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

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76 Comments
Dark Helmetsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

….My ficticious office would know like to introduce an amendment titled “The Olivia Wilde Exception” that reads thusly:

Australia shall make no law denying the an establishment of nakedness or sex acts of a hottie of Olivia Wilde’s ilk, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, regardless of boob size; or abridging the freedom of extremely odd and likely painful positions, or of the matter of orifice choice; or the right of the people peaceably to view such material, and to petition their naughty bits with copious amounts of fapping.

So it has been written, so it shall (hopefully) be done….

Rose M. Welchsays:

Re: Re:

Okay, but all funny aside, what kills me about this particular classification is the premise.

If viewing small breasts on film can make you more likely to become a pedophile, then actually having sex with a small-breasted woman must be that much worse.

Therefore, relations with women with smaller breasts should cease immediately. For the children!

darrylsays:

it's not at all clear what constitutes "illegal porn" in Australia,. Not much about the law is clear to Mike !

it’s not at all clear what constitutes “illegal porn” in Australia,

WHAT ???

So here in Australia, we are not capable of working out what is legal or not ??

Oh thats right, the mighty Americans know it all, and are the ‘leaders’ of the world.

Got news for you buddy..

vivaelamorsays:

Re: Re: it's not at all clear what constitutes "illegal porn" in Australia,. Not much about the law is clear to Mike !

“WHAT ???

So here in Australia, we are not capable of working out what is legal or not ??

Oh thats right, the mighty Americans know it all, and are the ‘leaders’ of the world.

Got news for you buddy..”

I have visions of you attacking a brick wall with mad fervour. A strange hobby you seem to have, randomly making up stuff to get mad at Mike about.

intervalsays:

Re: Re: it's not at all clear what constitutes "illegal porn" in Australia,. Not much about the law is clear to Mike !

“So here in Australia, we are not capable of working out what is legal or not ??”

Australians are every bit as capable as Americans are of making stupid laws so get off your high horse. Unless you truly believe this is really good legislation, in which case I encourage you to support your view and why its so good for Australia. Has very little to do with what Americans think, actually. So stop acting like a typically idiotic Aussie.

darrylsays:

Standard Mike avoidance, hiding behind "some people'.. typical...

“some people” NO, MIKE said it, what Mike heard was hearsay, or at worst an outright lie.

He does not state who else “said it”, he just does the classic Mike deflection so he can put the blame on someone else.

I guess, Mike does not have the balls to say what he actually thinks, he would rather hide behine “some people have said”.

They must be as clueless as you or Mike !!. .

And ‘boobie’ jokes !!! really how mature, next it will be toilet humor, oh you did that as well.. good one.. ๐Ÿ™‚

Anonymoussays:

Re: Re: Standard Mike avoidance, hiding behind "some people'.. typical...

From the linked article (second link):

“VISITORS have been ordered to reveal illegal pornography to customs officers in a move which has been criticised as “totally confusing” and an invasion of privacy.”

“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.”

And so on…

IshmaelDSsays:

Re: Re: Standard Mike avoidance, hiding behind "some people'.. typical...

From the third article linked in the storie.
“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.”

Re: Re: Standard Mike avoidance, hiding behind "some people'.. typical...

Oh poor Darryl. You really need to get out more. Your robot girlfriend, while not illegal in Australia, is no substitute for the real thing.

I may not agree with Mike on everything, but he hasn’t been known, in my experience, to lie or mislead his readers.

If you keep this up, we’ll have to change your published name to Comic Book Guy…

darrylsays:

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.

Mike, himself if the joke, its just a matter of calling him out on his FUD, and ignoring you guard dogs that will jump to his aid whenever you feel his threatened.

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.

After all, he’s doing all he can to extract money from you ‘punters’.

And what did I make up at all ? Mike is often claiming US superiority, and saying that the US way is the ONLY way, but the US way is also broken.

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, and that his system is somehow different and better than what the rest of the planet has been using for all time.

Mike makes amazing claims, with no evidense that any of it is true, or not just a figment of Mikes imagination..

But whatever he says, you’ll back him all the way.

I like to check facts and when I do, I see Mike is full of it..

Berenerdsays:

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

Show us these “facts” of yours. Also, Mike doesn’t ALWAYS say the US is superior, he has often praised other countries for doing something and pointing out that the US should follow suit. Perhaps you were not hugged enough as a child.
So lets see your “facts”. Show us how simple the Law is in Australia thats its clear cut what is illegal porn and what isn’t

Pontifexsays:

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

Darryl, would you please shut up and stop trolling? A large number of the posts here consist of critiquing American decisions. He does not extol “US superiority.” We would all appreciate it if you would think a little bit before writing your rants.

Anonymoussays:

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

“I like to check facts and when I do, I see Mike is full of it..”

WRONG! You FAILED (quite miserably) to check the story source and began firing at Mike for quoting “some people” and having no credibility.

Me and IshmaelDS already provided quotes from the article linked by Mike. If you persist in this attack, you’ll just be demonstrating how much of a sad excuse for a human you are (or bot…I’m still not sure “what” you are, which raises the point of your Turing Test scores…).

Dark Helmetsays:

Re: 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….

Paul Hobbssays:

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

Actually, wanker is Australian for idiot. I should know – I’ve been training for years.

Darryl, on the other hand, is a name specially reserved for knob jockeys who don’t know shit from clay. Parents have to apply when their child is born to use the name Darryl and they receive special training on how to pronounce it with an annoying nasal twang (hold your nose and say “Darryl”, but pronounce it sort of like “dare-il”).

The Infamous Joesays:

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

First off, I’d like to tell you that for the short(ish) time you’ve been posting here, I’ve always tried not to point out your horrible writing style because I assumed English was your second language. I stand corrected.

Back on topic: You seem to think Mike somehow said that the US way is the only way. Since he actually said that the US way didn’t make much sense, I really can’t see what you’re frothing at the mouth, presumably like a rabid, baby-eating dingo, about.

Your last line is pretty amazing, since other people (at least two) have taken the time to retype the sentences from the links in Mike’s post (which, apparently you didn’t bother to do) to show you that you have the facts (that you like to check?) wrong.

Back off topic: There is a link after each post that says “Reply to this” (by default blue) that you should click when replying. I know, it’s hard to stop and click the link when you’ve misread (or misunderstood?) something that sends you in a crocodile-like rage, but it does help make sense of things on this end of the tubes.

Thanks.

Anonymoussays:

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.

darrylsays:

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

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?

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 ??

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 ?

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

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’.

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.

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

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

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.

That would be good, :)..

Anonymoussays:

Re: 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.

Shaun Wilsonsays:

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

And about violence, ever heard of BDSM?

I’m pretty certain that is illegal porn under Australian law, in fact I think that’s explicitly what is meant by the violence provisions. I’d say anything a little kinky is borderline so you should avoid anything of the sort coming into the country unless you want to have a public discussion with customs officials on the merits of different styles of pornography. Or perhaps go the other direction and get some hardcore bondage stuff, preferably where the willing participation of all participants is clearly documented, to test the issue.

On a related note this is what our proposed internet filter is about – politicians try to fit “child pornography” into every sentence used to discuss it but that’s not even the majority of the porn covered by the proposed filter, let alone everything else…

Eugenesays:

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

“Things like snuff movies, apart from being illegal everywhere, are not porn.”

FYI: there’s no such thing as a snuff movie. They don’t exist. Seriously. It’s one of those weird, interesting phenomena, where the whole world pretty much imagined a situation that’s actually worse than reality.

In the entire history of film, there has never, ever been a murder intentionally caught on tape for the purposes of selling it as pornography. I know! You’d think ‘there’s gotta be at least one.’ Right? But it’s really never happened. Interesting, huh?

Thought I’d point that out.

Anonymoussays:

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

In 1997 Ernst Dieter Korzen and Stefan Michael Mahn kidnapped two prostitutes and recorded their torture in Germany. Their second victim escaped and the two men were sentenced to life imprisonment. Prosecutors involved in the case claimed there is an international market for such videos and that Korzen and Mahn had made the video with the intention of selling it. Korzen and Mahn thus became the first persons ever convicted for the making of a snuff movie, although their video was never commercialized

techflaws.orgsays:

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

If german prosecuters (of all people) say it… IT MUST BE TRUE!

Seriously, there’s still big hubub in the media about the chief of the LKA (State Office of Criminal Investigation) claiming there’s millions made on child porn over the internet just to get this law through forcing any telecommunications provider to record each and any communication (not the contents) between people.

MadderMaksays:

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

I call Bullshit!
I am australian. I do not know the title of every porn film refused classification (hence illegal to import) because someone has too-small titties.

If you are also Australian… Darryl… do us a favour and add more chlorine to your gene-pool – either that or just drink it straigh.

You sir are and idiot! (and give Aussies a bad rep)

btr1701says:

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

Its clear what is legal and illegal, and its very clear in Australia, there
is no confusion

Not hardly. The article lists several categories of illegal porn: “child pornography, bestiality, explicit sexual violence, degradation…”

What exactly is “degradation”? Even among Australians, there is a wide range of opinion. Some people believe simple nudity is degrading, especially to women. Others don’t even consider hard core fetish sex to be degrading.

How is a traveler to know if their porn qualifies as degrading or not? Whose standard is used to make that determination?

Your claim that this is perfectly clear in Australia is nonsense.

Spaceman Spiffsays:

Stupid is as stupid does

This is what happens when the technologically clueless try to apply poorly thought out rules to control technological products. A real porn purveyor who wants to import really objectionable material into Australia has ways to easily do so without physically importing their “product”, in a manner that the authorities will be hard-pressed to stop. Store the data in an encrypted blob in the internet cloud, then download via a public WiFi access point to a laptop+thumb drive inside Australia. Nothing physically crosses their borders, and the chances of tracing the transaction are just about nil. Only poor dumb schlubs who accidentally leave something objectionable on their systems when they go to Australia have anything to worry about… The professionals won’t make that mistake.

Coward (Anon)says:

Re: Re: hard up TSA agents

Now you are attacking Australians as a group. Up until Abby Winters and her various spin offs were forced to leave the country, Australia had some great porn. Unfortunately for them, much of it featured regular sized women with smaller boobs. And since some looney decided that small boobs == child porn, its mostly illegal now. And just how is someone from another country who doesn’t read the kinds of blogs that I do supposed to know that naked photos of their spouse (who happens to be small breasted) are illegal? I’m sure most people would reasonably guess that the gonzo German porn would be illegal but Olivia Wilde photos, not so much. So yes, “some people” are confused.

Rose M. Welchsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: hard up TSA agents

What kills me is the premise.

If viewing small breasts on film can make you more likely to become a pedophile, then actually having sex with a small-breasted woman must be that much worse. Therefore, relations with women with smaller breasts should cease immediately! For the children!

Dark Helmetsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: hard up TSA agents

“Therefore, relations with women with smaller breasts should cease immediately! For the children!”

Understood. I’ll have to have a long talk with my girlfriend, letting her know that, despite the fact that she’s an amazingly smart, talented, and kind woman with a great sense of humor and has been nothing but supportive of me and my quest to become the next Michael Crichton, her sorta itty bitty titties are a danger to us all and all relations must cease.

I don’t imagine she’ll be pleased….

Anonymoussays:

Leave the Americans to their own little bubble of ignorance and we, the rest of the world, will move on.

A conversation between 4 world leaders, one each from Ireland, China, USA and Australia….
IRELAND: “Our country is the best! We have our green, green grass!”
CHINA: “No! Our country is the best, we have the Great Wall of China!”
USA: “Nah, our country is the best!!! We have the Stars and Stripes!!!!!!!!”
AUSTRALIA: “Our country is not bad, we have Kangaroos.
They can shit on your green, green grass,
jump over your Great Wall of China
and then wipe it’s arse with your Stars and Stripes.”

Citizen Greyfacesays:

Declaration of "intention" to (possibly) transgress

So, some dude (or dudette) parks their ZIP file in a virtual folder in their virtual office… should inform the “guvmint” of Oddstralia (or somesuch) of the possibility, upon entering the country, of entertaining the idea at some future time of accessing said (offshore, to say the least, but nearby, still…) ZIP file for the purpose of satisfying an urge to oggle epidermal friction, illegal pubic follicles, or somesuch… A possibility in the future, but not a fact of the moment. Hmmmmm. (Oh, the moral decisions a commoner must confront just to surf a bit in Oddstralia.)

maraksays:

Ahem,

Illegal porn in australia is anything with an RC rating(refused classification) – or just not even classified.

How they think their going to enforce this is beyond me, but hey, im going to japan in a few months, my trip backs going to be interesting! (especially as were taking 3 laptops with us).

Wonder if that includes declaring whats on my external HD’s too? backup dvd’s/blu rays/flash drives? I think im going to have to ask them for bigger forms ๐Ÿ˜›

Oh and what actually classified as RC, im not 100% sure lol.

Jimmysays:

I feel like I'm taking crazy pills

Like its inbred semi-retarded older brother, the Australian internet filter, this policy will do next to nothing to stop the criminal activities it is supposedly targeted at. The REAL criminals (pedophiles, one would assume – I’m not even sure anymore) almost certainly would not be foolish enough to keep incriminating evidence on their persons while visiting another country – but let’s entertain this moronic theory for a moment and pretend they would. What’s to stop them simply moving their collection to the cloud, traveling, clearing customs and then pulling it down again once they’re inside the country?

TechNoFearsays:

They have just added a box on the customs declaration arrival cards mentioning porn.

I cant imagine a customs office viewing all your porn to ensure it is not ‘offensive’.

Australian Customs Web Page
“Prohibited and restricted items
It is illegal to carry drugs including marijuana, cannabis, heroin, cocaine and amphetamines in and out of Australia.

Counterfeit goods and offensive types of pornography are also banned.

Other items may be restricted. You will need a permit to carry these items in and out of Australia.”
http://www.customs.gov.au/site/page4443.asp

I could not find the link to where you get a permit to carry porn…

Stormy Winterssays:

Why are you in my thoughts?

This is getting old. I have a personal thought that I will share with my bestie Natasha Quivers and lo and behold that thought pops up on the internet. Have you heard of a no judgement scarf? I hope not.
stay tuned for the no judgement scarf debut What does the word catbag mean to you? The correct answer would be: absolutely nothing and did I read that right- catbag? What is a catbag?
catbag debut available soon! stay tuned!

Im sure what I’m saying makes perfect sense. You know what Im going to say next right?
My point is simple and clear: when will people abandon Australia and it’s oppressive ways for a chance at the good life….The New Australia aka Muyleasha. Ladies and Germs the time has come to abandon the old world ideals that plague our society and upgrade to a free, uninhibited, well controlled with no set rules or regulations. Sounds like paradise? It is. Come visit our New Motherland as soon as you tell us where to find it. ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

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20:51 Copyright Law Discriminating Against The Blind Finally Struck Down By Court In South Africa (7)
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