Australian Customs Officials Will Search Your Laptop For Porn

Illustration for article titled Australian Customs Officials Will Search Your Laptop For Porn

The Australian Sex Party—which is a trade group, not a fun Friday night—has risen up against new Australian customs rules that allow officials to search your personal electronics for pornography. Even Crocodile DunDD? Outrage!


When heading Down Under, travelers are required to fill out Incoming Passenger Cards that list what they're bringing into the country. For the last several months, those cards have included a "Pornography" category. If you don't check the box but have mature content on your laptop or phone, you're breaking the law. If you do check it, officials are going to go through your stash.

While measures to prevent illegal pornography from crossing borders make total sense, Australian customs officials are looking for any and all R18+ and N18+ material—even of the homemade variety. As ASP president Fiona Patten points out:

"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 policy has been in place since last fall, and the fact that it's only just now gaining notoriety indicates that it hasn't created too much awkwardness. It's a terrible breach of privacy, though, and one that will hopefully be corrected now that the backlash is finally building.

But for now? Best to think twice about heading to the outback with a hard drive full of boobs. [Sydney Morning Herald via Reddit]



ArsTechnica covered this story too and at the bottom of it they added:

"Jim Wallace disagrees. He runs the Australian Christian Lobby, and he told The Age newspaper that the policy made sense. "'If I've got wooden products, I take them to customs to decide whether my wooden products have to be confiscated, have to be fumigated, or if I can go through with it," he said. "I see no difference in the approach that's being applied here with pornography.''"

I almost signed up for an account over there just so I could post: "If you see no difference between your wooden products and your woody, then you, sir, are an idiot. I doubt you care about the privacy of your wood products, but I bet you care about the privacy of your woody! Twit." But alas and alack I decided against it at the last moment. It wasn't worth it. So I'll just add that tidbit here and point out that Jim Wallace is an idiot, at least when it comes to understanding the underlying difference between his wood and his woody.