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.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 21 Oct 2010 @ 10:23am

    Re: Still no reason why such a statement would be made by Mike..

    "Are you saying you would not be able to answer those questions yourself, for your own country or for any country you intend to visit ??"

    Pornography (and sexuality) rules can vary widely from country to country. Apparently, the only thing that is globally considered "bad" is child porn (and even in some cultures, it may not be). But even there, the age criteria can vary. There is NO global criteria for what is illegal (porn or otherwise).

    "Really, I can answer all those questions immediately, as anyone else in Australia can. You think for some reason people in Australia have a different idea than other countries about what is legal or illegal ?"

    RTFLA (Read The Fucking Linked Articles). Nuff said.

    "Things like snuff movies, apart from being illegal everywhere, are not porn. Neither is rape or violence."

    "Rape" movies (necessarily "fake rape") are not only legal in Japan (and pretty much everywhere else), they are also a relevant segment of the pornography business. And about violence, ever heard of BDSM?

    "Its clear what is legal and illegal, and its very clear in Australia, there is no confusion, we done have to have wardrobe malfunctions, or 'dont ask dont tell'."

    Again, RTFLA.

    "If you dont have a clear legal and moral idea of what is legal and illegal in terms of porn, or violence or some illegal activity then that is a problem for you, not something you can lump on an entire country."

    Ok, since you are so smart, provide a CLEAR and UNAMBIGUOUS global definition of what illegal porn is. Oh wait, YOU CAN'T.

    "All I was asking is based on WHAT would prompt Mike to make such a statement ?"

    RTFLA. Sheesh.

    "As yet, I have not received an answer, only attacks, but that's the typical guard dog way."

    Yes people have answered and yes, your logic has been chewed and tossed out already. They are one and the same, in case you didn't notice.

    "Or if you dont like hearing the truth, you ask me to go away, that would be nice, you could then have your own little world where everone agrees with everything Mike say, without question. "

    What is this "truth" you speak of? It must have a different meaning where you come from (and I don't mean Australia, because I know for a fact that Australians can't be THAT dense).



    Oh, incidentally, your Turing test results came back. You failed.

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