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Australia Can Search Laptops, Phones for Porn

A spokesperson for the Australian sex industry is warning visitors that local customs officers suddenly have an "unfettered right" search laptops and mobile phones for porn. Apparently Incoming Passenger Cards now ask visitors if they're carrying adult material. Visitors must answer truthfully or face criminal charges if the material is in possession and the answer was marked "No." This means home-made movies in the bedroom or footage of you taking a shower must be reported.

"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," said Colin Jacobs, chairman of the Electronic Frontiers Australia lobby group. "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."

So what exactly is the problem? Certain forms of pornography are banned from crossing the Australian border, however various groups believe that the question found on the Incoming Passenger Cards is too broad, and should ask more specifics such as "are you carrying child porn" or "are you carrying animal sex porn." Of course, that would be a waste of time--not many people will be comfortable admitting to legalized porn let alone more offensive material.

Despite what the card asks, the big issue is invasion of privacy. “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?” said Fiona Patten, president of the Australian Sex Party. "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."

The ASP and EFA are looking into how the new change was put into effect "without any public consultation about the massive privacy issues."

  • darkknight22
    I think this is just a ploy for customs to pick up some free pr0n.
    Reply
  • polly the parrot
    Like the Best Buy Geek Squad employee a while back?
    Reply
  • pharge
    It is just tough to deal all the different laws when you are doing international traveling.

    One of my friend had his check-in bags searched and something were removed by our (US) customs while he was flying from Asia to Canada. Why his bags were searched? He was doing his transfer at the LAX (the bag was with the airline all the time during the transfer).

    Similar story... people can be charged as drug trafficing in Thailand if somebody have a bag or bottole of poppy seeds... which may mean DEATH penality in Tailand...


    Bring pron into middle-eastern countries can lead to a big problem too.


    Reply
  • bv90andy
    why is home-made for personal use nude pictures/video categorised as porn? And if I have 20 Giga of photos (which I do, and most ppl have way more than that), are they going to look at each photo to see if I have pornographic images? That's going to take a few days + invasion of privacy.
    Reply
  • proxy711
    bv90andy ...if I have 20 Giga of photos (which I do, and most ppl have way more than that)...No normal person will have 20gigs of photos on their laptop.


    Reply
  • Clintonio
    I encrypt my home-made videos when I visit the middle east. I'm so dangerously at risk, since one of the participants of said videos is one of their own nationals.

    Uh oh D:
    Reply
  • chickenhoagie
    What a ridiculous law. Australians just brought themselves into the war of the worlds. No longer shall they remain a peaceful country
    Reply
  • NapoleonDK
    proxy711No normal person will have 20gigs of photos on their laptop.1. He didn't say laptop. (although you probably wouldn't put your desktop through customs...)
    2. I'm eldest of 4 children in my family. I manage all our computers and I have 22.7GB of family photos on my NAS.
    Reply
  • gekko668
    Encryption is the best way to go. While you're at it encrypt your files all the way to your torrent connection.
    Reply
  • Marco925
    when you travel, Set your computer as a server, if you need anything, access it.

    FTP Rocks
    Reply