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 LonghornSingles.com, 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certain e-mails superseded the university's anti-spam policy.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
The university said it was also responding to complaints from students and
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.