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posted by Dopefish on Monday February 17 2014, @02:00PM   Printer-friendly
from the government-should-mind-their-own-business dept.
mattie_p writes "MIT students won a hackathon last November with a non-functioning demo of Tidbit. The concept is to replace web advertising revenue with a tiny amount of Bitcoin mining on the user's browser. Out of the blue, the students were hit by a subpoena from the New Jersey Attorney General demanding that the founders 'turn over sensitive information including source codes, hosting websites, and all of the Bitcoin wallet addresses associated with Tidbit.'

At first MIT council referred the students to legal assistance from the EFF, who quickly came to their defense. Now there is a petition going around requesting the MIT administration support the students directly. Parallels are being drawn to Aaron Swartz, possibly because one of the authors of the recent petition is Prof. Hal Ableson, although details of the two cases have very little in common.

MIT President Reif has now come out strongly in support of the students--and in favor of academic freedom from interference by government."
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  • (Score: 1) by Keldrin on Monday February 17 2014, @10:05PM

    by Keldrin (773) on Monday February 17 2014, @10:05PM (#1117) Journal

    I agree. I'm in favor of having lots of options when it comes to supporting a website I enjoy. However, I would have a problem if this became mandatory. As I'm sure a lot of us are, I am quite paranoid when it comes to letting code run on my machine. If I'm forced to run code that I don't have time to examine, I'm far more likely to use a different service. Besides, letting a website hog computing power may cause instability with other applications, and I don't relish the idea of having my computer lock up just because I was playing a windowed game while surfing the net.