Norton, the internet security company that recently blocked users of the Costa Coffee WiFi connection access to gay websites such as The Outmost, Pink News and Stonewall, has removed the firewall that caused this to happen after receiving widespread criticism.
Costa Coffee, the second-largest coffee chain in the world, used the firewall provided by Norton ConnectSafe to block the sites under a category named ‘Sexual Orientation’, despite none of the sites containing sexually explicit or inappropriate content.
Communities Minister Stephen Williams spoke in a radio debate with Costa Coffee Managing Director Jason Cotta, asking why such a filter even existed, “It is not that this site is blocked because it’s pornographic, I can see the case of why people would want to block that. But it says it’s blocked because of its ‘sexual orientation’, so within Norton, there is an option of blocking anything to do with sexual orientation”.
After being told that the category could be in breach of the Equality Act, a spokesperson for Norton told PinkNews, the site that originally discovered the issue, that it had made a decision to delete the category, and re-categorise the sites that had been blocked.
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