‘Thou shalt not watch porn’ at Canterbury Cathedral

Canterbury Cathedral has installed filters on its new Wi-Fi network to prevent patrons and worshippers from accessing pornography or partaking in anti-Christian activities when using the network.

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The cathedral, which installed Wi-Fi as part of its new café, made the pre-emptive move to make sure that no issues arise in the future and to provide an atmosphere that is conducive to its position as a family orientated venue.

"We installed the blocks in order to make sure no access to pornography or 'anti-Christian' activity could take place on the network. This is a place of worship, and so we expect people to act accordingly," Christopher Robinson, the cathedral’s press officer, told The Independent. "We are happy to offer Wi-Fi as part of our service to customers, but we want to make sure this can be done in a family-friendly environment."

The lease agreements also state that the cathedral grounds can’t be used for anything “anti-Christian” and Robinson did admit that the cathedral could do nothing to stop anyone that is accessing the Internet using a 3G or 4G connection.

"Of course, people could still access pornography through 3G on their phones or tablets. We cannot stop them from doing that. But this is a place of worship and we expect people to behave accordingly," he added.

It’s not the first time that a cathedral has had to address pornography access after Chester Cathedral took its network down in November after a local paper had been able to access pornography using its Wi-Fi network. It promptly disabled access to add blocks and filters, the service returning shortly afterwards.

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Research last year from Adaptive Mobile showed that almost half of the UK’s free Wi-Fi hotspots has no blocks or filters in place to stop access to adult content and that 30 per cent of UK cafés and restaurants had no filters in place either.

Image Credit: Flickr (Matthew Black)