Too Hot for Oz?
A new law requiring that anyone entering the country hand over “anything explicit.” How’s that for vague? They were so worried about running afoul of the country’s controversial new anti-pornography law, they erred on the side of total embarrassment.
That’s not what the law was supposed to do.
Too Hot for Oz?An Australian couple returning from their honeymoon was caught with spicy snapshots on their iPhones. Well, “caught” is the wrong word. When they went though customs on their way back to the land down under, they pulled out naked pictures they had taken of each other on a beach and showed them to the officers like they were potential Christmas-card choices. What got into them?
The purpose of the law, which came into effect late last year, was designed to stop people bringing in “illegal pornography,” which they define as “child pornography, bestiality, sexual violence, degradation, cruelty, and non-consensual sex.” But they don’t say that explicitly -- they just say, "Show us anything you’ve got that’s explicit, and when in doubt, whip it out.”
Which is what this couple did -- much to their own humiliation.
Opponents to the law have a really valid point: If you’ve got something as disgusting as kiddie porn or rape porn in your computer, you’re not going to show it to a customs officer just because he asked you to. In other words, this is the kind of law that only affects people who are already law-abiding citizens; the criminals are going to try to fly under the radar either way.
And there’s the other sticky point -- that if you have signs up saying, “Show us your child pornography, rape porn, or sexual violence,” and you’re sitting in the customs line with your 8- and 10-year-old kids, well ... you’re going to have a lot of ‘splaining to do. The kind of ‘splaining you might not want to do in an airport.
It seems that the very valid goal of getting rid of illegal porn is not being served by this law.
What do you think? Should they keep the law as it is, re-word the customs cards so they’re more explicit, or ditch it in favor of other methods?
Photo via Allie_Caulfield/Flickr