July 15, 2016

Global Chain Deserves Praise for Making Customer Protection a Priority

Washington, D.C.- Enough Is Enough® (EIE), the nation's pioneering Internet safety organization today praised Starbucks for taking steps to create a safe environment for its customers who use their WiFi.

On the heels of EIE's announcement two days ago of McDonald's successful implementation of filtered WiFi to block pornography and child pornography in nearly 14,000 stores nationally, WiFi, Starbucks has announced it is exploring similar action.

"We are pleased by Starbucks' decision to make its stores safer for families and children by pursuing an effective WiFi filtering solution," said Donna Rice Hughes, President of Enough Is Enough®. "This simple act of corporate responsibility is good for the public and for customer service. We are hopeful that in the very near future, Starbucks will be filtering their coffee and their WiFi, both nationally and globally."

Earlier today, a Starbucks spokesperson said: "We are in the process of evaluating a global protocol to address this in all of our company owned stores, and are in active discussions with organizations on implementing the right, broad-based solution that would remove any illegal and other egregious content. Once we determine that our customers can access our free wi-fi in a way that also doesn't involuntarily block unintended content, we will implement this in our stores. In the meantime, we reserve the right to stop any behavior that interferes with our customer experience, including what is accessed on our free wi-fi, as part of our commitment to ensuring that our stores remain a safe and welcoming environment."

"Internet safety is now the fourth top-ranked health issue for U.S. children with peer- reviewed research confirming Internet pornography as a public health crisis. Pervasive online child pornography, which is the actual sexual abuse of children, is a crime to produce, distribute or download. We commend both Starbucks and McDonalds for leading the way for corporate America to provide safer Wi-Fi. We will vigorously continue to encourage other businesses and venues such as hotels, airlines, shopping malls, and libraries to filter pornography and child abuse images on publically available Wi-Fi in order to protect children and families," said Mrs. Hughes.

Enough Is Enough®, launched the "National Porn Free Wi-Fi" campaign" in 2014, with nearly 50,000 petitions and 75 partner organizations including FRC, CWA, Salvation Army and AFA encouraging McDonald's and Starbucks to lead Corporate America in filtering Wi-Fi. Both companies were early adopters in the U.K., where they voluntarily filtered pornography and child pornography on their public Wi-Fi networks under the private public U.K. initiative led by Prime Minister Cameron.

The public is encouraged to sign onto EIE's thank you letter to both McDonald's and Starbucks applauding their decision to provide safe friendly WiFi nationally.

Enough Is Enough® 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, Corporate America, and the legal community.  www.enough.org

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Kevin McVicker with Shirley & Banister Public Affairs at (703) 739-5920 or kmcvicker@sbpublicaffairs.com.