Taco Bell’s Wi-Fi Sucks

My local Taco Bell is in a Sprint “dead zone”. I get voice, and can sometimes get 3G, but never LTE. So I often try Taco Bell’s free wi-fi… which sucks.

I discovered this several months ago. We’d decided on Taco Bell for dinner, and I was tasked with picking it up. Since nearly everything at Taco Bell looks exactly the same in the wrapper, I’ve gotten in the habit of doing two separate orders. This way my GF’s mostly-vegetarian stuff doesn’t get mixed in with my steak and chicken stuff… ‘cos it’s always hilarious when someone thinks she’s biting in to a bean burrito and gets a mouthful of ground beef instead.

Anyway, since I have two orders, it’s easier to go inside than deal with the drive-thru. And it was Saturday night, so the place was busy as hell. I’d been watching a college football game at home. I don’t remember what game it was, but it wasn’t important enough to delay going to Taco Bell, but was important enough for me to want to know the score once I was there. So I whipped out my phone, got on Taco Bell’s free Wi-Fi… and I saw this:


Yes, Taco Bell uses FortiGuard, a web filtering service often used at companies you wouldn’t work for. So I tried CBSSports.com. Big surprise:


OK, so sports of any kind are out. Well, how about seeing what’s up on Instagram, then?


Sweet! Just for kicks, let’s see if Google works:


Oh nice. As you probably know, Google defaults to HTTPS now, so my browser wanted a certificate. But FortiGuard uses shitty self-signed certificates. I wouldn’t dream of using Taco Bell’s wi-fi to do some online banking in any case, but this just screams “man in the middle” attack, no?

So… Taco Bell, please fix your crappy wi-fi that blocks every site a consumer on the go might actually want to visit, and seems designed for malware and hack attacks. It’s awfully strange that Taco Bell – who built an empire on the backs of drunks and stoners – blocks popular websites, but the the wi-fi at Chick-Fil-A – with their reputation as gay-hating holy rollers – doesn’t seem to block anything.

[Note: although the story is set several months ago, the screen caps were taken last week. They’re also out of order relative to the story – see the clock in the corner of the pics – because I didn’t actually start taking the screen caps until I became frustrated with the service and “retraced” my steps via screen cap.]

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