Court orders Web hosting company to disclose name of Louisiana University critic

A Web-hosting company in California was ordered by a Louisiana judge on Jan. 23 to reveal the name of an anonymous professor who operates a Web site critical of administrators at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

U.S. District Judge Robert James gave the company, Homestead Technologies, of Menlo Park, Calif., until Feb. 8 to reveal the professor’s identity. His decision upheld a federal magistrate’s December order to turn over the name.

The professor’s lawyer, J. Michael Rhymes, said he would likely appeal the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

University officials have sought the professor’s name since August, when Richard Baxter, vice president of external affairs, filed a motion in federal court. Baxter has indicated he would file a libel and defamation suit against the professor, according to articles in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

SPLC View: As anonymous posters increasingly take to the Internet to air their grievances, those who believe they have been unlawfully targeted