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.
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
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
"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.