Drug-related use causes UK to clamp down on free Wi-Fi kiosks

UK Councils has halted the rollout of BT's 5G-enabled touchscreen kiosks after learning that drug users and dealers were using them for drug deals, according to The Inquirer.

The kiosks, known as "InLinks," provide free calls, access to charity services, wireless internet, phone charging and built-in masts that enable the 5G mobile signal to operate. BT has installed about 200 of the kiosks in 20 U.K. cities and has been seeking for permits to install 1,000 in total. 

The council said that CCTV captured 80 people making calls in the space of a day, 90 percent of which were to buy drugs.  

Police in Tower Hamlets halted installations after finding the kiosks were being used for drug deals. Bristol has blocked 20 out of 25 InLink applications, while Liverpool and seven London boroughs have scaled back plans to replace old phone boxes with InLinks.

A BT spokesperson said the company has been working with the council and law enforcement to see what can be done about the problem.

Topics: Government, Networking / Connectivity, Outdoor Kiosks, Phone-charging Kiosks, Wayfinding / Information

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