Australian travellers to be searched for porn

"We always use the indefinite article: THE porn, never YOUR porn."
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.

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.

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16 Responses:

  1. pfrank says:

    what the hell is wrong with Australia lately? Didn't they just confiscate a passport from the wikileaks guy?

  2. Reminds me of a New Zealand comedian's take on visiting Australia:

    Customs Official: Do you have any criminal convictions?
    Comedian: Sorry man, I didn't know they were compulsory!

    No reliable confirmation on whether this exchange actually took place, however, nor the duration of any subsequent body cavity search.

  3. schmoomom says:

    You know they already do this in Canada, right?

      • schmoomom says:

        Yus. Hubs went through there..2 years ago? I think for the GCC meeting and his laptop was taken off him, they searched for "certain files". He was asked if it was a personal or business laptop (personal) and so they did it. Of course nothing was on there...

        I thought he did a blog post about it, but see nothing. I'll ask him in the morn and have him add bits that I'm not remembering. But yes, Canada does this.

    • lionsphil says:

      You're ruining the hopes and aspirations of Brits everywhere who still think there's an English-speaking country with a sane government to flee to, you know.

      • schmoomom says:

        Sorry! Come over here to Ireland, where our gov is smaller but oh so much more reckless. At least the Guinness is local, and the ferry still runs when the ashcloud appears.

        And we have good tea too.

  4. djsunkid says:

    All this business about Australia, I haven't run afoul of any of this madness. The article says that the question has been on the form since September. I moved to Australia from Canada in March and didn't see any question like that. I totally would have lied through my teeth if I had, obviously.

    Similarly, I haven't noticed any sites being unavailable to me because of being in Australia. Even 4chan/b still loads. If ever a site were to be blacklisted, /b should probably be it.

    So what's the deal?

    • They don't have the national firewall in place (or in law) yet. The Labor Party still is officially keen on it, though has postponed it until after the next election. Maybe when the balance of power in the Senate is no longer held by the Crazy Christians, they'll suddenly lose their conviction that censoring the internet is an issue of vital national interest. Or perhaps not (the PM is a bit of a God-botherer).

      • hasimir says:

        Not just the PM. Stephen Conroy wanted to ban all pornography online until someone pointed out that some of it's legal.