Attorney general says judge barred unwanted school e-mail

Saturday, October 30, 2004

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- A judge has barred a Web site operator from sending e-mails requesting the sexual orientation of Missouri public school officials, the attorney general's office said Friday.

Attorney General Jay Nixon sued the StarProse Corp. last week, saying it sent unwanted e-mails to several superintendents threatening to describe them as gay if they did not respond with personal information.

Circuit Judge Bruce Colyer permanently barred the Abilene, Texas-based company and its president, Jeffrey Kowalski, from sending e-mail requesting the sexual orientation of any school or government employees in Missouri.

The e-mail messages appeared with the subject line, "Open Records Request," but actually sought personal information from school officials, such as their age, race, gender and sexual orientation. The lawsuit accused StarProse of violating the state's anti-spam law, in part by using a misleading subject line.

The judge's ruling also bars the company from sending e-mail or making threats under the guise of an open records request, and from publishing false information about school or public officials, Nixon said.

A message left with the company was not immediately returned.

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