Purporting to be "From a former AOL employee", the e-mail claimed AOL 4.0 would let AOL inspect users' hard drives for personal information.
Bulkeley's mail to the AOL community said: "the contents of the email are completely false. IT IS A HOAX. AOL software does not collect or pass any information to anyone. Period!"
Bulkeley said today: "I sent the mail because I was getting a lot of people asking about it so I just wanted to reassure people and say 'forget this shyster'."