Groups Ask McDonald’s and Starbucks to Block WiFi Porn

Seventy-five groups and 46,000 ordinary citizens have asked McDonald’s and Starbucks to begin blocking pornography from the free WiFi service each chain allows its customers to access.

Anti-porn crusader Donna Rice Hughes is leading the effort. Hughes, who runs a group called “Enough is Enough” began her campaign a year ago, writing to then McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson and Starbucks’s CEO Howard Schultz, telling them, “While the Internet offers tremendous benefits to both youth and adults alike, it also opens up access to a dark side that includes pornography and criminal activity, such as sexual predation.”

Neither corporation responded positively to her first request a year ago, though a Starbucks spokesman said that lewd conduct is not allowed in their stores and that includes “viewing pornography.”

That is not enough for Hughes and the groups that contacted McDonald’s and Starbucks on Monday. They ask these companies only to do in their 11,000+ U.S. stores what they already do overseas. Both McDonald’s and Starbucks voluntarily filter out pornography from the WiFi feeds in the United Kingdom.

In follow-up letters released on Monday, Hughes points out the easy access to porn, much of it illegal, that is now available to kids on the Internet.

Today, any child with unrestricted Internet access is just a mouse click away from viewing, either intentionally or accidentally, sexually explicit material online, from adult pornography (the kind of images that appear in Playboy) to prosecutable obscene material depicting graphic sex acts, live sex shows, orgies, bestiality, and violence.

Hughes’s chief concern is about adults accessing porn at McDonald’s and Starbucks, something that kids can accidently yet easily see. “This behavior can occur in full view of other Starbucks’ patrons, exposing your other customers, including children, to unwanted pornographic material. There have been many incidents of adult patrons viewing pornography in your restaurants…” she said in her letter.

She cites a story reported at the end of last year in USA Today about a registered sex offender being arrested in a Washington State Starbucks as he was allegedly downloading pornographic images of children.

In an odd twist to the story, PRWeb rejected Hughes’s press release announcing the delivery of the petition to the corporate chiefs. PRWeb told Hughes that her “press release appears to be intended to exact personal revenge or harm a person or group. Please revise your release to remove potentially harmful material.” The company also told Hughes that her release could not mention McDonald’s or Starbucks by name.

An editor at PRWeb told Breitbart News that their company does not like to “publicly shame any organization.”

Among the seventy-five groups joining Hughes’s effort are the Salvation Army, the National Children’s Advocacy Center, the Parent’s Television Council, and the Homeschool Legal Defense Fund.

So far, neither McDonald’s nor Starbucks have responded.


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