Adult Content Restored at Arizona State

January 11, 2019

Students at Arizona State University can watch pornography again, thanks to an inquisitive Arizona Republic reporter who noticed that they were being blocked from viewing adult content.

Reporter Rachel Leingang, who covers higher ed, queried Arizona State's administration and learned that the university’s Wi-Fi had been inadvertently changed to restricted access -- the restrictions, an ASU official told her, would typically apply only in summer, “when we have a large number of underaged individuals and families on campus with Wi-Fi access.”

ASU flipped its student Wi-Fi back to unrestricted access.

While porn now flows freely at ASU, students on other campuses have pushed to ban it. At the University of Notre Dame, 80 male students last October wrote in the student newspaper that porn is an “affront to human rights” that helps perpetuate violence toward women, among other offenses. They asked Notre Dame to block porn from the institution’s wireless network -- as have students at Harvard University, Princeton University and University of Pennsylvania.

A Twitter commenter on Thursday joked that the ASU episode might be a boon to the news business: “The lesson here is if you like watching porn on campus, subscribe to a newspaper,” said Hank Stephenson, editor of Arizona’s Yellow Sheet Report, a political tip sheet.

Stephenson, who formerly worked at the Tucson Star and Arizona Capitol Times, among others, added, “Freedom isn't free.”

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