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Is Starbucks Done Letting Customers Use Their WiFi to Access Porn?

Starbucks has announced that starting in 2019, customers will no longer be able to access pornographic sites using their stores’ WiFi connection, reports NBC News. Looks like you’ll have to take your double shots to go, creepers.

The internet-safety advocacy group Enough is Enough started a petition that gathered over 26,000 signatures urging the coffee empire to put a stop to viewing ‘egregious content’ at Starbucks everywhere. Enough is Enough’s mission states they want to “make the Internet Safer for Children and Families.”

We are dedicated to promoting child dignity in the digital world by raising public awareness about the harms of Internet pornography, sexual predators, cyberbullying, sex trafficking and other dangers.

We develop and advance preventative solutions that promote equality, fairness, and respect for human dignity with shared responsibility between the public, the technology industry, and the legal community.

We stand for freedom of speech as defined by the Constitution of the United States; for a culture where all people are respected and valued; for a childhood of protected innocent; for healthy sexuality; and for a society free from sexual exploitation.

According to Enough is Enough CEO Donna Rice Hughes, in 2016 Starbucks didn’t act on their progress toward “implementing the right, broad-based solution that would remove any illegal and other egregious content”.

Enough is Enough will not be satisfied until Starbucks fulfills their promise to implement safe WiFi filtering.

Hughes said in a statement:

Starbucks has had a tremendous opportunity to put its best foot forward in protecting its customers from images deemed obscene and illegal under the law, but they haven't budged, despite their promise two years ago and despite the fact that they voluntarily filter this same content in the UK.

This time we’re going to wait and see, and we’re going to keep the pressure on.

In a letter from Starbucks to Enough is Enough, the company states that they are working on evaluating a global protocol to address this issue across all stores:

We reserve the right to stop any behavior that interferes with our customer experience, including what is accessed on our free WiFi, as part of our commitment to ensuring that our stores remain a safe and welcoming environment.

According to NBC News, the vice president of YouPorn responded by banning all Starbucks products from company offices starting January 1, 2019. YouPorn is a porn video sharing site—You know, like YouTube, but for porn—and it is one of the 200 most visited websites in the world. Looks like they’ll be investing in tons of Keurigs.

Is Starbucks even a place where people go to watch porn? I think it would be kind of hard to do so while you wait for your iced mocha Frappuccino. And how would Starbucks deal with a patron using their own data plan to access this content?

We will find out how this all turns out come January. Until then, head to Starbucks for your favorite holiday drinks and your most intimate keyword searches on the internet!

h/t: NBC News, Enough is Enough

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While it seems perfectly reasonable for a company like Starbucks to filter out porn, what else will be swept up in that filter?  We've seen this before with places like public libraries: they filter out porn, but then other LGBT content (including sites like HRC) get filtered out along with it.  Sometimes, a gay youth may have to go to a place like Starbucks to access LGBT resources because they can't do it at home.  I hope Starbucks takes a very careful approach to this.

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What kind of sickos would think it’s a good idea to go to Starbucks and watch porn? I’m sure it’s not a huge problem, but if you’re a business like Starbucks, you can’t be too safe.

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The adverts for independent coffee houses in various gay villages will just write themselves: "If you you like your WiFi like you like your latte: Steaming hot and frothy. Then come to..."

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