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Australia orders visitors to declare illegal porn

In Uncategorized on October 19, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Australia has ordered visitors to reveal illegal pornography to customs officers in a move which was criticised as “totally confusing” and an invasion of privacy on Tuesday.


Justice Minister Brendan O’Connor on Monday said illegal material must be declared on arrival, watering down recent rules that asked for all pornography to be revealed.


But he said anyone who is not sure whether they have illegal pornography should reveal it just in case. The revamped rule is outlined on arrival cards which are filled in by travellers coming to Australia.

A man looks at pirated pornographic CDs at a market stall.

Australian Sex Party leader Fiona Patten said the measure amounted to an invasion of privacy, and warned that many tourists and even Australians would not know what pornography was illegal.


“They are still totally confusing,” she said of the arrival cards. “What is illegal to import to our country is not necessarily illegal to possess,” she added.


Patten said while Australians were rightly concerned about child pornography, travellers should not have to declare all erotic material to customs officers just to be safe.


“It’s a breach of people’s privacy,” she said.


The government said it changed the wording on passenger arrival cards after becoming aware of confusion among travellers about what pornography to declare.


“People have a right to privacy and while some pornography is legal and does not need to be disclosed, all travellers should be aware that certain types of pornography are illegal and must be declared to customs,” O’Connor said.


Banned material includes child pornography, bestiality, explicit sexual violence, degradation, cruelty and non-consensual sex.


“Even though there have been import bans on illegal pornography for a long time, some travellers still don’t realise that,” O’Connor said in a statement.


Making a false statement to a customs officer carries a fine of up to 11,000 dollars (10,856 US) while bringing in objectionable material, such as child pornography, can incur a fine of up to 275,000 dollars and ten years’ jail.

Source: SGGP

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