Web browsing on NYC's free Internet kiosks disabled following 'inappropriate' use

By Shawn Knight · 16 replies
Sep 14, 2016
Post New Reply
  1. The city of New York a few years back decided it would be a good idea to replace the city’s array of dated payphones with Wi-Fi kiosks offering up free gigabit-speed wireless. They’d also be equipped with a tablet so users could perhaps get directions or look up something online as well as an audio jack and USB chargers.

    The first hubs went live in January with a total of 400 having been rolled out since that time. Yet just eight months later, LinkNYC – the operators of the kiosks – is disabling the ability to surf the web using the embedded tablets.

    In a service update published on Wednesday, LinkNYC said some users have been monopolizing the tablets and using them inappropriately, preventing others from using them and frustrating residents and businesses in the process.

    According to The New York Times, the kiosks at times attract large groups that linger for hours, sometimes drinking and doing drugs. Worse yet, some users are even brave enough to watch pornography – a fact that was recently corroborated by the New York Post who told the story of a resident that witnessed a man masturbating in public while at the kiosk, apparently not trying to hide his indiscretions in the least bit.

    Motherboard found that many users essentially camp out at the kiosks, using the tablets to watch music videos on YouTube and check Facebook for hours and even days at a time.

    LinkNYC stresses that it is only removing the ability to surf the web at its kiosks. All other amenities, such as being able to place free phone calls, look at maps, charge devices, access 911 and so on, will remain intact. The speedy Wi-Fi also isn’t going anywhere, we're told.

    Permalink to story.

  2. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,713   +855

    Seriously - what did they think was going to happen? Anyone with a lick of sense could see this coming.

    OR...they could have checked with their local library and received all sorts of horror stories about what patrons are using the library computers with free internet access for.

    Just plain dumb.
    m4a4 and trgz like this.
  3. Brock Kane

    Brock Kane TS Addict Posts: 183   +104

    So typical though. Give someone something for free, they abuse the privilege..
    Hexic and SirChocula like this.
  4. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,867   +1,286

    Yeah, letls provide free Internet browsing in locations where lots of homeless druggies and entitled freaks hang out - what could possibly go wrong?
    m4a4, Darth Shiv and trgz like this.
  5. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,736   +3,757

    Now, now, Psycros. It is for the good of the disadvantaged who always exist because of other people's oppression.
    jack_alexander likes this.
  6. mrjgriffin

    mrjgriffin TS Addict Posts: 247   +110

    This article is hilarious to me. there are so many free wifi spots on the planet....mcdonalds, hospitals...whatever. do u know how easy it is to do drugs or whatever at a mcdonalds rofl let alone watch porn? now all of a sudden THIS is a friggin issue? this a joke. I wonder how many times I've lit a cigarette in a hospital parking lot in my car when I've had to be there for days due to the birth of my child or something else yet theres no smoking signs in the parking lot. lets just say never. but lolololol. give me a break.
    trgz likes this.
  7. mrjgriffin

    mrjgriffin TS Addict Posts: 247   +110

    free internet is every bro. this article is a joke.
  8. JayT1803

    JayT1803 TS Enthusiast Posts: 29   +23

    Why didn't they set some restrictions on internet use? lol
  9. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 745   +357

    If they had been smart, they would have made it a single 'city info' app on the tablet - essentially a white list, instead of a black list, that only showed things to do in the city.
  10. MonsterZero

    MonsterZero TS Evangelist Posts: 440   +223

    I was in NYC and there was a homeless guy with his **** out passed out on the steps leading to the subway, you literally had to step over him to pass by. #JustNYCthings

    They could have at least put in some site blocking! What were they thinking.
  11. Hexic

    Hexic TS Maniac Posts: 332   +163

    Yeah, man. Let's fight the man, man.
  12. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Evangelist Posts: 925   +284

    This isn't free WiFi, this is free internet, as in a computer on the street anyone can use that does make a difference.
  13. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Evangelist Posts: 925   +284

    OpenDNS and a few clicks and done :p
    jack_alexander likes this.
  14. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,811   +472

    All the same... the kiosks aren't a solution to *that* problem. For a kiosk, I'd just configure it with a whitelist of sites/IPs you can visit. Lock it right down.
  15. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,811   +472

    Block the OpenDNS IP by using a whitelist system.
  16. Humanity, always impressive, not in the right way tho...
  17. RNManuel

    RNManuel TS Rookie

    “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.”
    --Albert Einstein
    Raoul Duke likes this.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...