The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs has settled with the developers behind Tidbit, a student hackathon project that experimented with bitcoin mining as an alternative to online advertising.
Under the terms of the settlement, Tidbit’s developers have agreed not to access New Jersey computers unlawfully for a period of two years. Should the developers be found in violation of the provision, a release from the government said they would be assessed a $25,000 penalty.
The resolution marks the end of a controversial court case that began when MIT student Jeremy Rubin received a subpoena in December 2013. At issue was the question of whether Tidbit was ever operational enough to be in violation of the law.
New Jersey officials maintain that their investigation found that Tidbit accessed computers owned by individuals without their consent. The non-profit Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which represented Rubin, says that this assertion is false.
EFF senior staff attorney Hanni Fakhoury told CoinDesk:
”As the settlement agreement makes clear, the students have not admitted to any wrongdoing. Indeed, as the court presiding over the case found, there was no ‘inherently improper or malicious intent or design’ behind Tidbit.”
The EFF maintains the code was operational for