Tough Times for Dan Grabauskas

1219242605It’s hard to tell who loathes MBTA General Manager Dan Grabauskas more these days—the First Amendment advocates he infuriated by placing a gag order on a trio of MIT hackers, or the administration of Gov. Deval Patrick.

After facing pressure from Patrick and Transportation Secretary Bernard Cohen, Grabauskas rescinded the 9 percent raises he granted to executives at the debt-addled agency.

To further demonstrate his commitment to saving the agency money, Grabauskas also forfeited his $10,000 cost of living raise for the upcoming year, which could help pay the legal bills the agency wracked up by taking the hackers to court.

Yesterday, a judge lifted the gag order against the students, and Grabauskas is now striking a contrite tone with the hackers who pointed out the CharlieCard and CharlieTicket were vulnerable to attack.

In a statement, Grabauskas said he renewed “my invitation to the students to sit down with us and discuss their findings. A great opportunity now presents itself.”

According to one of the students, that’s all they wanted from the transit authority to begin with. So instead of sitting down with the team and discussing their findings quietly, Grabauskas started a free speech battle which got the trio’s online presentation way more traffic than it ever would have seen otherwise.

The MBTA GM had better hope malicious hackers don’t find a way to abuse the ticketing system after the students’ tips, or else the rumblings for his head will get even louder.

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