It seems like only yesterday

It seems like only yesterday……hang on a minute, it was only yesterday (well – two days ago but I claim poetic licence), I was predicting that once McDonald’s had agreed to introduce filtering (for adult pornography and child abuse images)  into their system for providing free WiFi access on their premises in the USA Starbucks would soon follow.

It wasn’t a fix – at least not on my part – but late last night another press release hits my Inbox telling me that Starbucks are looking into to doing just that. Well done to Enough is Enough and their energetic CEO, Donna Rice Hughes.

Again Donna was kind enough to acknowledge that she took inspiration for embarking on her campaign from what had first been done in the UK. However, to negotiate the shores of US politics on an issue which many (misguidedly) see as being connected to free speech rights, requires substantial political skills and clearly Donna has them.

In David Cameron’s valedictory speech in the House of Commons  the other day he said

In politics you can achieve a lot of things..nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it.

He might have added

But first you have to believe in something and want to do it.

I can hardly think of a single worthwhile reform I have been involved with in the internet space where, at the beginning, powerful forces argued it couldn’t or shouldn’t be done. It was either impossible, too expensive or  it threatened others’ irreducible vital interests.

Well there you go. Cheers to Donna Rice Hughes.

About John Carr

John Carr is one of the world's leading authorities on children's and young people's use of digital technologies. He is Senior Technical Adviser to Bangkok-based global NGO ECPAT International and is Secretary of the UK's Children's Charities' Coalition on Internet Safety. John is now or has formerly been an Adviser to the Council of Europe, the UN (ITU), the EU and UNICEF. John has advised many of the world's largest technology companies on online child safety. John's skill as a writer has also been widely recognised. http://johncarrcv.blogspot.com
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