Digital friendly Wi-Fi sign confirms company has taken steps to block porn on WiFi networksMcDonalds and Starbucks have recently announced that they have taken steps to block porn on WiFi networks that can be accessed by their customers. McDonalds restaurants in the United States already have a web filtering solution in place that prevents customers from accessing pornographic material via their in-restaurant WiFi networks. Mature content – such as online streaming of TV shows such as Game of Thrones – will still be possible. Starbucks has also recently followed the lead of McDonalds and will soon implement a web filtering solution to block pornography.

McDonalds is the largest fast-food chain in the United States, operating more than 14,000 restaurants. Starbucks is the largest coffee shop chain in the United States, with more than 12,200 outlets in the U.S. Due to the size of the chains, and their popularity with children and families, both organizations have faced pressure from Internet safety organizations to start implementing controls to limit the website content that can be accessed via their WiFi networks.

McDonalds Chooses to Block Porn on WiFi Networks in its Restaurants

McDonalds started to block porn on WiFi networks available to customers earlier this year. According to a statement issued by the fast-food chain, the corporation was previously unaware that there was a problem with customers accessing pornography inside its restaurants or that consumers wanted restrictions to be placed on its WiFi networks.

After the not-for-profit Internet safety organization Enough is Enough reached out to the CEO of McDonalds last year and suggested WiFi network porn filtering should be implemented, the fast-food chain reacted “promptly and positively.”

McDonalds recently issued a statement saying “We had not heard from our customers that this was an issue, but we saw an opportunity that is consistent with our goal of providing an enjoyable experience for families.”

McDonalds started exploring web filtering solutions to block pornography on WiFi networks in its restaurants and, after researching the available options, McDonalds implemented a WiFi network porn filtering solution in Q1, 2016. Last week, McDonalds announced that a web filtering solution had been deployed to block porn on WiFi networks in its restaurants.

WiFi Network Porn Filtering to be Implemented by Starbucks

Hot on the heels of the announcement by McDonalds was a press release confirming that Starbucks had taken the decision to block porn on WiFi networks in its coffee shops.

Two days after the McDonalds announcement, Enough is Enough reported that Starbucks had also opted to block porn on WiFi networks in its coffee shops in the United States. When the evaluation process has been completed, and a suitable WiFi network porn filtering solution has been selected, it will be rolled out worldwide across the company´s coffee shops to ensure that all customers are protected from exposure to pornographic material.

A spokesperson for Starbucks said, “We are in the process of evaluating a global protocol to address this in all of our company owned stores, and are in active discussions with organizations on implementing the right, broad-based solution that would remove any illegal and other egregious content.”

Enough is Enough has been campaigning for safer Internet since the group was formed in 1994. In 2014 the organization launched a new campaign to place pressure on corporations in America to use WiFi network porn filtering to ensure that children and families could access the Internet safely without being exposed to pornographic material.

Increasing Pressure on Corporations to Implement WiFi Filtering Solutions to Block Pornography

Enough is Enough claim “Internet safety is now the fourth top-ranked health issue for U.S. children with peer- reviewed research confirming Internet pornography as a public health crisis.” The organization says that individuals are increasingly using open WiFi networks to gain access to online pornography and child pornography. They cite news reports that public WiFi networks are also being used by individuals to share obscene, abusive, and illegal images.

Enough Is Enough has been putting an increasing amount of pressure on organizations in the United States over the past two years to carefully control the content that can be accessed via WiFi networks. The organization has now gained the support from 75 partner organizations including the Salvation Army, National Coalition to Protect Child Sexual Abuse, U.S Department of Justice, American Family Association (AFA), Family Research Council (FRC), and the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.

Enough is Enough and the National Center on Sexual Exploitation recently appealed to Starbucks to follow the lead of McDonalds and implement a WiFi web filtering solution to block porn on WiFi networks accessible to its customers.

Both organizations will now be increasing their efforts to get other corporations in the United States to make a similar decision and block porn on WiFi networks in order to provide family-friendly Internet access.