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June 22, 2016

Op-Ed: NY Post Scorns NYC For Providing Internet Access To All

NEW YORK CITY—If you're reading this article right now, chances are, you've got access to the internet. Of course, you may be reading it on a friend's computer, or at a library, but the point is, you got online—something that one hell of a lot of Americans (including New Yorkers) can't do with any regularity, if at all. So, a few months ago, New York City contracted with the company LinkNYC to begin building Wi-Fi kiosks around the five boroughs, most often on sites previously occupied by the now-largely unused (or broken) pay phones. The tiny structures (see photo) are open to the public, any of whom can use, 24/7, the free Wi-Fi and the Android tablet built into each booth to make free phone calls to anywhere in the country (courtesy of Vonage US, an internet phone company), including specialized service numbers 311 (NYC complaint line), 411 (information) and 911 (emergency); charge their devices via USB ports; and access the internet. It even has Braille-embossed keys and a headphone jack. There are currently almost 200 kiosks in operation, and according to Techdirt.com, the city hopes to have 500 total in operation by July, and even more are planned for the future. But until recently, there was one "problem" with letting just anybody online for free: Porn! "The city spent years sweeping porn and peep shows from Times Square—and in just a matter of months, the de Blasio administration brought back the sleaze, The Post has learned," began an article published in Sunday's (Rupert Murdoch-owned) New York Post. "The XXX-rated action returned to the Crossroads of the World via tablet-equipped street kiosks that horny hobos and even some curious school kids have used to get their kicks." OMG! OMGOMGOMGOMG! Homeless people were watching pornography! And maybe even a few teens and tweens! And in public, no less! If that's not a job for the National Guard, we're sure The Post doesn't know what would be! Because as everyone knows, the poor and/or homeless don't deserve to get their sex organs (brain included) stimulated! "I used to come here in the '70s, and I remember thinking Times Square was as skeezy as you could get, but I was wrong," The Post quoted former New Yorker and current Dallas resident Richard Herzberg, 61, as lamenting. "This is as skeezy as Times Square could get. I mean, in the old days there was plenty of porn, but you could only see it behind closed doors. So at least there was that level of modesty." Hey, Dick: They have these new things now called "eyelids." How about you close yours if you come across something you don't want to see? But actually, LinkNYC has taken care of Hertzberg's problem for him: They've now installed filters for "image searches" for the online content accessible in the kiosks, which for most people will mean bye-bye porn—unless they're tech-savvy enough to get around the filters, which we're guessing not a lot of homeless are (though we wouldn't put much past those schoolkids). What this is, of course, is class warfare—something the guy who owns The Post and the Fox New Channel knows something about, since it's his bread and butter. Yes, the same Rupert Murdoch who in 2014 was the 91st richest person in the world; the same Rupert Murdoch who was implicated a couple of years ago in the British phone-hacking scandal; the same Rupert Murdoch who tends to marry women 30 years or more his junior—that's the guy whose editors are complaining that homeless people, whose lives really can't get much worse than they currently are, were being allowed access to pornography. Good job, Rupert!

 
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