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


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  1. icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), 21 Oct 2010 @ 9:47am

    Re: Hi Mike guard dog.. I dont have to make anything up, Mike does that for me.

    "Oh I dont have to randomly make anything up to get mad at Mike, Mike is able to provide all the illinformed, unfounded, stupid, untrue and lazy 'reporting' of unfounded and unsupported claims."

    Sigh. Darryl, you do realize that you're calling Mike's work "reporting" when he's said repeatedly that that isn't what he does is "illinformed, unfounded, stupid, untrue, and lazy"?

    "Mike, himself if the joke"

    Lolwut?

    "and ignoring you guard dogs that will jump to his aid whenever you feel his threatened."

    Lolwut again? Seriously, I don't defend Mike, I defend correctness. Am I a guard dog? Woof?

    "For you Mike can say nothing wrong, and you agree with absolutely everthing, blindly, without thinking for a second that he may have other reasons for his lazy methods."

    I disagree w/Mike here, yet you're still wrong. Am I still an attack dog? Will you rub my belly? Can I have a Scoobie Snack?

    "And what did I make up at all ?"

    1. Mike being a reporter
    2. Mike claiming United States superiority
    3. That Mike said Aussies were less capable of determining what's illegal porn (hint: an Aussie official was the one that said it)
    4. That Mike is doing "all he can to extract money" from us (odd, my Crystal Ball still works, despite it having expired....)
    5. That Mike never offers evidence
    6. That the rest of the world has been using patents/copyright for "all time".
    7. That you like to check facts

    Seriously....that was just from this one thread....

    "He's a hypocrite, who hides behine things like the constitution to try to prove his purile point, which seems to be a message of patents and copyright in any form are bad"

    I...but...what? He "hides" behind the constitution, our highest law, btw, which also effectively lays out the provision for copyrght and patents. That doesn't make sense....

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