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Spammers Lose Court Battle Against Univ. of Texas 288

Posted by timothy
from the eyes-of-texas-aren't-upon-you dept.
voma writes "The University of Texas didn't violate the constitutional rights of an online dating service when it blocked thousands of unsolicited e-mails, a federal appeals court panel ruled Tuesday. White Buffalo Ventures, which operates LonghornSingles.com, had appealed to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, saying it had complied with all anti-spam laws."
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Spammers Lose Court Battle Against Univ. of Texas

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  • by cerelib (903469) on Wednesday August 03, 2005 @04:07PM (#13234725)
    the only way to block something is if you have control of a machine that it is going to. if it is your machine than you have all of the rights in the world to block anything that comes in or tries to go out. if you have control of the machine by less than legal means, well that's another issue.
    • No, I don't believe your analysis is correct.

      It certainly isn't true that because it is "your machine" you have the right to block anything that comes to it. A phone company may own the phone network and switching equipment, but that doesn't give them the right to block, particularly selectively, what they choose to block. A university may own the student's mailboxes, but that doesn't mean that the university has the right to selectively filter the student's incoming mail.

      I'm not saying that the decision is
      • (I am not educated in the US gov regs on the communication industry, but here is my simple analysis) the phone company can block on their switches, but that might put them in breach of contract with customers. even if it did not this would easily lead to loss of business. so in all logic they cannot afford to block on the switches. as a college student myself it would not surprise me to know that in my agreement with my university they are allowed to block any non school related emails. if I do not like
      • by Buran (150348) on Wednesday August 03, 2005 @06:00PM (#13235811)
        A phone company is a common carrier. A college/university is not. The phone company is obligated to offer service to everyone. The university is not.
      • Re:vaporware (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Forbman (794277)
        No, I don't believe your analysis is correct.
        Actually, it's not far off.

        It certainly isn't true that because it is "your machine" you have the right to block anything that comes to it.

        Really? Then why do I have a firewall (block network traffic selectively)? Why do I have "spam filters" on my e-mail?

        A phone company may own the phone network and switching equipment, but that doesn't give them the right to block, particularly selectively, what they choose to block.

        As a public carrier (as defined by the FCC),
  • Devil's Advocate (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shkuey (609361) on Wednesday August 03, 2005 @04:07PM (#13234731)
    So the school sold all these addresses to a spammer, presumably for the purpose of having spam sent to them and then blocked all the messages? I'd probably be annoyed too. Of course, it is the students who should be even more angered that the university would sell them out like that.
    • Re:Devil's Advocate (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Kiaser Wilhelm II (902309) <slashpanada@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 03, 2005 @04:09PM (#13234756) Journal
      The school can't do much, it is public information (Freedom of Information Act, etc) unless you explicitly tell them not to release it.

      Of course, institutions are really bad about this.. My high school, despite my multiple requests not to, released my information to all sorts of local corporations for them to spam me with prom/senior pictures/etc. related junk mail.
    • Re:Devil's Advocate (Score:3, Interesting)

      by garcia (6573) *
      So the school sold all these addresses to a spammer, presumably for the purpose of having spam sent to them and then blocked all the messages?

      The school sold all the addresses so that the students could be spammed. It is the school's job to protect their students from that e-mail spam.

      It's not the school's right to stop mail from coming to the student's residences.

      Most student address requests that I get in my office are for Army and Navy recruiting stations. They pay a $50 fee per list and receive a disk
      • Re:Devil's Advocate (Score:4, Informative)

        by Kiaser Wilhelm II (902309) <slashpanada@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 03, 2005 @04:15PM (#13234826) Journal
        It should be noted that the privacy notations on student records don't apply to military recuriters (and presumably, other government institutions).

        You can think your congressman for this: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05123/498098.stm [post-gazette.com]
        • Except with military recruiters. The Solomon Act requires institutions to turn over certain categories of such directory information to them.

          "Since Solomon passed, we must release this eight or nine pieces of directory information. We could turn another organization down."

          Those types of information are: name of student; student's address, local or permanent; student's phone number, local or permanent; age and/or date of birth; place of birth ("If we know it -- we are not required to get that information," s
        • by Detritus (11846)
          That was a reaction to schools that were happy to accept boatloads of government money, but told the military that they were not welcome on campus.
          • Well, I have a big beef with this attitude.

            The federalist system of government, as envisioned by our founders (the founders that Conservatives love to talk about but rarely ever embrace, ideologically) had a strict delination between state and national governments. The states took care of things in their state while the government saw to things like defense, interstate commerece, international policy, etc. Thanks to Congress and favorable rulings from the SCOTUS, as well as the federal income tax, the feder
          • "but told the military that they were not welcome on campus."
            No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
            It's their constitutional right. I don't see the phrase "unless there's federal money involved" anywhere in the federal constitution.
        • An institution doesn't have to comply with those provisions unless it accepts Federal financial aid.

          Or do you think an institution should be able to say "yes" to Federal aid and "no" to Federal military recruiters?

          That would be, a bit one-sided, don't you think?

      • by Compholio (770966)
        Most student address requests that I get in my office are for Army and Navy recruiting stations. They pay a $50 fee per list and receive a disk with the Access database of the names.

        My god those people make me angry, the Air Force kept sending me stuff and calling me all the time even after I got to college (and I'd told them several times to leave me alone). When they finally called my dorm at college I told them that if they called me again I would file a complaint and make sure that someone paid atte
      • Re:Devil's Advocate (Score:3, Informative)

        by Gogo Dodo (129808)
        Nowhere does the article say that UT sold the spammers a list of addresses only that it was "legally obtained". In fact, if you read the ZDnet article [zdnet.com], it says the spammers got the list "by filing a freedom of information request that gave it nearly all the university's e-mail addresses". UT didn't sell the list.
    • by yellowbkpk (890493) *
      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.

      I don't see anywhere in that article that says anything about the university selling addresses. "Legally obtained" could mean many other things...
      • I don't see anywhere in that article that says anything about the university selling addresses. "Legally obtained" could mean many other things...

        You're correct; of course, it could mean a number of things. However I cannot get a copy of my own information from my univerity without paying them, so I find it hard to believe they would just hand it out to a company without any incentive. Monetary incentive or otherwise, I still consider it selling them out.
        • Virtually all universities have a campus directory of students online that contains at least names and email address, albeit university issued email address. This is public information and really wouldn't be hard for any third party to obtain. In UT's case, http://www.utexas.edu/directory/ [utexas.edu] is directly linked to from the home page. You can find the email address of any student there that you want.
        • by KingOfBLASH (620432) on Wednesday August 03, 2005 @04:40PM (#13235061) Journal
          However I cannot get a copy of my own information from my univerity without paying them, so I find it hard to believe they would just hand it out to a company without any incentive.
          Know any Perl? Create a spider to crawl through the student directory. Many colleges and universities have student directories or faculty directories with no check to make sure you're affiliated with the university. You might have to guess names but how hard is that? Go down a list and search for Anderson, Andreason, Anders, etc. Or just search by email addresses. When I was at the University of Buffalo they were a students initials. So run through the list: aaa@buffalo.edu, aab@buffalo.edu. It would be elementary to iterate through the permutations and get all the student data you can.

          Still don't believe me? Try going to UB's Directory [buffalo.edu]. You can do wildcard searchs. Search by last name, type in "a*". Repeat for all 26 letters of the alphabet. Get a spider to do it. It's scary how easy it is to access personal data -- the first link contains all sorts of information about a student: mailing address, phone number, etc. If you were intent on stealing an identity you'd be 90% on the way there.
        • And the ZDNet article [zdnet.com] has the info on how it was "legally obtained": White Buffalo, an Austin, Texas, start-up that boasts of making "a ton of moolah" by promoting relationship-based Web sites, began its bulk e-mail campaign in February 2003 by filing a freedom of information request that gave it nearly all the university's e-mail addresses.
    • Re:Devil's Advocate (Score:4, Interesting)

      by British (51765) <british1500@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 03, 2005 @04:14PM (#13234813) Homepage Journal
      I think you just came up with a great way to scam the spammers, AND make money...fast!

      1. Sell your website's email addresses to a spamming company*
      2. Block all mail from company you just sold out to
      3. Profit!!

      * cook up some contract where they can't sue if the email doesn't go through
    • Who said the school sold them the addresses? All the article said was that they were "obtained legally". Neither scraping nor address-guessing are illegal, ergo they could have been collected through those "legal" (albeit intrusive) means.
  • When and where (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hackstraw (262471) * on Wednesday August 03, 2005 @04:08PM (#13234744)

    do "online dating services" have constitutional rights?

    I need to speak with a corporate lawyer to find out what is required of me to incorporate myself so I can get some of these rights that the constitution alludes to.
    • It's not that you need to become a corporation to have constitutional rights, it's that corporations need to become individual legal entities in order to enjoy most of the same individual rights as we mere humans.

      Oh wait, they already passed that law.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporation [wikipedia.org]
      • But since corporations have unlimited lifetimes, cannot be put and jail, and usually enjoy the financial resources of millions of real people, that gives them a bit of an unfair advantage over us mere mortals, doesn't it? By the way, corporations were originally designed as a way for nonprofits to limit the liability of their participants. Not sure how for-profit companies came to enjoy the same protections of human beings, but I'm sure it couldn't have anything to do with campaign contributions...
  • by yellowbkpk (890493) * on Wednesday August 03, 2005 @04:08PM (#13234746)
    The first amendment gives you the right to free SPEECH, not free listeners.

    Just because you say it doesn't mean everyone (or anyone) has to listen to you.

    • The first amendment gives you the right to free SPEECH, not free listeners.

      Just because you say it doesn't mean everyone (or anyone) has to listen to you.


      So true. When I was in college, I saw a bible thumper escorted off of campus kicking and screaming about "free speech". The campus police reminded him that he needed a permit for such a thing and that nobody was required to listen to his shouting and ranting.

      Gotta love the South!
      • When I was in college, I saw a bible thumper escorted off of campus kicking and screaming about "free speech".

        Was this thumper called "Brother Jeb"? If so, he ain't just a Southern Phenom - he was at Wichita State back when I was an undergrad - ca. 1985 or so. Showed up for a couple of years. Was roundly made fun of, and was not, to the best of my knowledge, officially removed from campus, but rather I think he finally "figgerd" out that all those " LEEEEEZZZZZZBIANS and MAAAAAA-STURBATORS " were not goin

        • Ahh, Brother Jeb. My wife and I were talking about him just last night, as she had found another coworker with exciting Brother Jeb stories.

          It's something special to be called a Whore by Brother Jeb. It means you must be doing something right.

          This was 1995-2000, University of Tennessee.
    • " The first amendment gives you the right to free SPEECH, not free listeners.

      Just because you say it doesn't mean everyone (or anyone) has to listen to you.
      "

      I think the issue is, why does a govt. entity, get to arbitrarily censor mail sent to students, since it is a public university? This is the definition of a 1st amendment violation. This is what happens when the govt. is running institutions that should be private.
      • They weren't "arbitrarily" censoring email; they had received complaints from several students, and decided those students were representative of the population as a whole. How many students have complained that they are now unable to receive this spam? Communication requires a willing speaker and a willing listener. Your right to free speech only gives you a right to communicate with the people that actually want to hear what you have to say. You seem to be arguing that I have the right to scream obscentit
      • It general, it isn't a violation of the first amendment if the restriction is content-neutral.
    • Let's expand on that idea a little and state more simply:

      A right on your part does not constitute an obligation on my part.

      This simple idea applies to all the rights you hold under the U.S. Constitution, enumerated or not and leads to many conflicts.

  • by yoyo81 (598597) on Wednesday August 03, 2005 @04:09PM (#13234750)
    "The University of Texas didn't violate the constitutional rights of an online dating service "

    Since when do dating services have constitutional rights? Isn't it convenient that corporations can cherry pick when they want to be corporations and when they want to be individuals?
    • A corporation is creating an 'individual' under the law. The corporation must do all that an individual does. It needs to pay taxes, operate in legal manners, be responsible for various things, etc.

      So the dating service, if incorporated, has the same rights as anyone.

      -M
      • So the dating service, if incorporated, has the same rights as anyone.

        And far fewer of the responsibilities. Corporations regularly get away with acts (e.g., Union Carbide's Bhopal leak [wikipedia.org]) that would see an individual locked up for life.

        • Corporations are only considered individuals as far as civil law is concerned. Corporations cannot be held guilty of criminal offenses and that is a good thing.

          Corporations allow their employees and shareholders to hide from civil responsibility over their actions. Any fines or lawsuit seeking money for damages caused by an employee or shareholders actions as an employee or shareholder of a corporation can only go after the corporations assets, not the assets of the employees or shareholders.

          Criminal law is
        • That was Union Carbide India, Limited, not Union Carbide. Something many people find convenient to ignore when looking to place blame.
    • Businesses in America enjoy many freedoms that individuals don't have. Lower tax burden, limited liability, generally favorable outcomes in the civil court system.

      In a perfect world, my employer would hire my corporation and treat my corporation as the employee. I'd be interested to hear any rational arguements besides the conventional being taxed twice arguement.
    • Yes, it is.

      For instance:

      1. A human being is born, lives, and then dies.
      2. A corporation is born, may be revived many times (by changing those who run it), and can eventually die.

      1. If a human being kills another human being it is called murder.
      2. If a corporation kills another corporation it is called a take-over, buy-out, etc... and is perfectly legal. Even though the other corporation dies a (sometimes) violent death. (Like being driven into bankruptcy.)

      1. If a human being talks about shortcomings of so
  • by sgar (859603) on Wednesday August 03, 2005 @04:09PM (#13234751) Homepage
    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.
    So lets get this straight, UT issues a cease and desist which the company refused to comply with. In response, UT took care of the ceasing and desisting for them. Don't really see the problem here.
    • I could ask you to cease and desist breathing. Your refusing to comply does not automatically give me the right to stop you from breathing. The legality of UT's actions are independent of the cease and desist order (which has no force in law).

      In this case, the court correctly found that UT's action was legal.
  • by Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Wednesday August 03, 2005 @04:09PM (#13234757)
    That'd be VistaSingles.com now, thank you.
  • Well DUH. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Famanoran (568910)
    If the ruling had been any different, I'd have to seriously question the sanity of the US justice system - of course, I have to do that anyway.

    Just because you put your turn signal on, and following all the road rules correctly you turned into my driveway, it doesn't mean that you have the right to park on my property.
  • Right on! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rblum (211213) on Wednesday August 03, 2005 @04:10PM (#13234764)
    It's a first step towards acknowledging that corporations should have no rights - at least not unless they're willing to take on responsibilities too.

    (Yes, I'm a hopeless optimist...)
    • " It's a first step towards acknowledging that corporations should have no rights - at least not unless they're willing to take on responsibilities too.

      (Yes, I'm a hopeless optimist...)"

      Does that mean you want the Mozilla foundation code to lose copyright protection? They're not a corporation, but they certainly are not an individual, and they're spawning some sort of corporate entity.
    • I'm sad you think this kind of opinion is somehow viable. I'm really sad it was moderated insightful because that means you are not the only one thinking like this.

      Modern american government has as one of it's main goals to create an environment where it's safe to do business and keep profits. That means businesses are given many priveledges(sp?) at the expense of individuals.

      I'm really interested to know who influenced you to form this kind of opinion. School? Parents? TV? What generation do you belong
      • I did some spell correction for you:

        "Modern american government has as one of it's main goals to create an environment where it's safe to do business and keep profits. That means businesses are given many privileges at the expense of individuals."

        Read the Constitution. Not one word in there about corporate rights. Many, many statements about the rights of individual - wait for it - persons. Not corporations, but persons.

        You've just spelled out in your statement exactly what is wrong with America today; n
  • While this IS a good victory against spammers, I really worry about the constitutionality of such an action, UofT is a government funded school and as such should not be able to suppress the rights of free speech, even unpopular speech.
    • So by that, do you imply that universities should not be able to have anti-spam measures? No blacklists (including OpenRBL or rfc-ignorant?) and certainly no spamassassin-like process to determine what is junk mail and what isn't?

      Remove the consideration that this was a legitimate business that was wreaking havoc on the mail servers and pretend it was a random spammer "selling" v 1 @ g r a....should the university still allow that speech through?
    • by pete6677 (681676) on Wednesday August 03, 2005 @04:25PM (#13234916)
      Since when does the constitution provide the right to require the government to help you deliver an unlimited amount of commercial advertising? For the last time, SPAM IS NOT A FREE SPEECH ISSUE! Popular message or not, no mail administrator is required to deliver mail. The spammer is not being restricted from sending mail at all. Free speech does not entitle the speaker to a free platform.
      • Furthermore, should 'constitutional rights' even apply to corporations? Is that what the founding fathers intended?
      • " Since when does the constitution provide the right to require the government to help you deliver an unlimited amount of commercial advertising? For the last time, SPAM IS NOT A FREE SPEECH ISSUE! Popular message or not, no mail administrator is required to deliver mail. The spammer is not being restricted from sending mail at all. Free speech does not entitle the speaker to a free platform."

        Here's the problem. No private entity is required to deliver spam to you, as you point out. However, a public scho
        • What right does the govt. have to decide for you as a student what e-mail you should read or not. Clearly this is censorship and a 1st amendment violation.

          While I agree with your sentiment, it does not seem to fit the facts of this situation. The government is not deciding what email students should or should not read. The students are voluntarily using communications infrastructure owned by the university. If they want unfiltered email accounts, they are free to pay for an external email provider tha


    • The mail servers were crashing and their users were specifically complaining about the mails in question.

      Spam is getting to be such a problem, that real protected speech is becoming hindered. Keep in mind that this is a mass mail that was on order of 59,000 mails. I'm under the illusion that I am entitled to have free speech, but I don't feel as though whatever I feel like saying should be sent to every inbox in the world every time I think of something.

      I post to slashdot instead :)
    • What sort of demented logic makes you think spam is free speech?

      Free speech is being able to stand on the street corner and shout that our government sucks*. It is not being able to stand in the middle of the intersection, blocking traffic, shouting that our government sucks.

      Spam is the latter -- forcing the message upon the masses and causing them problems in the meantime.

      *: Yes yes aside from all the other laws that would probably be involved there, like disturbing the peace, loitering, or whatever else t
      • Spam IS speech. The problem with spam is that it's way, way too much speech; blocking the intersection, as you say. The goal of the CAN-SPAM act was to try to remove the obnoxious parts of spam without eliminating the speech aspects.

        Under CAN-SPAM, you "can spam". You can say anything you like. But you have to be polite and add a few extra things, like a valid email address (no spoofing) and a tag if it's adult content.

        They're trying to have it both ways. Saying "you can't send this email" opens up que
    • The Uni is NOT blocking speech. They are blocking their EARS. That is a huge difference...
    • So people should be allowed to indiscriminately spam all government-funded organisations, like the armed forces, the White House, public schools, the courts, &c., &c.?

      And in what way is spamming free speech anyhow?
  • by www.sorehands.com (142825) on Wednesday August 03, 2005 @04:10PM (#13234774) Homepage
    The Can-SPAM act says that it has no effect on the ability of the ISP to filter deny the spammer the ability to use their system. (Section 8(c).).
    • The whole idea of the CAN-SPAM act is to make it easier to filter spam. That's how they get around the potential free-speech issues: you're free to speak, and I'm free to filter it.

      The CAN-SPAM act is way of acknowledging that some speakers are obnoxious, and will not desist from speaking if you're not interested. So rather than eliminating the right to speak, you're just required to tag your speech and not to lie about who it's coming from. (You're also required to tag it if it's adult material.) If yo
  • by DogDude (805747)
    This decision is a relief. I've blocked *all* IP traffic from most of Asia. I was a tad worried that the entire continent of Asia would be able to sue me for closing my server to them. All right then, who's next? Eastern Europe? Former Soviet states? I'm an IP blocking fool! And only a written, signed apology from each and every citizen of every country I blocked is going to make it better.

    In all seriousness, while doing this obviously has no impact on zombies that send spam, it did have a mass
    • Re:Whew! (Score:3, Informative)

      by Cecil (37810)
      That's strange you got such a significant positive impact. Personally, most of my spam (a whopping 37%) comes from the USA, mostly from cable modems/DSL lines. Excluding Russia and Japan, the rest of asia combined only contributes a paltry 9% of the total. European countries make up most of the other 54%
  • by posting a link on slashdot, is that free advertising?

    (Or maybe a free slashdotting, depending on your view)

  • While the first ammendment does give us the right to freedom of speech (with some reasonable exceptions) I think it should guarantee everyone the right not to listen to the shit everyone else is saying.

    I don't mind some company sending out emails about getting an extra 3 inches, printer ink cartridges, or hOt XxX pOrN!!!1!!, but I do mind having to listen to what they have to say if I don't want to.

    Sure I don't have to open the actual email, but seeing it in my inbox where it takes up space and time to

  • Spammer logic (Score:5, Informative)

    by dazed-n-confused (140724) on Wednesday August 03, 2005 @04:15PM (#13234822)
    The spammers "legally obtained the email addresses from the University" via an open records request for a list of utex.edu email addresses, then pretended that this meant they'd paid for the "right" to spam anyone associated with the University of Texas. More details here: Texas Attorney General's Office [state.tx.us].
    • Re:Spammer logic (Score:3, Informative)

      by SpecBear (769433)
      It gets even better than that. They also claimed that compliance with CAN-SPAM not only made their spam legal, it also made blocking that spam illegal (emphasis added by me):

      The company argued that the university violated its constitutional rights by filtering out 59,000 e-mails in 2003. White Buffalo also claimed a federal act that allows certain e-mails superseded the university's anti-spam policy.

      The 5th Circuit panel found that the federal anti-spam law, CAN-SPAM, does not pre-empt the university

  • Hmmm (Score:4, Interesting)

    by greythax (880837) on Wednesday August 03, 2005 @04:34PM (#13235011)
    Ok, this is just a question, and in no way intended to be a troll.

    I am sure this story will be praised by the slashdot crowd, and as I work for a mid sized ISP, I can't say I am upset to see it happen. I am, however, curious about implications of the free speech side of this.

    Let us assume that instead of commercial spam, this was a single individual that was sending out an email about some governmental injustice. For instance, if he had a friend that was being held under patriot act provisions without trial. Sure, a lot of people would junk the message, but judging from the messages I get that start with RE:FWD:RE:FWD:(ad infinitum), a goodly number of people would likely read it.

    My question to slashdot is; Should there be occasions where it is ok to spam, and if so, how do we legislate it? If it can be justified, is bulk commercial spam just the price we have to pay for another venue by which our citizens can freely express themselves?

    I would be very much interested to see if anyone had any legal precedents in the world of snail mail that might apply.
    • by dodobh (65811)
      It is never, ever ok to spam. Spam is Unsolicited, Bulk Messaging. If a friend sends me a message, even if it is a forward, it does not meet the unsolicited criterion. Ergo, not spam.

      Merely being bulk does not make it spam.
      Merely being unsolicited does not make it spam.

      Both together is spam.

      To use an analogy, getting drunk is legal (if you are above the legal drinking age). Driving is legal (with appropriate licenses), Drunk driving is penalised.
    • well, I don't care what the message is about, I don't want any unsolicited mail. If someone has something to say about governmental injustice, let him/her do it like everyone else... stand on a street corner and yell about it while holding signs. Otherwise, I'm gonna junk the mail and probably care less about the governmental injustice that said person is preaching.
    • This has nothing to do with free speech.

      The spammer's argument is analagous to:

      Suing someone because they refused to answer the phone when you call

      If they don't want to hear from you, that's their choice; if their employer or parents don't want you tying up the phone line, they can block you, and if you don't like it, tough.

      Spammers have no inalienable right to send you their junk mail any more than the neighborhood trucking company can park their 18-wheelers in your driveway.

      There's a big difference betwee
  • by Junior J. Junior III (192702) on Wednesday August 03, 2005 @04:36PM (#13235031) Homepage
    Don't mess with Texas.
  • Your rights end at my router, hubs, server, bandwidth, computers, etc.

    This is like the "junk faxes," why should YOUR "free speech" cost ME money?

    Had it gone the other way, it would have set dangerous presedent.

  • the University of Texas for ruining my only chance at true love, and future damages from the children I will not have. I was promised by a eastern european fortune teller that I will find my one and only love in U of T, and that the connection will be made through this site. :(
  • by OpenGLFan (56206) on Wednesday August 03, 2005 @04:50PM (#13235167) Homepage
    HOORAY! I'm a UT grad student, and I hadn't realized until I read this story that I hadn't gotten one of the annoying longhornsingles spams in quite a while.

    So here's a public thanks to my University's IT dept. and to the judge in question! Let's block more spammers!
  • *sigh* (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Cervantes (612861) on Wednesday August 03, 2005 @04:53PM (#13235192) Journal
    The "constitutional rights" of a corporation...

    Their "right" to communicate over a private medium...

    I think this is a fine example of how everyones priorities are fucked.

    That said... I would disagree with the university if they blocked access to the website of the spammers. The site isn't hosted by the university, and blocking the communications medium would be wrong. However, the email server is a different matter. If it chooses to reject certain emails, too bad. It's a private server subject to the whims of the owner, and it should be beyond anyone to force someone to do something with their private server.

    What's next, the spammers sue to make us all keep our relays open?
  • It's not a great shock that spammers are trying to argue that following anti-spam laws gives them a RIGHT to your mailbox.

    But it's malignant frippery.

    That's like saying having a driver's license gives me a right to use your car whenever I want.

    As to the University's filtering, within reasonable guidelines we are talking about the university's property (i.e., network facilties.) They're stuck with the responsibility of managing it for tens of thousands of students. Spammers are so vicious and abusi

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