Visiting Australia? Make Sure You Tell The Customs Officials About The Porn On Your Hard Drive

from the perhaps-I'll-visit-new-zealand-instead... dept

We've discussed, a few times, the issues with border patrol/customs officials in the US searching laptops at the border. The reason it doesn't make much sense is that the purpose of border patrol is to make sure nothing bad gets into a country, but the content on your laptop can easily get into the country via the internet, rather than at the border. And even bigger concern, of course, is that people store everything on their laptops. If you're packing your suitcase for a trip somewhere, you pack only the things you want to take. Everything you bring is effectively "opt-in." However, on your laptop, you already have everything. If anything, you might (though I doubt many people do) delete some stuff to avoid having it searched. In other words, unlike your suitcase, the data on your laptop is more of an "opt-out" situation.

Well, it appears that down in Australia, they've taken border laptop concerns to a new and ridiculous level. Slashdot points us to claims for Australian officials that travelers entering Australia should have to declare all porn on their laptops. After some public outcry, that original claim was downgraded to "all illegal porn," but as some people are still pointing out, it's not at all clear what constitutes "illegal porn" in Australia, and it's a violation of privacy to demand that travelers reveal their laptop porn. Again, I'm at a loss as to how this actually helps with anything. It's not like having people declare it at the border will do anything to stop "illegal" porn. It just seems like an easy way to have something else to hold over people.

Filed Under: australia, border patrol, customs, porn, tourism


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2010 @ 9:38am

    Honestly... beyond pictures of real under age children, can you name what might be illegal? Well hell, for that matter, can you name the age of consent for pornography in A) Your Country, and B) Any other country you might visit? But even putting THAT behind us...

    There are a lot of... strange... things. Is homosexual erotica legal? Of both genders? The German fare that became a horrible horrible Internet meme? The rape games that Japan has come under fire for? (Heck, brining up Japan's rules, is a drawn, uncensored image of sex illegal?) Real snuff? Fake snuff? I mean, just look at a list of pornographic sub genres on Wikipedia and try to decide which ones might be illegal and need to be reported. Do they provide a traveler a big book of porn dos and do nots?

    I think that is where the comment of what is and is not illegal porn comes into play.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.