You won’t be able to watch porn on Starbucks Wi-Fi from 2019

30 Nov 2018192 Views

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on RedditEmail this to someone

A Starbucks store in Tokyo, Japan. Image: akulamatiau/Depositphotos

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on RedditEmail this to someone

While you weren’t allowed to already, Starbucks will enforce a block on pornographic content over its Wi-Fi starting next year.

Aside from the pull of its brand name, Starbucks is also able to attract a large number of people to sit in its stores for hours on end to avail of its free Wi-Fi. However, while many would use it to catch up on work emails or research for a college essay, a significant number have been using it to watch porn.

Under Starbucks’ rules, watching porn in one of its stores is banned due to it being a very public place with children around, but it did not put a block on the content being viewed on any device.

Now, according to Business Insider, that’s about to change as a petition from a US internet safety advocacy group called Enough Is Enough has seen the coffee chain make the decision to block porn on its Wi-Fi networks starting in 2019. The petition stating that public Wi-Fi networks “are attracting paedophiles and sex offenders” has almost 27,000 signatories.

Pressure on Starbucks was growing after not following through on its promise in 2016 to block porn in its stores, soon after McDonald’s took the decision to ban the content on its own free Wi-Fi networks.

In a statement, the group said of Starbucks’ previous policy: “By breaking its commitment, Starbucks is keeping the doors wide open for convicted sex offenders and others to fly under the radar from law enforcement and use free, public Wi-Fi services to access illegal child porn and hard-core pornography.”

Following its announcement of the ban, a Starbucks spokesperson said it was making the decision in order to “ensure the ‘third place’ remains safe and welcoming to all”. The company did not go into the details of what content filtering tool it will be using to keep porn out of its stores, but it has tested a number of different ones in order to prevent non-pornographic content from also being blocked.

A Starbucks store in Tokyo, Japan. Image: akulamatiau/Depositphotos

Colm Gorey is a journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com