Most retailers are failing to filter porn and illicit content from their wireless hotspots, despite being responsible for content accessed on their property.
Researchers at network integrator Telindus visited a number of hotspots at central London retail establishments, including coffee bars and restaurants, and found that 80% allowed them to access adult content.
In addition, all of the hotspots allowed researchers to access sites offering information that could help a potential terrorist.
James Walker, mobility specialist at Telindus, said, “You wouldn’t expect café owners to leave porn mags on tables, so how come they let us access adult content using their hotspots?”
All but one site visited charged for wireless internet usage. All locations allowed users to search for the terms “massage parlour London”, “escorts London” and “anthrax source”.
Researchers were also able to download adult images sent to Hotmail and Gmail accounts.
All hotspots allowed access to sites showing users how to make bombs and where to buy Viagra.
Walker said, “Although hotspot ISPs may publish acceptable usage policies, it is obvious that they are not doing anything to enforce them, and it is the retailer that is ultimately legally responsible for what its patrons access over the web.”