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May 25, 2019

Starbucks says it will start blocking pornography from its free Wi-Fi next year

November 29, 2018
Starbucks will start filtering explicit content from its Wi-Fi starting next year. (LEON NEAL / AFP/Getty Images)

Coffee lovers looking to sip their cappuccinos while streaming porn are going to have to set up shop somewhere other than Starbucks.

The popular coffee chain is set to introduce a new tool next year that will block customers from streaming pornography and other explicit content in its stores, a spokesperson confirmed to the Daily News.

“While it rarely occurs, the use of Starbucks public Wi-Fi to view illegal or egregious content is not, nor has it ever been permitted,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “To ensure the Third Place remains safe and welcoming to all, we have identified a solution to prevent this content from being viewed within our stores and we will begin introducing it to our U.S. locations in 2019.”

It remains unclear just how Starbucks will filter out the offending sites, but the company said it has tested a variety of tools to ensure that inoffensive sites don’t accidentally get blocked, too, according to Business Insider.

The update comes following a petition from the internet safety organization Enough is Enough that ripped Starbucks for not fulfilling a promise it made back in 2016 to crack down on just what customers were streaming on its free Wi-Fi.

The porn prevention petition, released Nov. 20, currently has more than 26,000 signatures attached.

“Because there are no filters to block online pornography and child pornography in these restaurants that so many families like yours and mine frequent, this toxic illegal content is readily available in every Starbucks and McDonald’s in America,” the petition reads.

Enough is Enough CEO Donna Rice Hughes expressed frustration with Starbucks in a statement to NBC News, noting that the coffee company “haven’t budged, despite their promise two years ago and despite the fact that they voluntarily filter this same content in the UK.”

Other chains that currently filter their free Wi-Fi include McDonald’s, Chik-fil-A and Panera.

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