On Wednesday, a federal judge in Kansas ruled that the National Football League had violated the First Amendment when it withheld the passwords for its wireless security systems.
The ruling from U.S. District Judge James Robart in Kansas was the latest in a string of legal challenges to the NFL’s controversial $1.8 billion security systems, which are designed to protect players, coaches and other teams from hackers.
Robart said in a ruling that the NFL violated the rights of both players and fans to free speech, which the league argues is the foundation of its business.
He also said that the league failed to prove that it could enforce the terms of the agreement by requiring the passwords.
Robart ruled that if the password requirement was a breach of the terms, it was also a breach.
The court said the NFL had not shown that the passwords were not in the public interest, that the system would not be used to identify or track the identities of players, that they were in the interest of security or that the information they provided could be used by others.
The NFLPA, which has sued to block the password requirements, said in its statement that Robart’s ruling was “deeply disappointing” because it could lead to a return to more aggressive password enforcement by other leagues.
Robarts ruling also has led to a court fight between the NFL and the NFL Players Association, which filed an amicus brief opposing the password policy.
The league is seeking an injunction to block a ruling from Robart that would block the passwords from being made public, which it says would make it easier for hackers to identify players.
The plaintiffs have asked the court to strike the order and hold a hearing before a judge to determine if they are entitled to the protections afforded to players.
The NFL and other sports leagues argue that the protections provided to players are a matter of public record.
The case is Robart v.
NFL Players, U.K. Supreme Court, No. 14/1221.