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Wi-Fi’s Free, But Speech Isn’t

Manhattan -

The sandwich chain Au Bon Pain blocks Manhattan customers who use their wireless internet from seeing websites about gay advocacy, family planning and other hot-button issues.

Attempts to use the WiFi on Monday to search the internet for GLAAD.com, the official website for a well-known gay and lesbian rights organization, were met with an error message that read, “This website is not allowed. This website is categorized as Sexual Orientation and is blocked as part of this networks web content filtering policy.”

The same thing happened when a reporter tried to log on websites covering both sides of the abortion debate — as Au Bon Pain’s filtering software shut down the website ProLife.com with the message, “This website is categorized as Abortion and is blocked.”

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