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Home   Canterbury   News   Article

Canterbury Cathedral blocks wi-fi access to pornography at new cafe after reports adult sites could be viewed at Chester Cathedral cafe

21 February 2014
by Gerry Warren

Canterbury Cathedral has blocked pornography from being accessed through the free wi-fi system at its new cafe.

It has acted following a report in Chester where an investigation at its cathedral cafe revealed adult sites could be viewed.

Now cathedral bosses in Canterbury have instructed their wi-fi provider to install a filter on the system.

Wi-fi users will not be able to access porn at the Canterbury Cathedral cafe

Wi-fi users will not be able to access porn at the Canterbury Cathedral cafe

The cafe next to the Cathedral entrance, which used to be a Starbucks, only opened on Tuesday but cathedral spokesman Chris Robinson said they wanted it to be "family friendly" and in keeping with Christian values.

He said: "There was no direct evidence our wi-fi was being misused but, following the experience in Chester, we have acted through our provider to ensure it is not.

"This is a place of worship, and so we expect people to act accordingly and is a preventative and safeguarding measure.

"We cannot stop people from accessing pornography through 3G on their phones or tablets. But we would expect people to respect its Christian setting..." - Chris Robinson, Canterbury Cathedral

"We are happy to offer wifi as part of our service to customers, but we want to make sure this can be done in a family-friendly environment.

"Of course, we cannot stop people from accessing pornography through 3G on their phones or tablets. But we would expect people to respect its Christian setting."

As part of its lease agreements with other business, the cathedral stipulates the grounds should not be used for anything anti-Christian.

Research conducted by mobile security company Adaptive Mobile last year found that more than half of free wi-fi hotspots in the country did not have blocks in place, allowing users to access adult content.

It also found 30% of UK cafes and restaurants had no filtering in place to prevent children accessing pornography.

The company's CEO Gavin Wheeldon said: "People expect free online access at public venues and businesses wherever they are, but the industry has a responsibility to make sure that these venues are aware of legal compliance issues."

The company said as many as 10% of users try to access blocked content in other venues running the network.

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