FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MAY 20, 2015
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FRC JOINS ENOUGH IS ENOUGH and MORE THAN 70 ORGANIZATIONS IN CAMPAIGN CALLING ON MCDONALD'S AND STARBUCKS TO FILTER PORN ON WIFI
Washington, D.C. -Family Research Council, a partnering organization of Enough is Enough's (EIE's) National Porn Free WiFi Coalition, is calling on Starbucks and McDonald's to voluntarily filter both child p*rnography and p*rnography on their public WiFi services in the United States.
"We're glad to welcome Family Research Council to our coalition," said EIE President and CEO Donna Rice Hughes. "FRC is national in scope and influence, and this joint partnership will increase our effectiveness as a coalition."
"The hundreds of thousands of families FRC represents are proud to stand with Donna and the coalition in calling on the leadership of McDonald's and Starbucks to implement internet filters that block out pornography for their in-restaurant WiFi networks," said FRC President Tony Perkins. "Happy Meals and child porn should not be the new norm. Based on the need for safety of our children and basic common sense, I call on these companies to be good corporate citizens and filter their internet service."
In March of this year, EIE delivered a letter signed by leaders of 75 organizations and more than 46,500 petition signatures to the CEOs of each company. Since then, neither Starbucks nor McDonald's have officially responded to the urgent call to action.
The issue was not addressed at Starbucks' annual shareholder meeting on March 18, 2015 and currently is not on McDonald's shareholder agenda scheduled in Chicago on May 21, 2015.
Hughes was interviewed on Milwaukee's WISN 12 News . WISN 12 subsequently contacted Starbucks and McDonald's for a response; both firms said they will continue to offer free and unfiltered Wi-Fi.
Neither Starbucks nor McDonalds' answered WISN 12 News' specific questions, but did issue statements:
Starbucks -"While we don't have a specific enterprise-wide, global policy on what customers can and cannot access on our free in-store Wi-Fi, we do reserve the right to stop any behavior that interferes with our customer experience."
McDonald's- "We are always open to continuous improvement and will take the issues raised under advisement. McDonald's and our independent owner-operators share a commitment to providing a safe environment for our customers."
"It's stunning to me that McDonalds and Starbucks, which already filter child pornography and pornography on their WiFi in the UK and Australia, are not providing that same level of protection for children and families in America where they are headquartered," Hughes commented. "Their patrons and shareholders have a right to know that their WiFi policies are inconsistent with other corporate family- friendly policies in the U.S. and the complete opposite of their WiFi policies abroad."
Hughes noted that filtering Internet content at restaurant hot spots already takes place in other major restaurant chains, including Chick-fil-A and Panera Bread, which have filtered their Wi-Fi networks for years.
"Law enforcement reports there have been cases of parents bringing their kids to get a Happy Meal, and there's a man in an adjoining booth enjoying hard-core pornography or even child pornography," said Hughes.
"Parents have a right to demand that the companies they traditionally have trusted to provide a family-friendly environment continue to do so by ensuring that the WiFi offered is safe and secure for their children." Hughes said.
More information can be found at www.friendlywifi.org, www.enough.org, www.internetsafety101.org or via Twitter using the following hashtags: #pornfreewifi; #friendlywifi; #pornfreeMcD; #pornfreestarbucks
About Enough Is Enough
Enough Is Enough® (EIE) is a national bi-partisan non-profit organization who has led the fight to make the Internet safer for children and families since 1994. EIE's efforts are focused on combating Internet p*rnography, child p*rnography, sexual predation and cyberbullying by incorporating a three-pronged prevention strategy with shared responsibilities between the public, the technology industry, and the legal community. EIE stands for freedom of speech as defined by the Constitution of the United States; for a culture where all people are respected and valued; for a childhood with a protected period of innocence; for healthy sexuality; and for a society free from sexual exploitation.