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Australian Visitors Must Declare Illegal Porn To Customs Officers 361

Posted by samzenpus
from the don't-blunder-down-under dept.
Australian Justice Minister Brendan O'Connor has advised visitors to take a better safe than sorry policy when it comes to their porn stashes, and declare all porn that they think might be illegal with customs officers. From the article: "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,' Mr O'Connor said."

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Australian Visitors Must Declare Illegal Porn To Customs Officers

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  • What???? (Score:5, Funny)

    by gagol (583737) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @03:59PM (#33965422)
    Next thing, they will want you to declare the illegal drugs you carry...
    • Re:What???? (Score:5, Funny)

      by zill (1690130) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @04:14PM (#33965692)
      No, you have to decleare all the drugs you carry.

      After sampling each one, their customs officer will tell you which ones are illegal.
    • Next thing, they will want you to declare the illegal drugs you carry...

      That is just about as logical as this. FTFA, "Making a false statement to a customs officer carries a fine of up to $11,000 dollars while bringing in objectionable material, such as child pornography, can incur a fine of up to $275,000 and 10 years' jail.".
      What kind of moran will declare ANY material with that kind of deal?

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by HAKdragon (193605)
        The same kind who need to get a brain?
  • by BRSloth (578824) <julio@juliobiaLISPson.net minus language> on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @04:00PM (#33965442) Homepage Journal

    "I have some bestiality on my computer, but you can see clearly that the girl is ENJOYING IT!"

    • by Dyinobal (1427207)
      what about the beast?
      • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @04:15PM (#33965712)
        He has to declare his illegal porn as well.
      • Re:Yes office, (Score:5, Insightful)

        by BlueParrot (965239) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @04:39PM (#33966102)

        You know what. I personally think it does say a lot by our society that it's acceptable to slaughter adolescent animals simply because we think they taste well, but if you let one of them lick your naked body it's somehow animal abuse even if the creature in question suffers no ill effects.

        Damn will my karma burn for saying this, but while people like to pretend zoophilia is bad because it hurts animals, the real reason it's considered unacceptable is because we have freaking problem with sex. Food does not cause the same reaction, and thus few people care that we are raising animals with the intent to kill and eat them.

        Similar complete failure of logic is seen in the anti stem-cells crowd, many of which will happily eat eggs, bacon or chicken, while at the same time declaring IVF and embryonic stem cell research as unacceptable attacks on the sanctity of life.

        Now go on, try to justify it. All the usual arguments basically boil down to "it's ok to kill animals because they taste nice", which does make it seem rather hollow when the same people condem zoophilia.

        As it happens, I'm not actually a zoophiliac. Merely a vegan who finds it a bit twisted that we seem to consider it worse to let an animal have sex with you than it would be to kill it.

        • Re:Yes office, (Score:4, Insightful)

          by TubeSteak (669689) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @04:58PM (#33966360) Journal

          Damn will my karma burn for saying this, but while people like to pretend zoophilia is bad because it hurts animals, the real reason it's considered unacceptable is because we have freaking problem with sex.

          We don't let adults have sex with minors.
          All the same reasons apply to sex with animals.

          It's not so much about harm as it is about consent.

          • We don't let adults eat minors.
            All the same reasons apply to eating animals.

            It's not so much about harm as it is about consent.

            FTFY

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by IICV (652597)

            What if you wait until the animal has been slaughtered (which is, in this hypothetical example, what eventually will happen to it) and then have sex with it? At that point it's an object, and consent doesn't matter, right?

            So by that logic, zoophilia totally okay if you add in a side order of necrophilia.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by soren100 (63191)

            It's not so much about harm as it is about consent.

            How does an animal about to be slaughtered for food give consent?

        • it's acceptable to slaughter adolescent animals simply because we think they taste well, but if you let one of them lick your naked body it's somehow animal abuse

          Herr Rothstein, you are under arrest by order of the Grammar Nazi Party!

          If you slaughter an animal and eat it, it tastes good.
          If you let one of the lick your naked body, it tastes well.

        • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @05:38PM (#33966842)

          I don't know about you, but I don't want to eat any adolescent animals that have been running around licking people's privates.

        • Re:Yes office, (Score:5, Insightful)

          by IndustrialComplex (975015) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @08:04PM (#33968412)

          As it happens, I'm not actually a zoophiliac. Merely a vegan who finds it a bit twisted that we seem to consider it worse to let an animal have sex with you than it would be to kill it.

          No, you are pretty much correct. I'm no vegan (far from it) but I think you are spot on correct. The whole concept is just our fear of anything relating to sex.

          Think of it this way:

          Carefully touch a bull's testicles and derive some pleasure from it: People will flip out at what a horrible crime it is.

          Take a sharp knife, slice open the scrotum, remove the testicles, bread them and saute them and call them rocky mountain oysters and eat them. People will give you money for them.

    • by TiggertheMad (556308) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @04:25PM (#33965872) Homepage Journal
      Makes me want to load up a laptop full of shock-pr0n images, just to I can show them all to some unfortunate customs worker, under the guise of 'declaring' them...

      Hope the customs workers have therapy coverage on their health care plans....
      • by Weaselmancer (533834) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @04:41PM (#33966122)

        Yes...it's a good idea. Much fun. But if you really want to creep the guy out - go mental with it.

        Tell the customs worker that you have a lot of porn on your laptop and you'd like to declare it. Then show him hundreds of pictures of feet. Just feet. Nothing else. And while he pages through them to determine their legality, act like you are fighting becoming aroused. Moan. Drool a little bit.

        For bonus points make it something really odd. Bell towers or Volkswagen bugs or cigar smoking women cutting into birthday cakes.

        Remember kids - what's porn for one person may not necessarily be porn for another.

        • For bonus points make it something really odd.

          Er, so you mean more odd than feet?

          Last time I looked, "foot sex" was still considered to be a fetish rather than mainstream.

      • This an awesome idea. Make sure you pick up as much Japanese guro/scat manga/anime as possible. Bonus points if you can make them vomit.
  • by synthil (1925594) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @04:01PM (#33965470)
    Too much fucking censorship here.
  • by hansamurai (907719) <hansamurai@gmail.com> on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @04:04PM (#33965504) Homepage Journal

    Is there some kind of catalog or web site I can browse to see examples of what's legal and not?

    • I think it's better if you don't know, since the law only require you to declare porn if you THINK it's illegal.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by zill (1690130)

      Is there some kind of catalog or web site I can browse to see examples of what's legal and not?

      www.australia.gov.au [australia.gov.au]

      ...and not?

      Pretty much everything else on the internet.

      I'm pretty sure they've outlawed "ridiculing Australian censorship laws" a few years ago, so this post is a prime example of what's not legal.

  • by Dahamma (304068) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @04:04PM (#33965516)

    ...recent murders committed, houses burgled, cars stolen, heiresses kidnapped, parking tickets ignored, and Australian ministers ridiculed.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @04:06PM (#33965540)

    Passenger: So, I read that I have to declare illegal pornography.
    Officer: Yes, indeed.
    Passenger: Well, I do have something on my laptop, but I don't know whether it's illegal. Would you mind having a look and telling me what you think about it?

    • by T Murphy (1054674)
      If that happens, it would only take a few days before goatse becomes illegal... there might be some benefit to this!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @04:06PM (#33965542)

    Aussie Customs officer: Do you have any illegal porn?
    British tourist: I did not know you still need do illegal things to get in here!

  • by WarJolt (990309) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @04:07PM (#33965566)

    Americans have an expectation of privacy. I doubt you'll have an American declare his/her porn.
    Little tip for those who want to reinforce their expectation of privacy. Encrypt your document folders.
    Most customs techs won't know how to crack it and if you have a good password it could take years.

    • by gfreeman (456642) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @04:10PM (#33965638)
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by DrgnDancer (137700)

        More to the point it's asking for trouble. "Gosh, I wonder what's in this giant encrypted blob on this guys hard drive?" Just zip all your porn into a file, and rename it to something innocuous and approximately appropriate in size. Anything over about 600 MB you could probably just rename "RedHatLinux.iso" or something. You think they're doing deep inspections of every lap top that comes in through customs? They probably do a search for some subsection of the normal graphic and video file extensions the

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by MichaelSmith (789609)

          I wouldn't risk my freedom on those assumptions. If I had to take my porn collection across an Australian border I would transfer it with scp.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by maxwell demon (590494)

      "This file seems to be encrypted. I suspect you want to hide something illegal there. Please give me the password, otherwise I cannot let you pass."

      • The simplest solution is to have an encrypted file that doesn't look like an encrypted file. Jpg with a TrueCrypt archive attached at the end is never going to be detected unless someone is explicitly looking for it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Jorl17 (1716772)
      Americans have the expectation of privacy in some issues. In others they have an interesting culture. It is common for Americans to talk to strangers as if they were family, because it is in their culture. I am not talking trash about them, I admire this type of culture. A friend of mine went to America and she said there was always someone talking to her -- she even had a little child come to her and say "Will you believe how this cheese is expensive".

      That kind of thing is considered rude for us in here,
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by thynk (653762)

        Whereas when I was living in Germany, it wasn't totally uncommon to have someone sit at an empty chair at your table in a restaurant. That sort of thing would cause the manager of the restaurant to be called to have the person ejected from the premises if it happened here in the US. Different things are "rude" to different folks.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by SydShamino (547793)

        There are cultural ways to indicate that you don't want to be talked to. Your friend just didn't know them.

    • by matfud (464184)

      I don't know what wierd world you live in but it has been a very long time since anyone has had any "expectation of privacy" when going through customs.
      Customs routinely search all your belongings and if you are not careful your orifaces too

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by tverbeek (457094)

        US courts have specifically ruled that the Fourth Amendment doesn't apply crossing international borders.

        This expectation of no-privacy going through customs has even been used to justify warrantless searches of someone who is merely near an international border.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by matfud (464184)

          Thanks, I don't know US law precident in this but "Americans have an expectation of privicy" just made me chuckle wrt customs&immigration.
          It may be why US customs are some of the worst in the world I have been through (although it may just be low paid grumpy staff). Actually most cutoms are pretty bad but US is getting silly. UK ones are great (but I'm a from the UK). The same holds for mot nationals entering thier home country.

    • Ignoring the discussion about whether that's even still true in the US, once you leave your own country you can't keep relying on your own laws, you've gotta put up with whatever laws the country you're in has. If you decided to make a big stand about it you'd probably find yourself not allowed into the country.

  • I'm guessing that the Australian constitution doesn't include something equivalent to the US's Fifth Amendment?

    • by Zeek40 (1017978)
      It's a prison colony, you need to declare the crime you committed to gain entry.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You think the US is any different?

      http://www.irs.gov/publications/p17/ch12.html#en_US_publink1000172062

      Form 1040, line 21 is where you are to report your earnings from illegal income.

      • by skelly33 (891182)
        I thought you were BSing, but I finally found it when I scrolled down far enough. That's laughable/pitiful:

        " Illegal activities. Income from illegal activities, such as money from dealing illegal drugs, must be included in your income on Form 1040, line 21, or on Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040) if from your self-employment activity"
        • Think mobsters from the 1930s, who were only ever convicted of tax evasion. If you can convict them for not declaring it, there has to be a way to declare it....

  • by Anonymous Coward
    This reminds me of a job application I filled out once. It actually asked you whether or not you were taking any illicit drugs, and how often. I'm not sure who was stupider: the person who created the application form, or the druggie moron who would answer truthfully. At any rate, if you had porn you though was illegal, WHY would you tell them so!?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      It's so they can fire you for lying on your job application.

      ~Loyal

    • by Abstrackt (609015) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @04:24PM (#33965850)

      I think the person creating the application form was actually quite clever as two positive (for the company) things happen this way: 1) it weeds out the idiots who admit to taking illicit drugs with some regularity and 2) it makes it much easier to fire someone for lying on their application if the employer finds out they are on illicit drugs.

      As for customs, when you enter the US there is a section that literally asks if you're a spy. I hope they're not catching too many idiots that way but it does create a situation where someone who is a spy can be convicted for lying to the government. I figure the same idea applies to declaring illegal porn.

      • I like the question about whether I was a member of the Nazi Party of Germany between 1933 and 1945. I was so tempted to tick yes, but I actually wanted the visa...

        • by dgatwood (11270)

          Particularly appropriate if you were born after 1945.

        • Not only can lying on that one restrict entry, if you lie on that and then later become a citizen they can use it to go back and strip your citizenship and eject you from the country.

      • by Mal-2 (675116)

        For a fine example of this, one should listen to or watch Frank Zappa/Ensemble Modern's most excellent Welcome to the United States [youtube.com].

  • Grammar nazi walking here, move aside.

  • Why do I instinctual click on this topic just to lay back and enjoy all the comments rated "Funny"?

    Sorry Aussies but today it's your turn. Bring the ridicule on!!!
  • This is so easy to get around its not funny. Just like the proposed internet filter. Just take any porn you have and either post it to yourself before you leave or if its on your computer, just encrypt it. Customs officers are by no means nerds and I have my doubts as to what this stupidity will actually achieve. My guess is this legislation was a nice big candy apple for the religous nutters that seem to be taking over this government in a bid to enforce the hard word of jesus while the real sick pedo weir

  • "I have no porn to declare but my self."

  • I was applying for Federal security clearance back in college, and the form gave dire warnings of the consequences should they find out I was lying on the form. Some of the sample questions:
    - Do you currently deal illegal drugs?
    - Are you a member of an organization dedicated to the overthrow of the United States government through unconstitutional means?
    - Are you a terrorist?

    If you answer "No" to these questions, and they later find out you lied on your form, I have a funny feeling lying on your form is go

  • Photos of kangaroos with small breasts?

  • by powerspike (729889) on Wednesday October 20, 2010 @09:38PM (#33969118)

    I am Australian, and have read quite a few stories press releases etc on this subject. The BIG problem with these cards is, illegal to "import" and illegal to "posses" in australia is different. Meaning while it might be legal to own some types in Australia, it's illegal to bring them in (ie import) into the country, and they don't tell you what is what, This is one of the main reasons there has been a large uproar over the issue down under.

    There's two set's of rules, they aren't telling you which one is which, and don't give good examples, it's basically a trap

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