ACT, Australia—The Australian Sex Party is demanding an inquiry into why a new question has appeared on Incoming Passenger Cards at the Customs point of entry into Australia. The new question asks people if they are carrying any pornography.
In a press announcement issued Thursday in Australia, Sex Party president Fiona Patten said the development has given government officials an unfettered right to examine someone’s laptop or mobile phone as they re-enter the country, and that a senior Customs official, Richard Janeczko, has actually been quoted as saying that materials “stored on electronic media devices such as laptops, thumb drives and iPhones” are on the target list.
“If you and your partner have filmed or photographed yourselves making love in an exotic destination or even taking a bath,” Patten warned, “you will have to answer ‘yes’ to the question or you will be breaking the law.”
Incredibly, travelers entering the great southern continent are now required to declare legal materials such as Category 1 and 2 Restricted magazines, X18+ films and quite probably a large section of R18+ films that have explicit sex in them. Patten said the change marks the beginning of a new era of official investigation into people’s private lives in which being investigated or searched on the basis that you might have legal material in your possession will become the norm.
She said that by answering “yes” to the new “question one” on the declarations, people would then be asked whether they are declaring a weapon, illicit drugs or pornography. If they indicate “pornography,” their materials will then be examined by one and possibly a number of Customs officers. If people are embarrassed by the question—if, say, family or friends are present—they may be taken into a private room and even have their person searched.
“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’ official reasoning behind the changes states, ”No consultation was undertaken under section 17 of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003 before this instrument was made as it is of a minor or machinery nature and does not substantially alter existing arrangements.”
The banal explanation only further enraged Patten, however. “How can the Minister call this monstrous invasion of people’s privacy and the criminalization of hundreds of thousands of people who will answer no to this question out of embarrassment, a ‘minor’ or ‘machinery’ change,” she said. “If the question was designed to stop child pornography being smuggled into the country, then the question should have asked about ‘child pornography,’ and not about a product that one in four Australians use on a regular basis.”
Patten said the changes were part of a continuation of the demonization of sex by the Christian leaders of both major parties and that the term “pornography” is “not referred to at all in the federal Classification Act which Customs relies on to classify their material.”
Patten also claims the changes appear to have been initiated by National Party Senator Barnaby Joyce and Liberal Senator Eric Abetz during a Senate Estimates hearing last year.
“National Party voters who are held up at Customs and have their private erotic collection laid out for all to see will not appreciate Barnaby Joyce’s intrusion into their private life then,” she said, adding, “Customs Minister Brendan O’Connor also has to account for his willingness to do the National’s moral policing. By sneaking through a legislative instrument to provide this sort of access, the government has used an underhanded and devious measure to try and prop up Senator Conroy’s failing internet filter.”
To learn more about Australian censorship or The Sex Party, visit here.
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