“Do you have any firearms? Any illegal drugs? Carrying any items for someone else?” These are all questions that if asked while flying, wouldn’t make you think twice. How about “do you have any porn in your bags? Yes? Well we need to view it” That would make me do a second take.
Customs in Australia started asking the question in September 2009 to try and curb illegal pornography, like child porn. When filling our your Passenger Card while on the airline, en-route to the airport, you are asked if you are carrying any pornography. If you say yes, then you open yourself to having your porn viewed by a customs official.
Child porn is bad, don’t get me wrong, but so is invasion of privacy. There are some that are quite upset about this new policy. The Australian Sex Party asks “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,” president Fiona Patten of the party said. She also questions if this means if any device that can hold a photo (camera, laptop, phone, key chain and so many others) can be scrutinized by customs.
Now, your standard type of X-rated porn is not illegal in Australia. So if you have a magazine or film with naked people in them doing dirty things they can be viewed, even though they don’t break the law. “Is it fair that Customs officers rummage through someone’s luggage and pull out a legal men’s magazine or a lesbian journal in front of their children or their mother-in-law,” Patten asked.
Customs states that many porn items have been viewed and the items would be returned to the passenger. Offensive material having child pornography, bestiality, explicit sexual violence and graphic degradation are destroyed. Customs says that only specially trained officers will be tactful and discreet.
With seeing how officials have respected privacy already, I don’t buy it. “Don’t worry sir, we are just reviewing your private home videos and returning them right back. No one has made any copies and I won’t be showing them to my buddies after work.” This is a disgusting violation of personal privacy and doesn’t affect airline safety.
Before for those of you that believe, “If you don’t agree, don’t fly,” start to chime in, let me preemptively counter your argument. If I choose to have legal porn (it is for a friend, I swear) or even private shots of my self naked (which I don’t), that is my right. Me carrying those has no affect on airline and travel safety. If authorities would have probable cause that I am transporting illegal material, then yea, search away. But me stating I am carrying a very legal item should not give them the right to view the item. It would be like “are you carrying any drugs” and having to have all your legal prescription and over the counter drugs looked at if you answered yes because you have aspirin.Source: News.com.au