Sunday, October 08, 2006

No More Panera Bread

I have been a customer of Panera Bread for several years, primarily due to the free wi-fi connection in their stores. I have had innumerable business lunches and personal working sessions there. I was also relying on their wi-fi access to stay connected while here in Atlanta during my mobilization.

Over the past two days, though, I have twice been prevented by their content filter (provided by "Sonicwall.com") from accessing web content that I wanted to view.

Yesterday I was prevented from accessing www.youtube.com, where I wanted to go and view my daughter's music video (apparently they are categorized by the network nannies as having "adult content"). Today I was blocked from www.bianchi-intl.com, where I wanted to shop for a holster to take with me to the Middle East. It seems that Bianchi sells merchandise in the category of (*gasp!*) "Weapons".

I believe in both the First and the Second Amendments, and I resist any effort to encroach upon either freedom. On the other hand, I also believe in property rights, and I respect Panera's right to limit access through their wi-fi connection if they think it is in their interest (even if they are mistaken and misguided).

I very strongly resent their attempt to limit what I can access on the web, and will no longer visit their stores at any time, for any purpose. They have made their choice, and I will make mine and take my business elsewhere.

I urge anyone who values freedom and free access to information to do the same. There are places with better coffee and better sandwiches, and other options for wi-fi access to the internet.

Thank you for your attention and consideration.

Now to go and try to find someplace to get online and shop for a holster before Tuesday...

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