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UK Church Switches Off Local Wireless Network After Porn Scare

Monday, Dec 2nd, 2013 (10:58 am) - Score 880
chester_cathedral

People visiting Chester Cathedral in Cheshire (England) can no longer access the Internet via the church’s local wireless (wifi) network after it was discovered that they could still view pornography via the service.

The Internet contains many unsavoury things but in this case the church is understood to have made mandatory filtering of adult content a specific requirement.

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However an investigation by the local Chester Chronicle has revealed that pornographic content is still readily accessible.

Simon Warburton, Chester Cathedral’s Director of Operations, said:

We explicitly requested that our IT providers set certain appropriate restrictions – including banning websites that feature gambling and pornography – when the system was implemented. Unfortunately, it appears that these restrictions had not been applied.

We can, however, confirm that as soon as this fact was brought to our attention we took action and have shut down access to our public Wi-Fi system until further notice. We would like to assure visitors to the cathedral and the wider general public that the Wi-Fi system will not return until it is deemed to be safe.”

The situation might also raise questions for operators of fixed wireless broadband networks, some of which distribute their service from the top of church spires (e.g. WiSpire, AllPay Broadband etc.). Smaller ISPs might struggle to implement the necessary filtering systems and would be rightly concerned if a church threatened to disconnect an entire community (thankfully this hasn’t happened.. yet).

The Government similarly wants adult content banned from all public Wi-Fi services (here) and it’s working with related providers in order to achieve that. But related censorship measures are merely a placebo and can easily be circumvented by those who actively seek such content.

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Mark-Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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