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View Full Version : THIS JUST IN - Travellers to be searched for porn



PoliCon
05-20-2010, 11:43 AM
Australian customs officers have been given new powers to search incoming travellers' laptops and mobile phones for pornography, a spokeswoman for the Australian sex industry says.

Fiona Patten, president of the Australian Sex Party, is demanding an inquiry into why a new question appears on Incoming Passenger Cards asking people if they are carrying "pornography".

Patten said officials now had an unfettered right to examine travellers' electronic devices, marking the beginning of a new era of official investigation into people's private lives. She questioned whether it was appropriate to search people for legal R18+ and X18+ material.

“Is it fair that customs officers rummage through someone's luggage and pull out a legal men's magazine or a lesbian journal in front of their children or their mother-in-law?” she said.

"If you and your partner have filmed or photographed yourselves making love in an exotic destination or even taking a bath, you will have to answer 'Yes' to the question or you will be breaking the law."

Customs confirmed the new reference to "pornography" on the Incoming Passenger Cards and the search powers, acknowledging that searches conducted by officers may involve the discovery of "personal or sensitive possessions".

A spokesman said officers were trained to apply "tact and discretion" in their dealings with passengers.

"Including an express reference to pornography is intended to enhance the interception of prohibited pornography at the border, by making passengers aware that some forms of pornography may be a prohibited import," the spokesman said.

The "pornography" question has appeared on the cards since September last year. The change was only spotted by Patten earlier this month and it had received little to no coverage in the media.

Colin Jacobs, chairman of the lobby group Electronic Frontiers Australia, said the change appeared to have sneaked under the radar "without any public consultation about the massive privacy issues".

"It's hard to fathom what the pressing concern could be that requires Australia to quiz every entrant to the country on their pornography habits, as if visitors would be aware of the nuances of the Australian classification scheme," he said.

"If this results in Customs trawling through more private information on laptops searching for contraband, I would say the solution is way worse than the problem."

Patten said if the question was designed to stop child pornography being smuggled into the country then the question should have been asked about "child pornography", without encompassing regular porn.

Hetty Johnson, chief executive of child protection group Bravehearts, agreed with Patten that the question was too broad. She said it should only apply to illegal pornography.

"If it said child porn I'd be 100 per cent behind it - if you're carrying child pornography then you deserve everything you get," she said in a phone interview.

The issue has echoes of the 1956 detention of famed British conductor and composer Sir Eugene Goossens who had his bag searched upon his return from Europe.

He was carrying material that was considered, at the time, pornographic and his reputation was subsequently ruined, forcing him to flee the country.

"The term pornography is not referred to at all in the federal Classification Act, which customs relies on to classify their material," Patten said.

http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/travellers-to-be-searched-for-porn-20100520-vh09.html

noonwitch
05-20-2010, 12:54 PM
That's kind of scary. I don't look at porn, but everyone defines what is pornographic by different standards. I've read DH Lawrence's books, and they were once banned in this country for being pornographic. Same with the Marquis DeSade, although I think the reasons his writings were banned are a little more obvious than in the case of Lawrence.

fettpett
05-20-2010, 12:58 PM
"Can't be defined, but I'll know it when I see it"

sounds like a bunch of horny Aussies wanna see what they can confiscate

FlaGator
05-20-2010, 01:04 PM
What about when you walk through one of those full body scanners? Would that be considered porn?

PoliCon
05-20-2010, 01:12 PM
What about when you walk through one of those full body scanners? Would that be considered porn?

They're already saving and printing pictures from those scanners so . . . . .:rolleyes:

FlaGator
05-20-2010, 01:21 PM
They're already saving and printing pictures from those scanners so . . . . .:rolleyes:

They were probably on Wiki until this week. :D

JB
05-20-2010, 06:54 PM
I'm shocked!!! It's Australia. The same place that wants to ban its citizens from accessing all "offensive" material via the innerwebs.

Where's sonna? I can feel his frothing about how this will never happen from here.

RockerWolf
05-20-2010, 10:37 PM
I'm shocked!!! It's Australia. The same place that wants to ban its citizens from accessing all "offensive" material via the innerwebs.

Where's sonna? I can feel his frothing about how this will never happen from here.

I'm not surprised. I was talking on some forums about Australia blocking certain online games that the people in the country cannot use. IMHO,i feel that censorship hurts everyone.

Sonnabend
05-21-2010, 05:18 AM
I'm shocked!!! It's Australia. The same place that wants to ban its citizens from accessing all "offensive" material via the innerwebs.That will die on the vine...it already has, actually. The measure will die as the government will soon be kicked out of office.

The idea was "shelved" recently (read as "dropped into the circular filing cabinet) Rudd is facing a massive defeat.


Where's sonna? I can feel his frothing about how this will never happen from here.No one is happy with it, and the measure was "sneaked in" by a bunch of fundies. Well, the US and Aust have one thing in common, self righteous, pious,. holier than thou God-botherers, some of them in parliament, who pushed for this measure.

Considering the hue and cry which has just started...I'd say this will be quietly dropped shortly. The condition is actually in breach of the Privacy Act.

Articulate_Ape
05-21-2010, 11:21 AM
/me scratches Australia off of his itinerary.

Sonnabend
05-21-2010, 10:17 PM
/me scratches Australia off of his itinerary.

Um Ape, whilst I agree with you re this idiotic porn rule, was it, or was it not, your own no fly list that led to a 4 year old toddler being targeted as a terrorist? :rolleyes:

Right now we have an idiot government, you have an idiot government, and we the voters are stuck with both of them until November. :(

PoliCon
05-21-2010, 11:34 PM
Um Ape, whilst I agree with you re this idiotic porn rule, was it, or was it not, your own no fly list that led to a 4 year old toddler being targeted as a terrorist? :rolleyes:

Right now we have an idiot government, you have an idiot government, and we the voters are stuck with both of them until November. :(

I have an acquaintance who has the same name as a terrorist who is jail - and he still has issues when he files. :D Every time he goes to the airport he has to prove he's not the guy with the same name who is jail!:D

Rockntractor
05-21-2010, 11:40 PM
To think they used to be a society of outlaws (sighs) they have fallen so far!:confused:

Sonnabend
05-22-2010, 04:17 AM
To think they used to be a society of outlaws (sighs) they have fallen so far!

DINNER IS SERVED

http://www.morgansbbq.co.uk/photos/pig_1.jpg

fettpett
05-22-2010, 11:56 AM
DINNER IS SERVED

http://www.morgansbbq.co.uk/photos/pig_1.jpg

keep your pig....


I'll go eat my veggie hot dog :D

Articulate_Ape
05-22-2010, 02:30 PM
DINNER IS SERVED

http://www.morgansbbq.co.uk/photos/pig_1.jpg

Well, I think that I can say with a high level of confidence that at least you aren't a Muslim.

JB
05-22-2010, 04:32 PM
To think they used to be a society of outlawsused to be?

Sonnabend
05-22-2010, 08:54 PM
used to be?

Nice try JB

No cigar



:D:D

Elspeth
05-22-2010, 10:13 PM
Remember when the big difference between the Free World and the Eastern bloc is that the latter checked you for porn? Funny story, BTW. A linguist in the 1980s got stopped going into Eastern Europe because of a book called "Lectures on Government and Binding." The EE officials thought it was porn; it actually is a book by Noam Chomsky on syntax.

We are quickly becoming like the Communists we defeated.