Starbucks and McDonald’s to Block Porn From Their Wi-Fi Networks

keep-calmUsing the Wi-Fi at an eating establishment such as McDonald’s, Burger King or Starbucks is not uncommon. Many people get their coffee or food and end up sitting at one of the booths or tables for a few hours, working on their laptop or playing games on their phone. It is especially common to see these places full in major cities, where people walk from different areas to Starbucks and McDonald’s, so they can relax indoors for a few hours, or get some work done. And these establishments do not have a problem with people wanting to use their Wi-Fi.

But they are attempting to make some changes. One of those changes involves blocking all websites related to pornography from their networks. If anyone tries to search for porn on Google or visit a site containing pornography, they will be met with a filter that tells them their search is prohibited. And there are many reasons why these establishments may want to block pornography from the Wi-Fi at their facilities.no-porn

One of the primary reasons why a blockage seems appropriate is because of the anonymity associated with these networks. It is not always possible to know who is making certain searches, especially when you have 20 or 30 people using the same network at the same time. For example, some watchdog groups have claimed that it is a lot harder to track people who search for child pornography or other illegal materials on the internet from public spots. In contrast, the authorities can get easy access to a person’s IP address if they are attempting these searches from their home or apartment.

Another issue comes when you take into account how many young and teenage children visit these establishments, especially in bigger cities. While parents can ensure certain content is filtered out through their network, they may not be able to ensure their child is safe from internet pornography if they are visiting a Starbucks or McDonald’s. Many parents’ groups have complained about this practice, and they have been pushing for such laws.

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The specific search filters being used on these establishments should not stop people from using the internet in other ways. For example, it is easy enough to watch mature content such as Game of Thrones, but anything related to pornography is blocked. It will be interesting to note whether the move is successful and if it is adopted by other companies.