reason that similar cards used in metropolitan areas across the globe (London, Hong-Kong, Tokyo, Shanghai) have not been hacked even though in some cities you can also use such cards to pay for purchases in shops like 7/11.

(Logos copyright: Twitter, Trans Link Systems)


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