Porn-Watching Homeless People Hog NYC WiFi Kiosks
At least according to critics
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 14, 2016 6:58 PM CDT
A man charges his phone at a wi-fi kiosk in New York. Critics say such kiosks are mostly being used by homeless people to watch pornography.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

(Newser) – The web-browsing feature of New York City's 400 sidewalk WiFi kiosks will be disabled after critics complained that homeless people were monopolizing them and using them to watch porn, officials said Wednesday. The consortium that installed the LinkNYC kiosks said it will work with city officials to explore potential solutions to their abuse, the AP reports. "The kiosks were never intended for anyone's extended, personal use and we want to ensure that Links are accessible and a welcome addition to New York City neighborhoods," LinkNYC said in a statement.

The kiosks will still provide free domestic calls, phone charging, and fast WiFi with the user's own device. Homeless people and panhandlers have been among the most avid users of the kiosks since LinkNYC began installing them eight months ago, charging their phones if they have them and watching music videos on the tablets. A filtering system is supposed to block inappropriate content, but there have been reports of users watching porn and even masturbating in public.