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Justices won't intervene in spam dispute

By The Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas — The U.S. Supreme Court today declined to intervene in a dispute between the University of Texas and an online dating service upset that the school blocked thousands of unsolicited e-mails.

The high court let stand a federal appeals court's ruling that the university did not violate the constitutional rights of White Buffalo Ventures when it blocked 59,000 e-mails in 2003.

White Buffalo Ventures, which operates, said it had complied with all anti-spam laws and argued that a federal act that allows certain e-mails superseded the university's anti-spam policy.

A 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled in August that the federal anti-spam law, CAN-SPAM, does not pre-empt the university's policy and that the policy is permissible under the First Amendment.

The Austin-based service had legally obtained the addresses from the university, but the university started blocking the e-mail messages saying White Buffalo was part of a larger spam problem that had crashed the computer system.

The university said it was also responding to complaints from students and faculty.

At the time, the university issued a cease and desist order, but White Buffalo refused to comply. So the school blocked all the e-mail messages from White Buffalo's IP address.

University of Texas had right to block spam, 5th Circuit rules
Online dating service had argued that college violated First Amendment by filtering out 59,000 unsolicited e-mails. 08.04.05


Md. appeals court upholds state's anti-spam law

Lower court had ruled that 2002 statute was unconstitutional because it sought to regulate commerce outside state borders. 01.30.06

2005-06 Supreme Court case tracker


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