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Filters to keep free McWi-Fi clean

Fast food chain McDonalds has closed a multi-million dollar three-year deal with local security company earthwave to keep its Telstra-supplied free restaurant Wi-Fi free of net nasties and pornography.

Fast food chain McDonalds has closed a multi-million dollar three-year deal with local security company earthwave to keep its Telstra-supplied free restaurant Wi-Fi free of net nasties and pornography.

(Credit: McDonalds)

McDonalds will be deploying earthwave's Clean Pipes service to make the internet "Family Friendly" for its 1.45 million customers per day who use the Telstra Next-IP Wi-Fi hotspots in its 720 stores, the company said in a statement today.

The system uses firewalls, network intrusion prevention systems, distributed denial of service protection and other web protection mechanisms.

It will block sites which contain content considered not family friendly such as pornography or bomb-making information. It will use a URL listing service to do that, but McDonald's also has the ability to place sites it believes to be inappropriate on its black list.

"We have chosen to collaborate with earthwave because of their risk-based approach to security, local presence, certified operations and their proven ability to address potential insider as well as external threats posed through the internet," Henry Shiner, CIO for McDonald's Australia said.

The executive said that the company's understanding of American and Australian laws and compliance standards such as Sarbannes-Oxley was also a drawcard.

Carlo Minassian, founder and CEO of earthwave, wouldn't disclose the financials of the deal. "It is a very profitable contract that will run initially for 3 years with an option for McDonald's to extend for another 3 years," he said.

Minassian said McDonald's investment in a national network rollout of more than 700 routers and many more Wi-Fi access points, set to be completed by March 2009, would cost millions of dollars, as would operating the network, of which the money going to earthwave for the security layer service would be a part.