GREAT FALLS, Va. — Enough Is Enough (EIE) is calling on the University of Notre Dame to heed the call of students demanding the University filter its public WiFi from pornographic content. In October 2018, EIE began communications with Notre Dame student Jim Martinson who spearheaded a campus-wide petition, along with 80 other male students, to stop the free access of pornography on the University’s public WiFi. To date, more than 1,000 students have signed the petition; however, no action has taken place to accommodate the request. EIE has since launched its own petition for concerned citizens to echo the plea directed to University officials saying “No Free Porn on Campus WiFi!”
“We are proud of Notre Dame’s students – both male and female – who are boldly calling for a filtering solution on university-funded public WiFi. Students imploring the Catholic universities’ leadership in an appeal for safe and secure WiFi sends a loud and clear message, one that must be heard and acted upon. These courageous students want and deserve the protection of those entrusted with their physical, spiritual and mental well-being,” said Donna Rice Hughes, EIE’s President and CEO, whose organization launched the National Safe WiFi Campaign in 2014 calling on Corporate America and educational institutions to voluntarily filter pornography and child pornography from public WiFi. As a result, in 2016, McDonald’s began filtering child porn and porn on its public WiFi in 14,000 of its locations nationwide. After four years of pressure from EIE, Starbucks told Business Insider last week that it would follow and begin to filter its WiFi nationwide in 2019.
The harmful impact of pornography is real. Anyone with unfettered Internet access can view prosecutable pornography and illegal child pornography. Peer-reviewed research has demonstrated that hard-core pornography is highly addictive and a fueling factor in sexually aggressive behavior.
Violence Against Women reported physical aggression in 88% of pornography scenes; nearly 95% of verbal aggression was directed toward women and girls. Adding to the growing concern of sexual violence on college campuses, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center found that one in five women and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted while attending college.
By implementing a filtered WiFi solution, the University of Notre Dame can stand as a leader among colleges and universities to ensure the safety of its students, faculty and others. Having a policy prohibiting porn or sexually explicit material is not enough – taking concrete action to prevent its access is the only viable solution. Filtered WiFi will also prevent predators from accessing child pornography utilizing the University’s WiFi and flying under the radar of law enforcement.
“We implore University officials to implement readily-available technology solutions and respond to the collective voices of its students. Be responsible and don’t contribute to the factors leading to the objectification of women, addiction and destructive behavior. Stand for the safety and dignity of your future leaders. Ease the minds of parents so they can feel secure in the environment in which they are sending their child to study and flourish so that their students can say “Not Me” instead of “Me Too,” said Rice Hughes.
Enough Is Enough® is a national bi-partisan non-profit organization who has led the fight to make the Internet safer for children and families since 1994.