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Canterbury Cathedrdal puts a stop to worshippers searching for porn in the pews

Canterbury Cathedral is hoping to avoid falling into the same trap as Chester Cathedral by installing public Wi-Fi with porn filters.

The centre of Anglican worship in the UK has hired Purple Wi-Fi, to deliver a secure and legal social Wi-Fi system solution to visitors of its new café.

As reported by Recombu in December, Chester Cathedral was forced to pull the plug on its free Wi-Fi after reports that shoppers and passers-by could log into the network and stream salacious clips that would make a vicar blush.

Managers at the sixth-century place of worship wanted to deter punters from accessing adult sites so has put in place filters to prevent such activities.

”We have been offering a WiFi service for our Cathedral Lodge clients and customers for a while, but this is an internally managed system,” said David Tunbridge, IT Manager of Canterbury Cathedral.

“However, this system has never been made available to the public and although it works well for us, it requires a fair bit of administration, which is why we have been looking at alternatives for public WiFi access in our new Cathedral Café which opens on 20th February. Family-friendly access and legal compliance are very high on our list of priorities.”

Purple Wi-Fi is also a member of the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), and blocks all IWF blacklisted URLs. It also allows venues to block certain content – i.e. porn and illegal content, essential for public venues such as cathedrals, universities, hospitals and housing associations.

Gavin Wheeldon, chief executive of Purple Wi-Fi 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.

“At Purple Wi-Fi, we make sure our venue customers can be safe in the knowledge that their Wi-Fi is secure and meets industry best practice.”

Purple Wi-Fi said that free hotspots could aid terrorists, according to a survey it carried out last November.

Image: Geograph/Rob Farrow

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