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Panera Bread

Discussion in 'Activism' started by MDW GUNS, Jun 29, 2008.

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  1. MDW GUNS

    MDW GUNS Member

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    Today I went with the family to Panera Bread to have lunch with the kids.
    Since I am trying to loose some weight I didn’t eat anything and thought to check out the latest on the forum with my iPhone, since Panera offers free internet excess.
    But every gun site I checked was blocked. Even web sites which had the word gun in the domain name are blocked!
    Please follow the link below and write Panera how you guys feel about this!
    Here is what I wrote!


    http://www.panerabread.com/about/contact/

    I was trying to cruise in your Portland ME location with my iPhone some gun web sites.
    These sites were blocked by the "SonicWALL" for "Forbidden Category "Other". You are aware of the reason judgment of the Supreme Court about the 2nd Amendment, right?? Therefore I ask you to remove this block, since I will not give my business to a company who discriminates my rights! Also I will post this information at gun forums, so that other gun owners have the opportunity to write you!
     
  2. Vegaslaith

    Vegaslaith Member

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    Are they arguably discriminating against gun-loving people? Sure. But infringing on your rights? No. Its private property. You're free to patronize other businesses.
     
  3. MDW GUNS

    MDW GUNS Member

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    Yeah, I don't care for this place/people in there, but the food is good.
    It's also quite exspensive!
    I hope we get plenty of people to complain!
    At least maybe they have to hire more people to answeres the comments!
     
  4. ronnyreagan

    ronnyreagan Member

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    I believe that's actually a default setting for SonicWall firewalls. We put one in where I work and it disabled access to all gun related sites until I informed our network administrator. There's a good probability that Panera Bread is just letting SonicWall make their filtering choices for them, not some company-wide discrimination policy against gun lovers or anything.
     
  5. MDW GUNS

    MDW GUNS Member

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    Well, in this case it should not be too difficult to “unlock” gun sites!

    Vegaslaith: I guess if you see it this way you are right, but then they are in breach of contract:
    They get you in their location with the promise of “Free Internet”.
    Now I don’t get that, but bought their quite pricy food!
    Either way, I don’t bring my money to places like this and I think they should know that!
     
  6. woof

    woof Member

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    I think a soft approach is best. I sent this:

    I have noticed that your internet provider is blocking many sites which I understand. However, they seem to be blocking any sites having to do with guns and the sport of shooting. If this is not Panera's decision you may want to have these sites unblocked. Otherwise far more people than you know are going to reject doing business where they feel their rights as sport shooters are not respected.
     
  7. The Tourist

    The Tourist member

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    Technically, I am still the tinker for the five Panera Bread restaurants here in Madison.

    The guy who hired me is a motorcycle riding army veteran, and both a gun and knife collector--I've sold him knives.

    His best friend and Panera co-worker makes historic period battle armor and also collects knives--which I sharpen.

    I, of course, am an insane biker.

    Does this sound like a group of tree huggers to you?
     
  8. TimboKhan

    TimboKhan Moderator

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    I don't know that I would write this, as it's kind of an empty threat. The truth is, Panera Bread isn't going to lose one ounce of sleep over X number of people not coming in simply because they can't look at THR on the Wi-Fi. If it was hundreds of thousands, for sure. If it was 10's of thousands, maybe. If it is under 10,000 customers across the nation? Big deal. I doubt you could even rally 5000 people behind this cause in any effective way, and that's not going to impact Panera one bit.

    I think writing them and asking them to fix the problem (which, by the way, should be verified at other Panera Bread stores before we all start screaming about boycotting them) is a great idea, but making what I am sure they will see as nothing but an empty threat will do nothing but make us look kooky.
     
  9. tgrillo

    tgrillo Member

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    While I do not use the WiFi at Panera (its called St. Louis Bread company in Missouri). I frequent it because it is not posted against conceal carry. :confused:
     
  10. k_dawg

    k_dawg Member

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    I eat at Panera here in Fl, and have no problem accessing this website and others.

    Probably is just a default config, than any actual ideology.
     
  11. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    And flying off the handle with threats of boycotts etc is a big strong without knowing for sure.

    I'm betting it's a default as well.

    We have to come off as reasoned people, not angry gun nuts such as the anti's want to portray us.
     
  12. misANTHrope

    misANTHrope Member

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    It's also a good idea to proofread one's threats of boycott as well.
     
  13. Robert Hairless

    Robert Hairless Member

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    MDW Guns, you might have an interesting case.

    If I understand your complaint correctly, you went to a Panera Bread store in Portland, did not order anything because of course you want to loose weight, tried to use its free Internet, and were denied access to the sites you wanted. You believe it's a "breach of contract."

    I'd like to encourage you to telephone the best lawyer in Portland, ME, with a request for a free consultation and take those facts to him. Ask him whether he can help you.

    I think you'll get much more useful feedback from an experienced local lawyer than from any Internet gun forum.
     
  14. The Tourist

    The Tourist member

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    Ya' know, this whole discussion seems to focus around a very little fish.

    The concept--unless I'm wrong--is that a business that is taking our money seems to engage in political practices in which we disagree. Fair enough. But why pick on this particular business?

    After all, we all go to the doctor, and after the age of fifty we all begin getting literature and financial incentives from AARP.

    If you want to discuss some of the biggest fish in the pond, you then have to mention the AMA and AARP. They are huge, well funded, in contact with the entire USA population and openly against firearms.

    If you don't like the way your computer works, then don't eat the sandwich and stiff Panera's out of the six bucks.

    Then just make sure you quit going to the doctor and using those "senior discounts." It seems disingenuous to smack around the little guy and then cuddle up to the bigger guy doing the same thing.

    That is, if Panera is really doing this, at all.
     
  15. TimboKhan

    TimboKhan Moderator

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    I very highly doubt that anyone goes into Panera for the free wi-fi access over the food.

    It's not a breach of contract. Panera provides free wi-fi as a service and as an enticement, but there is nothing that says that they have to provide open access. You don't want to use their wi-fi, don't. You want to use it, you agree to use their system with their rules. I am willing to bet a dollar that porn is blocked too, and I bet another dollar that you're not this upset about that.

    More to the point, you said you went with your family, not on your own. I am willing to bet a great deal of money that wi-fi access for you had absolutely no bearing whatsoever on their decision to go there. In other words, you were almost certainly not drawn to Panera on the promise of free wi-fi access, thus rendering your argument totally moot.
     
  16. SlipperyShooter

    SlipperyShooter Member

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    Over the top

    I think you're taking this a bit too seriously.

    My company offers free internet as well, and we use a web filtering product that has approximately 30 "blanket" categories to allow blocking of some content.

    Our product has a "Weapons/Violence" category that we leave enabled. I haven't checked, but I'm sure that just about every firearm manufacturer is included in that list and we do choose to block it.

    Has nothing to do with 2nd amendment, it has everything to do with corporate liability. It's a free service and we'll decide what you can and get get to. Someone researches a knife or a gun using our wi-fi, then buys one and uses it for harm and now some two-bit lawyer will try to point a finger of blame at my company? I don't think so. Better safe than sorry.
     
  17. flynnguy

    flynnguy Member

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    Probably a default configuration for their firewall and it probably varies from location to location. (ie. someone cared enough to remove the blocked sites)

    One thing you might want to consider is talking to the manager. I don't know how Panera sets it up but if each panera has their own firewall, then each panera is probably involved in setting it up. A quick talk to the manager and he might be open to looking into what it would take to remove at the very least a list of sites you give him that you feel are unjustly blocked. What's the worst that can happen, he says no?

    Also as a security measure, I'd recommend at least looking into a VPN. I think their are places you can pay them to act as a VPN for you but if your technically inclined and have a computer on normally, it's not that hard to set one up yourself. With this you can route all your internet traffic through the VPN which gets encrypted so no one spies on what your doing. (Granted it's just encrypted to the VPN endpoint but after that it's like web surfing at home and you don't have to worry about any insecurities on the wireless hotspot's network)

    I don't know if their is a good solution for the iPhone (waiting to get mine in July sometime when my current phone contract is up) but since your traffic is encrypted, they can't tell what sites you are going to and thus can't block them. Sometimes you have to connect to a site first without the encryption and click through their agreements but then should be able to connect with your vpn. I do it primarily as a security measure but has an added bonus of letting me access whatever site I want to.

    If you want to try and set one up yourself, I recommend openvpn. It's free (open source) and works really well, but required a certain level of computer literacy. If you think you can set one up yourself, I highly recommend it. If it's above you and you're a heavy mobile user, I'd highly recommend finding someone who provides this service. I did a quick search and found one place that does it for $15/month but I've never dealt with them or know anyone who's dealt with them so I'm hesitant to offer their name. If you're not too tech savvy and don't use WIFI away from home that much to justify a monthly bill I wouldn't worry about it too much, just be wary of using your wifi connection away from home. You may not realize it but things like e-mail and IM programs basically shout everything you do (including sometimes your e-mail password) across the network.

    So their's more to a VPN than just circumventing a block list they might have. Again, I'd say talk to the manager, if it's not a company policy he'd probably be open to removing these sites from a block list. If it is a default setting, he probably isn't aware that it's blocked.
     
  18. Diamondback6

    Diamondback6 Member

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    Not every Panera uses SoncWall, either. I frequent one that gets a lot of business from McChord AFB and Ft. Lewis (Tacoma, WA), and have even posted to THR and several other gunboards from there on occasion. The manager I usually cross paths with's a pretty cool guy, seemed a little surprised to hear that other sites (Issaquah for one, haven't checked Southcenter) blocked 'em!
     
  19. Crunker1337

    Crunker1337 Member

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    I wrote:

    Panera Bread offers free internet access. I understand that in the interests of maintaining a family-friendly atmosphere, it's reasonable to block certain domains, such as pornographic or racist websites.
    However, certain websites that can't possibly be construed as offensive are blocked. The justification? Weapons.
    Websites that offer summaries of gun laws are blocked. Reasonable, mature discussion between adults regarding firearms? Blocked.
    I can't support such a hoplophobic message, and therefore, until such time that Panera Bread unblocks sites that don't need to be blocked, Panera Bread will never, ever see a single cent of my money. Aside from that, I will spread knowledge about this needless censorship far and wide, and support the boycotting of Panera Bread.
    Regards,
    ---- ------
     
  20. lamazza

    lamazza Member

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    Bagels $13/Dozen by me..that about did it for me.
     
  21. ZombieHunter

    ZombieHunter Member

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    +1 to default

    -1 to "lure with free internet"

    It's their right to monitor how it's used and they make no statements as to allowing you total access to the entire internet...just free internet. I'm sure if they had nothing and some perv was next to you watching some First Amendment covered smut you'd have some choice words as well.

    Personally I'd have written politely to ask them about this or bring it to their attention. Maybe even a follow up letter apologizing for jumping to any conclusion as it seems gun rights are under attack in some areas and you were a little quick to the conclusion.
     
  22. Josh Aston

    Josh Aston Member

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    I would've completely disregarded your message, not for its content; but rather its presentation. If gun owners want to be taken seriously they should pay more attention to their grammar. I don't care how you write on the boards; I'll take the time to understand what you're trying to get across. But when you write to people outside of gun forums, expect to get ignored if you don't use at least fairly correct grammar.
     
  23. usp9

    usp9 Member

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    If you went to have lunch with your family, why would you even turn your computer on? Maybe I'm an old fart, but I'd consider that pretty rude at my dinner table.

    Their internet, provided free, so you have no beef. Doesn't hurt to ask them to unblock it though.
     
  24. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Did they have a big "no guns" sign on the door denying you your right to bear arms or is this just a complaint about not being able to use their free internet service the way you'd like to?

    You probably won't get a lot of traction threatening them for abridging your "right" to unrestricted access to surf the net through someone else's wifi.
     
  25. wulfbyte

    wulfbyte Member

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    It's their service and they get to dictate how that service is used. If they wanted to, they could block all sites but for Nigerian banking sites and they would be well within their rights to do so.

    Also in many, if not most states, if you use Panera's (or anybody else's) "free" WiFi internet from outside their premises, you may be committing a crime. So free isn't really free at all and complaining about sites you can or cannot access is really moot.

    flynnman mentioned using a VPN as a method for getting around the site blocking features of these types of free WiFi hot spots and that is something that works and is easy to set up.
     
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