AUSTIN, Texas – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday 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 UT 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said it had complied with all anti-spam laws and argued that a federal act that allows certain e-mails superseded the university's anti-spam policy.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 system.
The university said it was also responding to complaints from students and faculty.
At the time, UT issued a cease and desist order, but White Buffalo refused to comply. So UT blocked all the e-mail messages from White Buffalo's IP address.